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Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was an erudite, passionate musician whose exceptional talents and expressive gifts earned him a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers.  His rose to instant national fame in 1943, at age 25, when he filled in for the suddenly ill Bruno Walter as conductor of a nationally televised New York Philharmonic performance.  He went on to become the Philharmonic’s music director until 1969, and remained a frequent guest conductor there until his death.  With the Philharmonic, he presented a series of 53 educational Young People’s Concerts which were broadcast on CBS, making him a familiar face around the nation.  He also composed music, crossing from academic classical music into Broadway musicals, including West Side StoryOn the Town, and Candide.

The Broadway musical West Side Story first came into being in 1957 as a collaboration between Bernstein (as composer), choreographer Jerome Robbins, writer Arthuer Laurents, and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.  Its story is based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  Set in the 1950s on Manhattan’s West Side, it tells the tragic tale of Tony and Maria, whose rival gangs doom their young love.  The musical became a film in 1961, winning 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture.  Bernstein’s music was often a character itself, giving the film psychological direction in many long dance sequences.  Originally written in English, West Side Story was recently revived on Broadway in a bilingual version, with the Puerto Rican Sharks speaking and singing mostly in Spanish while the white Jets retain their English.

This set of West Side Story Selections comprises sort of a greatest hits collection from the musical.  It is a single movement that transitions smoothly from one tune to the next, focusing on the most popular melodies from the musical.  Here it is in full:

While the playing on that recording is excellent, some of those tempos are flatly bizarre, so do not take that recording as gospel.  Instead, take a listen to the songs as they appear in the film version.  The medley starts with “I Feel Pretty”, Maria’s crazy-in-love song:

Next up is “Maria”, which Tony sings after meeting her for the first time:

This segues to “Something’s Coming”, Tony’s song from early in the film in which he expresses his feelings of endless, unknowable possibilities in front of him:

This is followed by another song of anticipation, “Tonight”, in which Tony and Maria sing of the excitement of their newly discovered feelings:

It is used again later in the climactic number leading up to the Jets’ and Sharks’ big confrontation:

Maria and Tony play at getting married (and it gets rather serious), and they sing “One Hand, One Heart”:

After the rumble, in which each gang has lost a member, the Jets regroup and sing “Cool”, reminding each other to play it cool despite their intense anxiety and anger:

The medley ends with “America”, in which the Puerto Ricans sing of the promise (and pitfalls) of their new life in New York (the song proper starts about 3 minutes in):

There is much material about both Bernstein and West Side Story on the web.  The survey below only scratches the surface.

Leonardbernstein.com – a true treasure trove of everything Bernstein, including many personal reflections by friends, relatives, and colleagues.

Leonard Bernstein on Wikipedia.

The Leonard Bernstein Collection at the US Library of Congress.

A lengthy and heartfelt essay on Bernstein and his influence at classicalnotes.net.

West Side Story main website.  Includes information on performances all over the world, lyrics to the songs, and other information.

West Side Story the musical on Wikipedia.

West Side Story new Broadway production website.

Preview of West Side Story book (for the musical) on Google Books.

Objectively, Les Misérables stands as a genuine cultural phenomenon of 3 different centuries: it was originally a hugely popular novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862; it was adapted into a French language musical by composer Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyricists Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel in 1980, then translated into English by Herbert Kretzmer for a still-running London production in 1985, followed by a 1987 Broadway production that won 8 Tony Awards and set records for the length of its run; in 2012 that musical was adapted into a film, which won 3 Oscars, including Best Supporting Actress for Anne Hathaway as Fantine.

It tells the story of Jean Valjean, who is about to be released from prison as the story opens.  Valjean violates his parole and starts his life anew as a good man, only to be pursued for by Javert, a justice-obsessed police inspector.  These two and the many other characters are set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, culminating in the last stand of a band of young revolutionaries (one of whom is in love with Valjean’s adopted daughter) at a street barricade during the 1832 Paris Uprising, 17 years after the story begins.

The music from Les Misérables has become well known all over the world, and has been arranged for band many times.  The arrangement we are playing was done by Warren Barker in 1987, right when the musical first hit Broadway.  Here it is, played by the Acadian Wind Symphony:

One note: I am not a fan of drum set parts in symphonic music, even semi-pop tunes like this, so we will leave them out of our performance.

To go to the source, here are some performances of the songs in the arrangement.  It starts with “At the End of the Day”, a primarily choral number which depicts the misery of the lower classes in early 19th-century Paris.  This performance comes from the musical’s 10th anniversary concert staging at London’s Royal Albert Hall:

“I Dreamed a Dream” is Fantine’s solo about her unfulfilled dreams, sung as she faces the darkest days of her life, having lost her job and her daughter and been forced into prostitution.  This is Anne Hathaway’s Oscar-winning performance, intercut with other scenes from the film:

“Master of the House” is our introduction to the Thénardiers, a corrupt innkeeper and his wife who have been caring for Fantine’s daughter, Cosette (and taking her money) while neglecting her and showering gifts on their own daughter, Éponine.  This performance comes from the 2006 Broadway revival.  The meat of the song starts around 1:00:

The teenage Éponine sings “On My Own” as she realizes and accepts that the revolutionary leader, Marius, is in love with Cosette rather than her.  Sung by one of the classic Éponines, Linzi Hateley:

“Do You Hear the People Sing” is the big choral number in which the young revolutionaries rally the people of Paris to their cause.  Here it is as sung by 17 different Valjeans from around the world:

This summer, Columbia Summer Winds is taking a trip over the rainbow, down the yellow brick road, to the Emerald City.  James Barnes’s arrangement of Harold Arlen’s famous tunes is so ravishingly good, it almost makes it sound like they were originally written for band.  Here it is, performed by the Alabama All-State Red Band (in a gymtorium – what does that say about Alabama?) in a truly fine 2007 performance:

I’m not sure what I can possibly add to the mountain of Wizard of Oz knowledge that’s out there.  So here are a few highlights:

The movie vs. the book on Wikipedia.

There are too many spin-offs of The Wizard of Oz to even conceive of naming, but here are a few.  L. Frank Baum, the author of the original book, wrote two sequels himself, Ozma of Oz and The Marvelous Land of Oz (which was itself reinterpreted as a comic in 2010).  These two together spawned a nightmare-inducing movie sequel by Disney in 1985.  But most spin-offs come from the original.  There’s the 2005 Muppet version, and the crummy, steampunky Syfy version (how is it so bad with Alan Cumming and Zoey Deschanel?!) from 2007.   There’s the 1995 book and the 2003 musical (not to mention the band arrangementWicked, which recasts the Wicked Witch of the West as the misunderstood protagonist.  There’s also 1978’s the Wiz, which retells the tale through the lense of African American culture.  These two musicals have given us a treasure of excellent music.  But none of these have come close to rivaling the beloved status or the cultural pervasiveness of the original 1939 film.

For those who have spent their lives under a rock: The Wizard of Oz tells the story of Dorothy Gale, who lives on a grey farm in Kansas.  She wants to see what’s over the rainbow.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, a tornado comes to town and sweeps her, her house, and her dog, Toto, to Oz, where everything is in brilliant color.  Her house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, killing her and freeing the Munchkins from her tyranny.  The Munchkins and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, hail her as a hero and tell her to follow the yellow-brick road to the Wizard of Oz in Emerald City if she wants to get home.  Before she leaves, they give her the Wicked Witch of the East’s ruby slippers.  Along the way, she meets the Scarecrow, who needs a brain, the Tin Man, who lacks a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, who lacks courage.  Together, they travel to the Emerald City, only to be told by the mysterious and powerful Wizard that they have to kill the Wicked Witch of the West in order to get their wishes granted.  The Witch captures them.  When all seems lost, Dorothy throws water on the Witch, causing her to melt away.  They return to the Wizard, only to find that he’s just an ordinary guy from Omaha with no powers at all.  Still, he makes things right, and in the end, everyone gets home.

Here’s the iconic performance of the film: Judy Garland sings “Over the Rainbow”:

Finally, I have to mention my favorite Oz-related thing: Play the Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon along with the movie (sound off, of course), and a great many interesting coincidences happen!  They call this phenomenon Dark Side of the Rainbow.

Mamoru Fujisawa is not a name that rings many bells.  Yet, he is the most famous film composer in Japan, with over 100 features to his credit, including almost every film by anime guru Hayao Miyazaki.  Professionally, Mr. Fujisawa goes by Joe Hisaishi.  In Japanese, the last names go first, so he is Hisaishi Joe.  The way that’s spelled in kanji, it could also be pronounced Kuishi Joe.  That is the Japanese transliteration of a certain famous African-American musician’s name, Quincy Jones.  So, Japan’s top film composer is Quincy Jones.  (QED, BTW).  And this is no accident: Hisaishi was a big fan of Jones growing up, so when the time came to choose a stage name, it seemed like a natural choice.  Hisaishi was born in 1950 in Nagano, Japan.  His early interest in music led him to experiment in many genres before teaming up with Miyazaki on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1983.  Thus began a long and distinguished career.

Princess Mononoke (originally Mononoke Hime, 1997) is one of the many collaborations between Hisaishi and Miyazaki.  As is typical of Miyazaki films, it features stunning landscapes and fantastical, godlike creatures, and it explores themes of feminism and the relationship of humanity to technology and nature.  It is a historical fantasy of sorts, set in the late Muromachi period (roughly early 1500s) of Japan’s history, with numerous fantasy elements added.  The hero is Ashitaka, a young prince of the Emishi clan.  His village is attacked by a Tatari Gami (Curse God), a forest deity (in this case a boar god) overtaken with hate and rage.  During the battle, Ashitaka touches the Tatari Gami and becomes infected with its curse, which is destined to slowly kill him.  He finds an iron bullet embedded in the god’s body: to find its maker, and to search for a cure for his affliction, he must leave his village forever and travel west.  He eventually arrives at Iron Town and the surrounding forest, where humans are at war with the forest gods.  He also meets San, the Princess Mononoke of the title (in Japanese, Mononoke means angry spirit).  She is a human that has been raised by Moro, the wolf god, and her pups.  San hates the humans for all the damage they have inflicted on the forest and its mystical inhabitants.  As the plot unfolds, it becomes less and less clear whether the humans or the forest gods are in the right.  By helping both sides, Ashitaka gains both of their contempt.

Here’s a full rundown of the characters in Princess Mononoke.  In case it helps.

Also, here’s more info on IMBD, Wikipedia, and Rotten Tomatoes.

Hisaishi’s score helps add an expansive atmosphere to the film.  Here’s a trailer, which unfortunately doesn’t use Hisaishi’s music until the very end:

The Selections from “Princess Mononoke” that we are playing comes from an arrangement by Kazuhiro Morita.  Read his full account, translated by CUWE euphonist (euphist? eupher?) Sayaka Tsuna from the original Japanese:

I love the melody that Mr. Joe Hisaishi composes. I have previously arranged his music from Director Miyazaki’s animation movies, and each time I am extremely careful not to destroy the beautiful and inspiring melody created by Hisaishi. The first time I encountered Hisaishi’s work was in the fall of 1998, when I was approached by a high school music teacher in the Shizuoka prefecture and was asked to arrange music from the movie Princess Mononoke. Although I knew that the movie had been in the theaters the summer before with great responses, it was my first time listening to the music of the movie. The CD that I listened to was not the soundtrack of the movie, but a recording by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra; after listening to the amazing performance, I was soon enthralled by the power of this piece just as the high school teacher was. Using the recording as an example, I rearranged the three movements “The Legend of Ashitaka”, “Tatari Gami”, and “Princess Mononoke”, which later became available as rental copies through Brain Co., Ltd [now called Bravo Music].

This particular score has a different composition than that of my original arrangement, because one of the performers of my first arrangement (Mr. Tomoki Ubata, the advisor for a wind ensemble at the Saitama Prefecture Ina Middle and High School) suggested that the 16-minute piece might be shortened, so it could be used in music contests. In the shorter version, I replaced the title of the third movement “Princess Mononoke” with “Ashitaka and San”, and created a clear transition from each theme in addition to changing a few minor details. It should be noted that the third clarinet part is written for novice players and does not require the use of a register key, but that the part is no less important to the piece. This piece could be performed even by a small group of musicians, so please enjoy the piece without omission of any parts.

Here’s the full arrangement in concert.  They go too fast in Tatari Gami’s section, but otherwise it’s good:

Finally, I couldn’t resist putting in one extra video.  This is a track from a death metal album, called Imaginary Flying Machines, playing the “Mononoke Theme” (which unfortunately is not in our selections).  The whole album consists of metal versions of famous Hisaishi tunes from Miyazaki movies.  Enjoy!

Yes, the Björk of the title is THE Björk, the famous Icelandic singer who is known as much for her flair with costumes (Swan Dress, anyone?) as for her catchily eccentric music.  Born in 1965, she fronted the band The Sugarcubes in the 1980’s before branching out on her own in the early 1990’s.  It turns out she writes most of her own stuff, including the instrumental Overture from Dancer in the Dark.  Grammy-winning arranger and jazz artist Vince Mendoza orchestrated the Overture for brass and timpani for the film Dancer in the Dark, and it was included on Björk’s album, Selmasongs, which is essentially a soundtrack to the film.  Sadly, the original arrangement is unavailable in print.

Dancer in the Dark tells the story of Selma Jezkova (played by Björk), a Czech immigrant to the United States in 1964.  She has a congenital disease that is making her go blind, so she is working as hard as she can (at the local factory) with the limited sight she has left to provide for her 12-year-old son, who will eventually develop the same condition unless she can raise the money for an expensive medical procedure for him.  Her only diversion is her love for musicals: she lapses into daydreams involving musical numbers at several points throughout the film, often to her detriment. Nothing goes as Selma plans, yet she does her utmost to protect her son as her vision fades. I won’t give away the ending, but I will say that Dancer in the Dark is a profoundly moving and deeply troubling movie.  I saw it in college and loved it, but I don’t think I ever need to see it again.  If you decide to watch it, don’t do it alone, and don’t do it right before bed!  Read more about it on IMDB and Wikipedia.

Here is how the Overture looks and sounds in the film:

And here it is played live by the Iceland Wonderbrass at a Björk concert in Athens.  The orchestration is a bit different from the film version.

Finally, just for fun, here’s another Björk video that involves Broadway-like music: “It’s Oh So Quiet”.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point you to the websites of both Björk and Vince Mendoza.  Enjoy!

From Mychael Danna’s website:

Mychael Danna is recognized as one of the most versatile and original voices in film music. This reputation has led him to work with such acclaimed directors as Ash Brannon, Chris Buck (Surf’s Up), Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter), Catherine Hardwicke (Nativity), Scott Hicks (Hearts in Atlantis), Neil LaBute (Lakeview Terrace), Ang Lee (The Ice Storm), Gillies MacKinnon (Regeneration), James Mangold (Girl Interrupted), Deepa Mehta (Water), Bennett Miller (Capote), Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding), Billy Ray (Breach), Todd Robinson (Lonely Hearts), Joel Schumacher (8MM), Charles Martin Smith (Stone of Destiny), Istvan Szabo (Being Julia) and Denzel Washington (Antwone Fisher).

Recent work includes 500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb), The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (Terry Gilliam) and The Time Traveler’s Wife (Robert Schwentke).

He studied music composition at the University of Toronto, winning the Glenn Gould Composition Scholarship in 1985.

The composer has this to say of his music from Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding:

Baraat is the hindi word for the wedding procession of the bridegroom to the bride’s village, with the groom on horseback, surrounded by his family and friends and musicians, singing and dancing with the joy of the occasion. Traditionally, the music that would accompany this noisy journey would be the exciting rhythm of the dhol drums. But since the time of the British military brass bands, the more affluent weddings use this strange yet typically Indian absorption of marching band instruments into Indian popular songs… musical proof that outside influences will come and go, but there will always be an India. This piece was written by me in that style for Mira Nair’s film Monsoon Wedding.

I arranged this piece for band with the composer’s blessing for a 2005 Columbia Wind Ensemble concert.  This will be its second run of performances.

Mychael Danna on wikipedia, IMDB, and Amazon.

Monsoon Wedding on IMDB, wikipedia, rottentomatoes, and its own official site.

Now, from YouTube, the opening credits of the movie and a bit of the first scene.  The credits feature the theme song – enjoy!

Finally, here is my band arrangement of it, performed by Columbia Summer Winds in 2011 at Bryant Park with me conducting.  That white noise in the beginning is the fountain right behind us.

Star Trek began as a 1960s television series that imagined a future of interstellar travel and exploration of progressive values.  While the original series lasted only 3 seasons, its impact continues to be felt today, and it stories and characters have spawned some of the most devoted, passionate fans that have ever existed (“Trekkies“).  There have been many spin-off shows, including an animated series with the original characters and new casts in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.  There have also been 12 feature films made in the Star Trek franchise (13 if you count the 1999 parody Galaxy Quest).  Alexander Courage’s theme music from the original show is almost universally recognized.  Composer Michael Giacchino used this theme when composing new music for the 2009 reboot of the movie franchise.  The Symphonic Suite uses chunks of Giacchino’s original film score, including the bit that highlights Courage’s original theme.

Here is the Columbia Summer Winds performing the Symphonic Suite in Central Park in 2010:

Here are some clips from the actual movie soundtrack.  This one begins with “Enterprising Young Men”, which forms the beginning of this arrangement.

Here is the original theme music for the series:

Other interesting Star Trek links:

Star Trek Online: an immersive online game.

StarTrek.com

stwww.com – bills it self as “the mother of all fan sites”

Feel free to post more links in the comments!

I don’t know what I could possibly say about Star Wars or John Williams that hasn’t already been said.  So I’ll start by reproducing Donald Hunsberger’s preface from the score of his version of Star Wars Trilogy (bear in mind this was published in 1997, before any of the prequels appeared):

The phenomenal success twenty years ago of STAR WARS and its two companion films, RETURN OF THE JEDI and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, renewed interest in movies as huge spectacles. Although set in futuristic terms for we earthbound travelers, the three films are in many ways historical in nature.  Frequently described as “the morality plays of film,” the stories in the TRILOGY share a common theme of the primary struggle between good and evil and the eventual success of love conquering all.

Created originally to be a nine-part series, each film is complete within itself while remaining open-ended for its eventual position in the nine tales.  The characters obviously grow older and the production technology develops more and more as each year goes by.  The current [again, as of 1997] re-release of the films in the United States has generated massive interest and box-office success for the shows.

Of musical interest, the STAR WARS project brought to international prominence the talents of John Williams, one of the most gifted composers for film and television.  Williams worked in a totally different compositional style for the late 1970s in that he did not write short “cue music” for individual scenes, but rather composed large free-standing compositions that accompanied large segments of the film.

The five excerpts gathered in the TRILOGY are each capable of individual contrast, excitement and beauty.  The themes for Leia and Yoda have received recognition, and the “Darth Vader Death March” and “The Main Title Music” are some of the best known film music performed today.  The hidden gem in this set is the third movement, “The Battle in the Forest,” from RETURN OF THE JEDI, an extremely humorous Prokofiev-esque vivace which supports the little Ewoks in their fight with the huge metallic giants.

There is obviously much available on the web about this.  Here is just the tip of the iceberg.

Starwars.com – features all the new stuff and merchandise as well.

Wookieepedia – The online encyclopedia devoted specifically to Star Wars and its many, varied spinoffs.  Enjoy!

Star Wars in 30 seconds, reenacted by bunnies.  Yes, bunnies.

John Williams’s official website.

A John Williams fan website (better than the official one!)

John Williams on Wikipedia.

Now get ready for some serious YouTube action!

Imperial March for orchestra, nearly identical in form to the one found in the Trilogy:

Leia’s theme, in the original orchestra version, identical in form to the Hunsberger:

Battle in the Forest – again nearly identical, but has a few extra bars in the middle and the end not found in the Hunsberger version:

Yoda’s theme (same as Hunsberger version until about 2:30):

Star Wars main theme in thrilling live performance with the composer conducting.  Not quite the same as Hunsberger, but all the pieces are there:

Finally, perhaps the most realistic version of the Imperial March:

Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was an erudite, passionate musician whose exceptional talents and expressive gifts earned him a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers.  His rose to instant national fame in 1943, at age 25, when he filled in for the suddenly ill Bruno Walter as conductor of a nationally televised New York Philharmonic performance.  He went on to become the Philharmonic’s music director until 1969, and remained a frequent guest conductor there until his death.  With the Philharmonic, he presented a series of 53 educational Young People’s Concerts which were broadcast on CBS, making him a familiar face around the nation.  He also composed music, crossing from academic classical music into Broadway musicals, including West Side StoryOn the Town, and Candide.

The Broadway musical West Side Story first came into being in 1957 as a collaboration between Bernstein (as composer), choreographer Jerome Robbins, writer Arthuer Laurents, and lyricist Stephen Sondheim.  Its story is based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.  Set in the 1950s on Manhattan’s West Side, it tells the tragic tale of Tony and Maria, whose rival gangs doom their young love.  The musical became a film in 1961, winning 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture.  Bernstein’s music was often a character itself, giving the film psychological direction in many long dance sequences.  Originaly written in English, West Side Story is currently being revived on Broadway in a bilingual version, with the Puerto Rican Sharks speaking and singing mostly in Spanish while the white Jets retain their English.

Four Dances from West Side Story features some of the highlights of these dance sequences transcribed for band.  The “Scherzo” is a light-hearted, care-free movement that aptly opens the suite.  The “Mambo” comes from the gym scene where the Jets and the Sharks meet and dance while trying to suppress their hostility towards each other.  The “Mambo” fades into the “Cha-Cha” as Tony and Maria notice each other for the first time and dance together, transfixed.  The anxiety-ridden “Fugue” is based on material from the song “Cool”, in which the Jets are convincing each other to bottle up their overwhelming emotions.  The fugue’s subject is a 12-tone row, lending a worrisome and tense feeling to the movement.  Each new statement of the theme adds more layers until the texture explodes into a percussion-heavy statement of the main theme from “Cool”.

There is much material about both Bernstein and West Side Story on the web.  The survey below only scratches the surface.

Leonardbernstein.com – a true treasure trove of everything Bernstein, including many personal reflections by friends, relatives, and colleagues.

Leonard Bernstein on Wikipedia.

The Leonard Bernstein Collection at the US Library of Congress.

A lengthy and heartfelt essay on Bernstein and his influence at classicalnotes.net.

West Side Story main website.  Includes information on performances all over the world, lyrics to the songs, and other information.

West Side Story the musical on Wikipedia.

West Side Story new Broadway production website.

Preview of West Side Story book (for the musical) on Google Books.

Website of Ian Polster, arranger.

And now, some YouTube action:

Aside from the fact that they don’t shout “MAMBO!” and some mistaken rhythms at the beginning of “Cool”, this is a really nice performance of the Four Dances:

The movie version of “Cool”, featuring the bits we play from about 1:30-4:00.

Gym scene, featuring bits of our “Mambo” and “Cha-Cha” (starting around 2:54):

This piece was a Senior Choice for clarinetist Angelica Ortega ’05.

John Williams (b. 1932) is perhaps the most famous and accomplished composer alive today.  Even Wikipedia’s extremely dry introduction to his biography can’t dull the luster of his career:

John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career that spans six decades, Williams has composed many of the most famous film scores in Hollywood history, including Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone, the first three Harry Potter movies and all but two of Steven Spielberg’s feature films including the Indiana Jones series, Schindler’s List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Jaws. He also composed the soundtrack for the hit 1960s television series Lost in Space as well as the fanfare of the DreamWorks Pictures’ logo.
Williams has composed theme music for four Olympic Games, the NBC Nightly News, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and numerous television series and concert pieces. He served as the principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 to 1993, and is now the orchestra’s laureate conductor.
Williams has been nominated for 45 Academy Awards and won five. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards, seven BAFTA Awards and 21 Grammy Awards. With 45 Academy Award nominations, Williams is, together with composer Alfred Newman, the second most nominated person after Walt Disney. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.

John Williams’s official website.

A John Williams fan website (better than the official one!)

John Williams on Wikipedia.

John Williams on the Internet Movie Database – easily the most colorful biography of him.

The Cowboys is a 1972 western starring John Wayne for which the young John Williams provided a vivid, intricate score.

A very fine high school band performs Jim Curnow’s band arrangement of The Cowboys.  It’s a lot harder than it sounds!

John Williams conducting the Boston Pops in The Cowboys, which follows the same form as our band version.

Original trailer for the theatrical release of the movie: