A living legend of the music world, John Williams is a composer whose work has entered the cultural bloodstream like that of few others. As creator of the music for many of the era-defining films of the last 50 years – many directed by his long-term collaborators Steven Spielberg and George Lucas – Williams has created sound worlds of unrivalled imagination, colour and excitement, keeping audiences young and old enchanted, thrilled and on the edge of their seats.
In all, Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than one hundred films, leading to 53 Oscar Nominations (and 5 wins); other prizes include 25 Grammy Awards. "The Berlin Concert", featuring music from many of his best-known film scores and recorded live with the Berliner Philharmoniker, was released in 2022 to coincide with Williams's 90th birthday. It reached the top of the German album charts upon its release – unprecedented for an album of orchestral music – and resulted in his 73rd Grammy nomination.
Recent years have also seen increased appreciation of Williams's work for the concert hall, for which his output includes two symphonies and concertos for flute, clarinet, oboe, tuba and violin – he conducted the premiere of his Second Violin Concerto with its dedicatee, Anne-Sophie Mutter, in 2021. As a conductor, he has worked with many of the world's great orchestras and was music director – now laureate conductor – of the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has appeared on recordings as pianist and conductor with Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman and others.
In addition, Williams has composed music for many important cultural events in the United States, including Liberty Fanfare for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty and American Journey to celebrate the new millennium. In the world of sport, he has contributed musical themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and the 1987 International Summer Games of the Special Olympics.