John Williams

Topics: John Williams, Steven Spielberg, Raiders of the Lost Ark Pages: 4 (1243 words) Published: March 10, 2013
John Towner Williams born February 8 1932 is an American composer, pianist and conductor. Born to Jazz percussionist Johnny Williams, who also played with Raymond Scott Quintet, John Williams was exposed to music from a very early age. Having moved to Los Angeles in the late 1940s, he attended the University of Los Angeles and went on to study privately with Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Williams also spent a number of years conducting and arranging music for the US Air force band between 1952 and 1955. After his time in the US Air Force, Williams entered The Juilliard School in New York where he studied piano with Rosina Bessie Lhevinne, a Russian pianist. During his time in New York he worked in various clubs as a jazz pianist, later working in studios, most notably for composer Henry Mancini. He would go on to record for Henry, the film scores of various films including ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ (1962) and ‘Peter Gunn’ (1959). During 1960 to 1970 Williams also scored for television, the pilot of Gilligan’s Island, Lost in Space and Land of the Giants among others. All through the 1960s Williams, working at Universal studios scored a number of films, sharing music credit with a number of composers. His first film credit came in ‘Because They’re Young’ a film directed by Paul Wendkos, Hollywood begun to notice Williams citing his versatility in composing piano jazz and symphonic music. In 1967 he received his first Oscar nomination for ‘Valley of the Dolls’ and won his first in 1971 for Fiddler on the Roof. In 1974, a young Steven Spielberg making his feature directorial debut approached John Williams to score his film ‘The Sugarland Express’. Spielberg had been impressed by Williams work on the film ‘The Reivers’ (1969), stating Williams could compose the music sound for any of his films. A year later they teamed up on Spielberg’s second film ‘Jaws’. Almar Haflidason of the BBC writes in a film review of Jaws “If ever there was an important...
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