Available as of May 10, 2019 is “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter for violin and orchestra, adapted and conducted by John Williams himself and recorded with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the 70-strong Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles at the iconic Sony Studios in Los Angeles. Continue reading →
John Williams (left) and Gustavo Dudamel (right) shared the stage during an intimate concert series at Disney Hall in January 2019. [photos by Linda A. Rapka/AFM Local 47]
by Bill Peterson, AFM Local 47 Life Member & President Emeritus
I read the glowing review by Mark Swed of the first night of the Celebration of John Williams in the Times last month, and was moved to have a personal kind of celebration; of knowing John Williams, from our time in Tucson in the 775th Air Force band, through my time as Union VP and President, when I presented both John Williams and Steven Spielberg a commemorative plaque on behalf of Musicians Local 47 at a scoring session of 105 players. The plaques were inscribed with our Local 47 musicians’ thanks for consistently scoring their films here in Hollywood, and thereby using our musicians in the resulting scoring processes. Mr. Spielberg told me at that time that he was genuinely touched by this recognition. Continue reading →
For the first time in AFI history, America’s highest honor for a career in film was bestowed upon a composer when John Williams received the Life Achievement Award.
“John Williams has written the soundtrack to our lives,” said Sir Howard Stringer, chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. “Note by note, through chord and chorus, his genius for marrying music with movies has elevated the art form to symphonic levels and inspired generations of audiences to be enriched by the magic of the movies. AFI is proud to present him with its 44th Life Achievement Award.”
AFM Local 47 President John Acosta and composer John Williams. (Photos: Eleonora Ghioldi)
Williams’ storied career as the composer behind many of the greatest American films and television series of all time boasts over 150 credits across seven decades. Perhaps best known for his enduring collaboration with director Steven Spielberg, his scores are among the most iconic and recognizable in film history, from the edge-of-your-seat “Jaws” (1975) motif to the emotional swell of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982) and the haunting elegies of “Schindler’s List” (1993). Always epic in scale, his music has helped define over half a century of the motion picture medium. With five Academy Award wins and 49 nominations in total, Williams holds the record for the most Oscar nominations of any living person.
Williams was honored at a Gala Tribute at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on June 9. The televised special, “AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to John Williams,” aired on TNT June 15, followed by an encore presentation on sister network Turner Classic Movies Sept. 12 during a night of programming dedicated to Williams.
Renowned composer, Local 47 member John Williams was honored at the 2016 Made in Hollywood Honors event for his works including the locally scored “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” (Photo by Linda A. Rapka/AFM Local 47)
Made In Hollywood Honors event honors renowned composer for works including L.A.-scored ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
Story & photos by Linda A. Rapka/AFM Local 47
Entertainment industry VIPs, local union officials and political leaders celebrated this year’s Oscar-nominated films made here in California at the Made In Hollywood Honors Oscar event Feb. 4, 2016. Continue reading →
For the first time in the epic film saga’s history, the music for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was scored here in Los Angeles with AFM Local 47 musicians.
Composer John Williams with guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel during one of the scoring sessions for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at Sony Studios. Photo courtesy Don Foster
John Williams, a Life Member of the musicians union, composed the music once again for this seventh installment in the “Star Wars” franchise. He has written the music for every film in the series since its 1977 debut, but while previous films were scored at Abbey Road with the London Symphony Orchestra, “The Force Awakens” marks the first time a “Star Wars” score was recorded stateside.
“This experience of working on the latest ‘Star Wars’ in Los Angeles is probably the most momentous of scoring occasions in our long history of recording,” said Bruce Dukov, a violinist who has recorded on over 1,800 motion pictures over the past 30 years. “The main reason is that for 38 years of that franchise, all the music was recorded in London. For us to be involved in this venture now is nothing less than fantastic, and worthy of major historic notation.”
For the first time in the film saga’s epic history, the music for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was scored here in Los Angeles with AFM Local 47 musicians. Dan Redfeld, AFM Local 47 member, classically trained composer, conductor, orchestrator and pianist, shares his review of the film’s score.
We’ve all been waiting to hear what the Maestro, composer John Williams, has fashioned. The reports of the sessions beginning in June and lasting until November have been plastered everywhere. What kind of things were we going to hear? Will the score feel like “Star Wars”? Are the themes catchy?
For me, the score is nothing short of miraculous and a testament to why Mr. Williams is the greatest American composer this country has produced since Bernstein or Copland. He’s 83 and shows no sign of resting on his laurels. The music is complex, thematically driven, impeccably orchestrated, passionate, sinister, heart-wrenching, beautiful. It’s definitely written in his later period style (which began surfacing in the ’90s): an intricate harmonic structure, the high xylophone/woodwind riffs during action sequences which make the music cut through sound design, detailed counterpoint and a sense of assuredness of a master craftsman operating in top form. Continue reading at listen-la.com
Check out Dan’s full film review of “The Force Awakens” here.
LOS ANGELES, CA (MARCH 24, 2015) — The Force is with Los Angeles musicians: For the first time in the film saga’s history, the musical score to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be recorded in Los Angeles by members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47.
Composer John Williams—himself a Life Member of Local 47—is currently at work writing the music for this seventh installment in the “Star Wars” franchise. Williams has composed the music for every film in the series since its 1977 debut. While previous films were scored at Abbey Road with the London Symphony Orchestra, “The Force Awakens” marks the first time a “Star Wars” score will be recorded in the United States. Continue reading →
Motion Picture Academy debuts first time Oscar Concert
by Linda A. Rapka
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented the first live concert of the year’s Oscar-nominated music at UCLA’s Royce Hall Feb. 27, three days before the 86th Annual Academy Awards.
Alternating between performances of the year’s nominees for best original score and best original song, the historic concert featured the 80-piece Academy Symphony Orchestra comprising some of Los Angeles’s finest studio musicians.