Academy Award-winning composer John Williams and Academy Award-winning director and producer Steven Spielberg will join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for “An Evening with John Williams, Steven Spielberg and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra” on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, at 8:00 p.m. Mr. Williams will conduct the Orchestra in selections from his most popular original film compositions while selected movie clips are shown on a giant screen. Mr. Spielberg will host the second half of the concert and will supplement the musical program with anecdotes and insight into the featured films.. The proceeds from this performance will benefit the Orchestra’s education and community engagement programs.
The program will showcase a variety of movie scores composed by Mr. Williams, including selections from Star Wars, Schindler’s List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and the Indiana Jones and Harry Potter films. Mr. Williams has received 47 Academy Award nominations for his film soundtracks and is the most nominated person alive today. Tickets will go on sale to the general public today! Visit ASO Here.
John Williams was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948. There he attended UCLA, Los Angeles City College, and studied composition privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. After service in the Air Force, Mr. Williams returned to New York to attend Juilliard University, where he studied piano with Madame Rosina Lhevinne. While in New York, he also worked as a jazz pianist, both in clubs and on recordings. He then returned to Los Angeles, where he began his career in the film industry, working with such composers as Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for many television programs in the 1960s, winning four Emmy Awards for his work.
Mr. Williams has composed the music and served as a music director for more than one hundred films, including, War of the Worlds, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Minority Report, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Patriot, Angela’s Ashes, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Stepmom, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Seven Years in Tibet, The Lost World, Rosewood, Sleepers, Nixon, Sabrina, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Far and Away, JFK, Hook, Presumed Innocent, Born on the Fourth of July, the Indiana Jones trilogy, The Accidental Tourist, Empire of the Sun, The Witches of Eastwick, E.T. (the Extra-Terrestrial), Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Star Wars trilogy, Jaws, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. He has received forty-five Academy Award nominations, most recently for his scores from Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich, making him the Academy’s most nominated living person. He has been awarded five Oscars, seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), twenty Grammys, four Golden Globes, four Emmys and numerous gold and platinum records.
In January 1980, Mr. Williams was named nineteenth Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He currently holds the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor which he assumed following his retirement in December, 1993 after 14 highly successful seasons. Mr. Williams also holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood.
Mr. Williams has written many concert pieces, including two symphonies, a cello concerto premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1994, concertos for the flute and violin recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, concertos for the clarinet and tuba, and a trumpet concerto, which was premiered by the Cleveland Orchestra and their principal trumpet Michael Sachs in September 1996. His bassoon concerto, “The Five Sacred Trees”, which was premiered by the New York Philharmonic and principal bassoon player Judith LeClair in 1995, was recorded by Mr. Williams with Ms. LeClair and the London Symphony Orchestra and has recently been released by Sony Classical to critical acclaim. In addition, Mr. Williams has composed the well-known NBC theme “The Mission,” “Liberty Fanfare” composed for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, “We’re Lookin Good!,” composed for the Special Olympics in celebration of the 1987 International Summer Games, and themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic games and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
His concert work “Seven for Luck” for soprano and orchestra, a seven-piece song cycle based on the texts of former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, was given its world premiere by the Boston Symphony under Mr. Williams with soprano Cynthia Haymon at Tanglewood in 1998. Mr. Williams also composed his “American Journey”, an orchestral work written to commemorate the new Millennium and to accompany the retrospective film The Unfinished Journey directed by Steven Spielberg. The film and music were premiered at the “America’s Millennium” concert in Washington, D.C. on New Year’s Eve 1999. Mr. Williams recently premiered a new concerto for french horn and orchestra, a work that was commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for their principal horn Dale Clevenger.
Many of Mr. Williams’ film scores have been released as recordings; the soundtrack album Star Wars has sold more than four million copies, making it one of the most successful non-pop albums in recording history. Mr. Williams’ highly acclaimed series of albums with the Boston Pops Orchestra began in 1980 on the Philips label, for which he recorded Pops In Space, Pops On The March, Aisle Seat, Pops Out Of This World, With A Song In My Heart (a collaboration with soprano Jessye Norman), America, The Dream Goes On (a collection of favorite Americana), Swing, Swing, Swing, Pops In Love, By Request…(featuring music composed by John Williams), Holst’s The Planets, Salute To Hollywood, and an all-Gershwin album entitled Pops By George. In 1990, John Williams and the Boston Pops started making recordings exclusively for the Sony Classical label. To date, these have included Music Of The Night (an album of contemporary and classical show tunes), I Love A Parade (a collection of favorite marches), The Spielberg / Williams Collaboration (featuring John Williams’ music for Steven Spielberg’s films), The Green Album (which includes “This Land Is Your Land,” “Simple Gifts,” and “Theme For Earth Day”), a Christmas album entitled Joy To The World, an album of music by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and Jerome Kern entitled Unforgettable, a tribute to Frank Sinatra entitled Night And Day, an album featuring music by John Williams and Aaron Copland entitled Music For Stage And Screen, It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing, with vocalist Nancy Wilson, and Williams on Williams: The Classic Spielberg Scores. Mr. Williams’ most recent recording with the Boston Pops Orchestra is entitled Summon The Heroes, the title track of which was the official theme for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Mr. Williams has led the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra on United States Tours in 1985, 1989, and 1992 and on a tour of Japan in 1987. He led the Boston Pops Orchestra on tours of Japan in 1990 and 1993. In addition to leading the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, Mr. Williams has appeared as guest conductor with a number of major orchestras, including the London Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with which he has appeared many times at the Hollywood Bowl. Mr. Williams holds honorary degrees from twenty-one American universities, including The Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music in Boston, Boston College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, The Eastman School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the University of Southern California. Mr. Williams recently served as the Grand Marshal of the 2004 Rose Parade in Pasadena, and was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor in December of 2004.
Steven Spielberg, one of the industry’s most successful and influential filmmakers, is a principal partner of DreamWorks Studios. Formed in 2009, Spielberg and Stacey Snider lead the motion picture company in partnership with The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
Spielberg is also, collectively, the top-grossing director of all time, having helmed such blockbusters as “Jaws,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” the “Indiana Jones” franchise, and “Jurassic Park.” Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award® winner.
Spielberg took home his first two Oscarsâ, for Best Director and Best Picture, for the internationally lauded “Schindler’s List,” which received a total of seven Oscarsâ. The film was also named the Best Picture of 1993 by many of the major critics organizations, in addition to winning seven BAFTA Awards and three Golden Globe Awards, both including Best Picture and Director. Spielberg also won the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Award for his work on the film.
Spielberg won his third Academy Award®, for Best Director, for the World War II drama “Saving Private Ryan,” which was the highest-grossing release (domestically) of 1998. It was also one of the year’s most honored films, earning four additional Oscars®, as well as two Golden Globe Awards, for Best Picture – Drama and Best Director, and numerous critics groups awards in the same categories. Spielberg also won another DGA Award, and shared a Producers Guild of America’s (PGA) Award with the film’s other producers. That same year, the PGA also presented Spielberg with the prestigious Milestone Award for his historic contribution to the motion picture industry.
He has also earned Academy Awardâ nominations for Best Director for “Munich,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Additionally, he earned DGA Award nominations for those films, as well as “Jaws” “The Color Purple,” “Empire of the Sun” and “Amistad.” With ten to date, Spielberg has been honored by his peers with more DGA Award nominations than any other director. In 2000, he received the DGA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is also the recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Hollywood Foreign Press’s Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Kennedy Center Honors, and numerous other career tributes.
More recently, Spielberg directed the 3D animated film “The Adventures of Tintin,” winner of the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature Film. He also directed “War Horse,” based on an award-winning novel, which has also been adapted into a major stage hit in London and New York, winning the Tony Award for Broadway’s Best Play. “War Horse” was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture. In 2011, he produced the box-office success “Super 8” directed by JJ Abrams and executive produced the third “Transformers” film directed by Michael Bay and has grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. He is currently in post-production on the DreamWorks Studios, Twentieth Century Fox, and Participant Media co-production “Lincoln” for release at the end of 2012. This summer he will begin filming his next movie, a DreamWorks and Fox co-production, “Robopocalypse,” for release in 2013.
Spielberg’s career began with the 1968 short film “Amblin,” which led to him becoming the youngest director ever signed to a long-term studio deal. He directed episodes of such TV shows as “Night Gallery,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.” and “Columbo,” and gained special attention for his 1971 telefilm “Duel.” Three years later, he made his feature film directorial debut on “The Sugarland Express,” from a screenplay he co-wrote. His next film was “Jaws,” which was the first film to break the $100 million mark.
In 1984, Spielberg formed his own production company, Amblin Entertainment. Under the Amblin banner, he served as producer or executive producer on such hits as “Gremlins,” “Goonies,” “Back to the Future I, II, and III,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” “An American Tail,” “Twister,” “The Mask of Zorro,” and the “Men in Black” films. In 1994, Spielberg partnered with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen to form the original DreamWorks Studios. The studio enjoyed both critical and commercial successes, including three consecutive Best Picture Academy Award® winners: “American Beauty,” “Gladiator,” and “A Beautiful Mind.” In its history, DreamWorks has also produced or co-produced a wide range of features, including the “Transformers” blockbusters, Clint Eastwood’s World War II dramas “Flags of Our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima,” the latter earning a Best Picture Oscar® nomination, “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers,” and “The Ring,” to name only a few. Under the DreamWorks banner, Spielberg also directed such films as “War of the Worlds,” “Minority Report,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.”
Spielberg has not limited his success to the big screen. He was an executive producer on the long-running Emmy-winning TV drama “E.R.” produced by his Amblin Entertainment company and Warner Bros. Television for NBC. On the heels of their experience on “Saving Private Ryan,” he and Tom Hanks teamed to executive produce the 2001 HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” based on Stephen Ambrose’s book about a U.S. Army unit in Europe in World War II. Among its many awards, the project won both Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Outstanding Miniseries. He and Hanks more recently reunited to executive produce the acclaimed 2010 HBO miniseries “The Pacific,” this time focusing on the Marines in WWII’s Pacific theatre. “The Pacific” won eight Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries.
Spielberg also executive produced the Emmy-winning Sci-Fi Channel miniseries “Taken,” and the TNT miniseries “Into the West.” He was an executive producer on the Showtime series “The United States of Tara,” and is an executive producer on TNT’s “Falling Skies,” Fox’s “Terra Nova,” ABC’s “The River” and NBC’s “Smash.”
Apart from his filmmaking work, Spielberg has also devoted his time and resources to many philanthropic causes. The impact of his work on “Schindler’s List,” led him to establish the Righteous Persons Foundation using all his profits from the film. He also founded Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, which, in 2005, became the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education. In addition, Spielberg is the Chairman Emeritus of the Starlight Children’s Foundation.