John Williams biography
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor and pianist. He is considered to be one of the greatest, most influential, and successful film composers of all time. In a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in cinematic history, including the Star Wars saga, Superman, Jaws, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the first two Home Alone films, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, Lincoln, and the first three Harry Potter films. He has had a long association with director Steven Spielberg, composing the music for all but two (Duel and The Color Purple) of Spielberg's major feature films.
Other notable works by Williams include theme music for four Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, the NBC Nightly News, the Statue of Liberty's rededication, and the television series Lost in Space and Land of the Giants. Williams has also composed numerous classical concerti, and he served as the Boston Pops Orchestra's principal conductor from 1980 to 1993; he is now the orchestra's conductor laureate.
Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards and twenty-one Grammy Awards. With forty-eight Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most-nominated person, after Walt Disney. Williams was honored with the annual Richard Kirk award at the 1999 BMI Film and TV Awards, recognising his contribution to film and television music. Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.
Early life and familyJohn Williams was born on February 8, 1932 on Long Island, New York, the son of Esther (née Towner) and Johnny Williams. His father was a jazz percussionist who played with the Raymond Scott Quintet.
In 1948, the Williams family moved to Los Angeles where John attended North Hollywood High School graduating in 1950. He later attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and studied privately with the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. In 1952, Williams was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, where he conducted and arranged music for The U.S. Air Force Band as part of his assignments.
After his Air Force service ended in 1955, Williams moved to New York City and entered The Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Rosina Lhévinne. During this time, Williams worked as a jazz pianist in New York's many clubs and eventually studios, most notably for composer Henry Mancini. His fellow session musicians included Rolly Bundock on bass, Jack Sperling on drums, and Bob Bain on guitar-the same lineup featured on the Mr. Lucky television series. Williams was known as "Little Johnny Love" Williams during the early 1960s, and he served as music arranger and bandleader for a series of popular music albums with the singer Frankie Laine.
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