Taylor Join Thousands In Honoring John Williams At Tanglewood
Israel News Agency
Mass --- August 19, 2012 ... The weather could not be better.
Clear skies, cool temperatures, a slight breeze. They arrived
carrying portable picnic tables, bottles of red and white wine,
table candles and cheerful smiles. Over 15,000 people arrived
at Tanglewood from all corners of the earth to enjoy a "film
night". But this was no ordinary film night. It was not to
be playing a VHS tape or inserting a DVD into a slot, sit back
and swallow popcorn with family and friends. No, what was to be
a film night turned into an extravagant and memorable birthday
party for world renowned composer John Williams.
after showing your ticket at the Tanglewood entrance, you could
not help notice 14 members of the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets standing
on the expansive Berkshire green lawn performing the Olympic Fanfare
music of John Williams has become an integral and warm part of
our and our children's lives. It is almost inescapable to shed
a tear. From creating the soundtracks from Jaws, E.T., Star Wars,
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Shindler's List to Memoirs of a Geisha,
Harry Potter and Olympic Fanfare, William's music has touched
millions. And the tributes just poured in to celebrate Johnny
show opened with NBC News Anchor Brian Williams, via video, providing
a special news edition honoring John Williams.
Brian said jokingly that there was no family relationship to John
but "who really knew what our families were doing many years
and guest speaker Steven Spielberg arrived on stage to a thunderous
applause. He stated that the one person who contributed more to
his success than anyone else was John Williams. Spielberg recalled
a trip to China where children ran up to him trying to communicate
their admiration. But Spielberg,
who speaks no Mandarin, stared back with nothing to say. Within
seconds the children started to hum the tune of E.T. and all was
understood. "Music is the universal language for which we
all understand," said Spielberg.
belted out a ballad by Jerome Kern and James Taylor - another
unexpected guest - sang Youve Got a Friend.
violinist Gil Shaham played the somber theme from Schindlers
List. I can still remember the last note which he prolonged
for a few seconds. But perhaps the greatest tribute of all for
Williams was having the instruments sing Happy Birthday. The Tanglewood
Music Center joined the Boston Pops onstage with the strings,
horns, drums and all other sections dueling one by one to see
who could provide the best thank you.
a wide array of accents in the audience - from New York and Boston
to England and France. But the music of John Williams melted them
down into one common smile.
was born on February 8, 1932 on Long Island, New York. He was
drafted into the US Air Force, where he conducted and arranged
music for the Air Force Band as part of his assignments. Williams
attended the Juilliard School in New York and returned to Los
Angeles, where he began working as an orchestrator at film studios
with a number of respected composers including Elmer Bernstein
and Henry Mancini. Williams recorded with Henry Mancini on the
film scores of Peter Gunn. Williams broke through to win his first
Academy Award for his adapted score for the film Fiddler on
the Roof (1971).
In 1974, Williams
was approached by director Steven Spielberg to compose the music
for his feature directorial debut, The Sugarland Express.
They teamed up again a year later for Spielberg's second film,
Jaws. Widely considered to be a classic suspense film,
its film score's ominous two-note motif has become synonymous
with sharks and approaching danger. The score for Jaws earned
Williams his second Academy Award, his first one for an original
composition. Shortly thereafter, Williams and Spielberg began
a long collaboration.
In an unusual
step for a Hollywood film, Spielberg and Williams developed their
script and musical concepts simultaneously, as in the film these
entwine very closely together.
to 1993, Williams succeeded Arthur Fiedler as Principal Conductor
of the Boston Pops Orchestra.
has won five Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. He
has also been nominated for 22 Golden Globes, winning four, and
59 Grammys, winning 20. With 47 Oscar nominations, Williams currently
holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person,
and is the second most nominated person in the history of the
Academy Awards behind only Walt Disney's 59. Forty-two of Williams'
Oscar nominations are for Best Original Score and five are for
Best Original Song.
of us Southerners really enjoyed coming to Massachusetts for this
special, musical birthday tribute," said Oliver L. Way a
banking executive from Richmond, Virginia.
a magical evening. John Williams' selections evoked deep emotions
of classic movies that enriched our lives. It was a treat to have
Steven Spielberg, James Taylor and others share their expressions
of love and appreciation. A highlight was Gil Shaman's masterful
rendition of the music to Schindler's List. An amazing memory
which we will take back to Richmond from Tanglewood and Manchester,
Vermont where we will be visiting the home of Abraham Lincoln's
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