John Williams

In a career spanning five decades, John Williams has become one of America's most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage, and remains one of our nation's most distinguished and contributive musical voices. He has served as music director and laureate conductor of one of the country's treasured musical institutions, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and maintains thriving artistic relationships with many of the world's great orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


Mr. Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than 100 films, including all seven Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Memoirs of a Geisha, Far and Away, The Accidental Tourist, Home Alone, Nixon, The Patriot, Angela's Ashes, Seven Years in Tibet, The Witches of Eastwick, Rosewood, Sleepers, Sabrina, Presumed Innocent, The Cowboys and The Reivers. His 40-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood's most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler's List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones films, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Munich, Hook, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Empire of the Sun, The Adventures of TinTin, War Horse and The BFG. His contributions to television music include scores for more than 200 television films, such as the groundbreaking early anthology series Alcoa Theatre, Kraft Television Theatre, Chrysler Theatre and Playhouse 90, as well as themes for NBC Nightly News ("The Mission"), NBC's Meet the Press, and a new theme for the PBS arts showcase Great Performances. He composed themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and the 1987 International Summer Games of the Special Olympics. In 2006, he composed the theme for NBC's presentation of NFL Football.


Mr. Williams has received five Academy Awards and 50 Oscar nominations, making him the second most-nominated person in the history of the Oscars. He also has to his credit seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), 23 Grammys, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records. In 2003, he was awarded the Olympic Order (the IOC's highest honor) for his contributions to the Olympic movement. In 2004, he received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors Award.


Mr. Williams has composed numerous works for the concert stage, among them two symphonies, and concertos for flute, violin, clarinet, viola, oboe and tuba. His cello concerto was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and premiered by Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood in 1994. Mr. Williams has filled commissions by several of the world's leading orchestras, including a bassoon concerto for the New York Philharmonic ("The Five Sacred Trees"), a trumpet concerto for the Cleveland Orchestra, and a horn concerto for the Chicago Symphony. In 2009, Mr. Williams composed and arranged "Air and Simple Gifts" especially for the inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama. In September of the same year, James Levine led the Boston Symphony in the premiere of "On Willows and Birches," Mr. Williams' concerto for harp and orchestra.


In January 1980, Mr. Williams was named 19th music director of the Boston Pops Orchestra, succeeding the legendary Arthur Fiedler. He currently holds the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor, which he assumed following his retirement in December 1993 after 14 highly successful seasons. He also holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood.

John Williams