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john williams

In a career spanning more than six decades, John Williams has become one of America’s most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage. He has composed the music and served as music director for more than one hundred films, many featuring solo and/or prominent horn parts. These include all nine 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 and The Book Thief. His 50-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, Munich, Saving Private Ryan, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, Lincoln, The BFG, The Post and The Fabelmans.

He has received five Academy Awards and 54 Oscar nominations, making him the Academy’s most-nominated living person and the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars. He has received seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), twenty-five Grammys, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records. In 2003, he received the Olympic Order for his contributions to the Olympic movement. He received the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors in December of 2004. In 2009, Williams was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and he received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the US Government. In 2016, he received the 44th Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute – the first time in their history that this honor was bestowed upon a composer. In 2020, he received Spain’s Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts as well as the Gold Medal from the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society in the UK, and in 2022 he was awarded an honorary knighthood of the British Empire as one of the final awards approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

In addition to his activity in film and television, Williams has composed numerous works for the concert stage, among them two symphonies, and concertos for horn, flute, violin, clarinet, viola, oboe and tuba. His Concerto for Horn and Orchestra was written for Dale Clevenger (1940-2022) of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2003 on a commission from the Edward F. Schmidt Family Commissioning Fund. – Information adapted from gsamusic.com/clients/john-williams/.

Williams was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2023.