Monday, February 8, 2010

John Williams

John Williams is one of the most successful and talented composers of all time. He has composed musical scores for movies, television and the Olympics.

John Williams has five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, 21 Grammy Awards, and 2 Emmy Awards.

With 45 Oscar nominations, Williams currently holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person and is tied with late film composer Alfred Newman for the most nominations in the history of the Academy Awards.

John Williams was born on February 8, 1932, in Flushing, Queens, New York, the son of Esther and John Williams, Sr. His father was a jazz drummer who played with the Raymond Scott Quintet.

John Williams attended the University of California where he studied privately with composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.

In 1952, Williams was drafted into the United States Air Force, where he conducted and arranged music for the Air Force Band as part of his duties.

After his service ended in 1955, John Williams moved to New York City and entered Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Rosina Lhévinne. During this time he worked as a jazz pianist at New York's many studios and clubs.

He also played for composer Henry Mancini and recorded with Mancini on the film soundtracks of Peter Gunn (1959), Charade (1963), and Days of Wine and Roses (1962).

After his studies at Juilliard, John Williams returned to Los Angeles and began working as an orchestrator in film studios.

John Williams began to compose music scores for television series programs in the late 1950s, eventually leading to the pilot episode theme for Gilligan's Island, Lost in Space, and The Time Tunnel.

Williams's first major film composition was for the B movie Daddy-O in 1958, and his first screen credit came two years later in Because They're Young.

John Williams received his first Academy Award nomination for his score to the 1967 film Valley of the Dolls.

John Williams won his first Academy Award for his adapted score to the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof.

John Williams Academy Award nominated scores include The Sugarland Express (1974), The Reivers (1969), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The Towering Inferno (1974), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Superman (1978), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Home Alone (1990), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and so many more.

John Williams also won Academy Awards for the scores to Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and Schindler's List (1993).

John Williams has also composed the scores for Gidget Goes to Rome (1963), The Killers (1964), A Guide for the Married Man (1967), The Paper Chase (1973) , and
Family Plot (1976).

Williams has composed music for four Olympic Games: "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" – 1984 Summer Olympics, Los Angeles; "The Olympic Spirit" – 1988 Summer Olympics, Seoul; "Summon the Heroes" – 1996 Summer Olympics, Atlanta, Georgia; and "Call of the Champions" – 2002 Winter Olympics, Salt Lake City, Utah.

John Williams has received two Emmy Awards, one for Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition - For a Special Program for: Jane Eyre (1970) and Outstanding Achievement in Musical Composition for: Heidi (1968).

John Williams has won 21 Grammy awards for classics like Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978) Superman (1979), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. (1982), Schindler's List (1993) and many other classics. He has been nominated for a total of 59 Grammy Awards.

John Williams won the Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Score for Jaws (1975),
Star Wars (1977), E.T. (1982), and Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). He has 21 nominations for a Golden Globe.

John Williams is also the composer behind the theme music for NBC News, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Meet the Press and Sunday Night Football.

In addition to his work in film and television, John Williams was the Conductor of the Boston Pops for 12 years.

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