American composer, conductor and pianist John Williams is well known and admired by listeners all over the world. He authored highly popular scores to film franchises such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Home Alone and Hary Potter, as well as feature movies E. T. – The Extraterrestrial, Empire of the Sun, Superman: the Movie, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Amistad, Seven Years in Tibet, Saving Private Ryan, The Memoirs of a Geisha, etc.
For his film music, John Williams has received five Oscars, four Golden Globes, 20 Grammies, 7 BAFTA Awards and two Emmy awards. Nominated 45 times for Oscar, which ranks him second in nominations after Walt Disney; 21 times for the Golden Globe Award and 59 times for Grammy.
John Williams was born in New York, into the family of a jazz drummer. He studied at the University of California at Los Angeles and took private music lessons from Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco.
In 1952, Williams was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, where his duties included conducting and arranging music for The U.S. Air Force Band. Following his Air Force service, Williams moved to New York City and entered the Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Rosina Lhévinne. In 1980, Williams succeeded Arthur Fiedler as Principal Conductor to the Boston Pops Orchestra, a subsection of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Two years later, he wrote the music to Steven Spielberg’s E.T. – The Extraterrestrial, which gained extraordinary popularity, especially among children and young audiences. The story of the lonely boy Elliot who befriends an alien creature, abandoned on Earth, touched millions of viewers around the world, and the music to the film – no less fascinating and evocative than the actual story of the film – became an absolute hit. Moreover, The Extraterrestrial is one of the very few examples in the history of cinema, where sequences of the film (the chase and the final farewell) have been cut in order to match the musical ideas of the composer.