2 items from 2016
Close your eyes and you can hear the music of John Williams without trying too hard. You know the greatest hits and can probably hum through most of them from start to finish, even if the extent of your musical career is plunking out “Heart and Soul” on your grandparent’s piano.
The legacy of Williams’ music extends beyond the cinema. The “NBC Nightly News” theme? That was him. That fanfare you’ll be hearing once the Olympics arrive? Him, too. A fan of that “Sunday Night Football” march that leads up to kickoff? Guess who.
And even though the world now recognizes Williams for his trademark triumphant horns and sweeping orchestral strings, this was a composer who, a year before “Jaws,” was penning acoustic love themes so ’70s they would make Burt Bacharach blush. So as much as we remember the soundtracks to dizzying flights across space and wide shots of dinosaurs in paradise, »
- Steve Greene and Zack Sharf
Admit it: You can’t think of any one of those films without hearing the score in your head.
John Williams, who wrote all those classic themes [and dozens more] will receive the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award on June 9 from frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg. It will be the first such honor given to a composer in the 44-year history of the award.
“This man’s gifts echo, quite literally, through all of us, around the world and across generations,” says AFI president-ceo Bob Gazzale. “There’s not one person who hasn’t heard this man’s work, who hasn’t felt alive because of it. That’s the ultimate impact of an artist.”
Over six decades in Hollywood, Williams has written some of the most memorable music in movie history. His 100-plus features have earned 50 Academy Award nominations [making him the most-nominated living person] and he’s won five times. »
- Jon Burlingame
2 items from 2016
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