Pops Pays Tribute to John Williams, Whose Film Scores Have Defined Modern American Culture!

John WilliamsIt took just two notes—found in the theme to Steven Spielberg’s movie “Jaws,” (dun-DUN...dun-DUN)—to make a major impression on the minds of moviegoers for generations to come. And perhaps an even more transforming force in Hollywood film music are the scores for the “Star Wars” movies—making the composer behind them an icon of American culture. John Williams is, in fact, the Academy Awards’ most-nominated living person (50 times! He is the second most-nominated individual after Walt Disney). Now, celebrating his 60-year career, Pacific Symphony pays homage to the composer who wrote these and countless other unforgettable movie scores in “A Salute to John Williams."

WilliamsPrincipal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman leads the orchestra in this sure-to-sell-out tribute to the genius on the occasion of his 85th birthday. The evening of magical movie tunes by the greatest film composer of all time features harmonica player Bernie Fields, R2-D2 and other fun guests, and takes place Friday-Saturday, June 2-3, at 8 p.m., in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-$167 (limited availability). For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or CLICK HERE.

“John is the greatest living film composer,” says Maestro Kaufman, “and definitely one of history’s most brilliant writers. His music covers so many genres that there is something for everyone. And the concerts we will present as a celebration of this great man will feature many of his most-beloved scores. The ‘Force’ will be alive and well when we present our fond tribute to John Williams."

Williams’ more than 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,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” four “Indiana Jones” films, “Amistad,” “Hook,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Minority Report,” “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence,” “Empire of the Sun,” “The Adventures of “Tin Tin” and “War Horse.” Many of the Symphony’s musicians can be heard on any number of the films, including their recent collaboration for “The BFG."

WilliamsHow is it humanly possible? Williams also composed the scores for the first seven “Star Wars” films, the first three “Harry Potter” films, “Superman: The Movie,” “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,” and many others! He has also composed numerous works for television and for the concert stage.

Williams’ work has been recognized with five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, 21 Grammy Awards, and the Richard Kirk award at the 1999 Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Film and TV Awards. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000 and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2009. He has received the Olympic Order, the IOC’s top honor, for his contributions to the Olympic movement in 2003; the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004 and the National Medal of Arts in 2009 (the highest award given to artists by the U.S. Government). In January 2009, he composed and arranged “Air and Simple Gifts” for the first inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama.

“The music of John Williams is exciting for audiences no matter what,” Kaufman says, “but to experience his music in the magnificent environment of our concert hall is especially awe-inspiring. This is an opportunity for the audience to experience his extraordinary scores and discover how superbly they stand alone without the actual film, dialogue or sound effects."