#WilliamsWeek 2020: Day 2

It’s day 2 of the #WilliamsWeek, a celebration of composer John Williams on the occasion of his 88th birthday coming February 8. We continue to cherish the work of the Maestro through inspiring quotes taken from interviews of the past and a piece of music from his extensive body of work for films and the concert hall.

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Photo © Thomas Bango

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#WilliamsWeek 2020: Day 1

It’s #WilliamsWeek! Like last year, we celebrate the birthday of legendary composer John Williams for the whole week with a quote and a piece of music every day from today until February 8, the day in which the Maestro will turn 88. We want to celebrate him on this special occasion both with his words and his music, something that continues to be a great source inspiration for many musicians, listeners and music lovers all around the world.

Today, the focus is on the unique collaboration with his long-time artistic partner Steven Spielberg.

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John Williams and Steven Spielberg (photo courtesy of Sony Classical © 2017)
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A Herald for All Musicians

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Photo by Jamie Trueblood /Lucasfilm Ltd.

With The Rise of Skywalker, composer John Williams has completed his own musical cycle, putting the final coda on a rich musical glossary he started to work on 42 years earlier. When the composer wrote and recorded that film score in 1977, he couldn’t imagine how big the impact of his music would have been, and how long it would have resonated with audiences throughout the subsequent decades. As he told recently to film journalist and film music historian Jon Burlingame:

“Forty years ago, if you said to me, ‘Here’s a project, John, and I want you to write 25 hours of music,’ I would have dropped my pencil case and said, ‘It’s impossible. No one can do that,’”

Yet the composer was able to return to that musical world always with the same amount of enthusiasm, creativity, and devotion for all the subsequent scores he penned for the intergalactic space opera initiated by George Lucas, which now covers a time span of almost half of his life.

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Symphony of Elements: Interview with Mike Matessino on the ‘Disaster Movie Soundtrack Collection’

An exclusive podcast with soundtrack producer Mike Matessino on his restoration work for the Disaster Movie Soundtrack Collection – Music by John Williams, and the remastered expansions of Monsignor and Minority Report

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

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Listen on Podbean, Apple Podcasts and Spotify

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Across the Stars, Inside the Music: Interview with Anne-Sophie Mutter

The internationally acclaimed violinist talks with The Legacy of John Williams about her collaboration with the composer and their stunning recording project Across The Stars, featuring all-new arrangements of Williams’ iconic film themes rewritten especially for her.

by Maurizio Caschetto

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John Williams and Anne-Sophie Mutter; Photo © Phrashant Gupta, courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon

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Legacy Conversations: Frank Lehman

Music Theorist and Film Musicologist from Tufts University talks about how John Williams’s film scores shaped his interest in music and his path to academia, with a spotlight on his catalogue of the themes and motifs from the Star Wars saga

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

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Frank Lehman, Associate Professor of Music at Tufts University (Photo: Alison Bruzek/WBUR)

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John Williams’s Journey into the Concert Hall

A chronological overview of the Maestro’s early works for the concert hall in the 1960s and 1970s, including his almost-unknown Symphony No. 1

by Maurizio Caschetto

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A portrait of John Williams from the late 1960s

The term “film composer” might be useful when referring to the work and career of John Williams. But, in his case, it would be also extremely reductive. While it’s true that the Maestro dedicated much of his artistic life to work for the Hollywood film industry, he has always showed a great deal of versatility, typical of musicians who don’t limit themselves just to one single area. Pianist, jazzman, arranger and, in the end, composer of works for films and the concert stage, Williams diversified his artistic output since the early days of his professional career, exploring different sides of his musical personality. Looking at him this way, it can be said without being proven wrong that he perfectly embodies the creative breadth of the 20th century composer and musician.

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Uplifting musical experiences: Interview with Peter Boyer

An exclusive interview with the talented award-winning American composer about his impressive career in the classical music field and how the music of John Williams inspired his own artistic journey

by Maurizio Caschetto

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American composer, orchestrator and conductor Peter Boyer (Photo by Dario Acosta © 2019)

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Legacy Conversations: John Mauceri

The esteemed American conductor talks about the history and the aesthetic of music written in Hollywood during the Golden Age era and how it led to the rise of John Williams.

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

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John Mauceri with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (January 2007)

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