Legendary composer John Williams is turning 90!
John Towner Williams was born in Floral Park, New York, on February 8, 1932. John Williams is a composer, conductor, and pianist who studied at Juilliard and the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
Throughout his storied career, he has won 25 Grammy Awards, 7 British Academy Film Awards, 5 Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. He has 52 Academy Award nominations, which makes him the second-most nominated individual in history behind Walt Disney.
John Williams: One Of The Greatest Modern Composers
Although he is best known for composing music for the “Star Wars” film saga, Williams has also composed multiple scores for “Jaws,” “Schindler’s List,” “Superman,” the “Indiana Jones” franchise, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” the first two “Home Alone” films, the first two “Jurassic Park” films, and the first three “Harry Potter” films. Williams has also composed the scores for nine of the top 25 highest-grossing films at the U.S. box office, adjusted for inflation.
In 2000, Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl’s Hall of Fame. He received a Kennedy Center Honor in 2004.
In 2005, the American Film Institute selected his score for 1977’s “A New Hope” as the greatest film score of all time. The Library of Congress also entered the “Star Wars” soundtrack into the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” In 2016, he received the AFI Life Achievement Award, making him the first to be presented the award outside the field of acting and directing.
Many fans are celebrating his 90th birthday by listening to many of his most amazing works over the years. Have a listen!
There is nothing better than listening to one of the most iconic themes in history. The only thing that makes this score even better is watching John Williams’ face as he works! This video was posted on May 4 – officially known as “Star Wars” Day. May the 4th Be With You!
“I used to be a fan, but after hearing this masterpiece, I’m a whole air conditioner,” one fan joked.
“Really cool to see him smiling while he’s conducting,” another shared. “True passion.”
“Even if this composition wasn’t attached to Star Wars it would still be regarded as a legendary masterpiece in music,” another shared. “The way it evokes intense doom and fear to the listener is unmatched.”
‘Duel Of The Fates’
Provided by the Universal Music Group, no one can mistake the “Duel of the Fates” tune, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. Comments for the video were turned off, but it is widely regarded by many to be one of the best scores in the entire “Star Wars” saga.
‘Across The Stars’
Many fans recognize “Across The Stars” as the romantic theme between Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) and Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) in “Attack of the Clones.” Although the second film in the prequel trilogy wasn’t embraced by some fans, Williams’ scores continue to be a standout through the entire Skywalker Saga.
The Force Theme
There is nothing more iconic that says “Star Wars” more than Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) gazing at Tatooine’s twin suns while the Force theme plays in the background.
“Probably one of the most iconic shots and themes in all of Star Wars,” one fan wrote. “H— in all of media.”
“Best. Scene. Ever. In. Film. History,” another fan commented.
“Not a single word of dialogue yet we experience of all Luke’s emotions, hopes and dreams in a single scene,” another shared. “That’s what made Star Wars magical.”
“Can you imagine seeing this for the first time in 1977…?” another fan asked. “I get goosebumps every time I watch this and I’ve been watching Star Wars for over 20 years.”
‘Battle Of The Heroes’
Fans can’t get enough of “Battle of the Heroes,” the legendary score in “Revenge of the Sith” when Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) faces off against his mentor, brother, and friend Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor).
“Admit it,” one fan commented. “This was the best fight scene in the entire saga.”
“If and when this theme plays again in the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, millions of voices will suddenly cry out in joy,” another wrote.
“John Williams did his best to make this incredible soundtrack,” another shared. “What would be Star Wars without its great music? I think that this episode, especially, has a very important music. John Williams has the power to make you feel the emotions, the story itself, across his music.”
Although many weren’t fans of the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, Rey’s theme is one of the best scores in the Skywalker Saga.
“Ok, say what you want about Rey, but her theme is absolutely epic,” one fan wrote.
“I can feel John Williams’ adoration for Rey and her actress, Daisy Ridley, in this piece” another commented. “It’s so lovingly made. The intro sounds like a parent gently coaxing their young daughter to take her own first steps out into a vast, unknown galaxy.”
“Although I’m not the biggest fan of Rey as a character, I have to admit, her theme is definitely worthy of a Star Wars protagonist,” another wrote.
With “Falcon Flight” from “The Rise of Skywalker,” Williams is again able to prove that he is able to tell an entire story through sound by combining nods to several of his other scores.
“When I heard 0:20 in the theater I got goosebumps,” one fan wrote. “Such a perfect use of the Emperor’s theme for the approaching TIE fighters.”
“So we have Sidious’s theme, the Resistance theme, the Falcon theme, a bit from Rescue from Cloud City in TESB @ 1:47 and then the Battle of Yavin theme at the end,” another fan noted. “Once again William’s does an amazing job with this.”
Other fans noted a subtle nod to Poe’s theme in the song as well.
Not Enough For You?
It’s not enough for us, either! Have a listen to one full hour of John Williams’ greatest hits, which includes scores from “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter.”