You probably read that headline and responded in either of two ways: “I already appreciate it!” or “No, I like EDM music better.”
For those of you who responded with the latter, listen up – this story is for you – because there are many reasons why people of all ages and cultures should appreciate the “maestro of the movies.” For starters, he has composed music from some of your favorite Disney films like the iconic “Indiana Jones” theme song to the “Star Wars” opening crawl music. They are just a few of the hundreds of scores that he’s written in his over 6 decades of writing and playing music.
Much of that music will be played in a tribute concert in June to Williams by the Pacific Symphony Orchestra based in Costa Mesa, California. The conductor of that concert will be Richard Kaufman, an accomplished musician himself, who laid down the reasons why people should care about Williams’ movie music.
“It’s a combination of things,” Kaufman told me via phone. “His music is written with the intention that they really are characters.”
This type of music writing isn’t new with other film composers of the past like Bernard Herman, Max Steiner, and Erich Korngold informing their compositions with the film’s story-driven characters. Williams, however, is highly considered to be part of that line for this generation.
Kaufman continued, “He writes amazing melodies and themes for an orchestra. John knows each instrument and uses them effectively to reflect the emotion that’s playing out on the screen.”
Candidly, I’ve been a fan of Williams’ film scores since I saw “Raiders of the Lost Ark” for the first time when I was 10. I had no idea what was going on story-wise, but I did know and appreciated the music. After seeing him conduct his music live back in 2014 with the Pacific Symphony for a benefit concert, that appreciation grew to an all-time high.
It became my theme song for everything, but like many young and even older people who felt the same way, we never really understood why. Kaufman offered a simple answer – there is no none!
“It’s something that you really can’t put your finger on,” he said. “You just know that when we see Luke Skywalker, you want to be with him, and that’s in large part due to John Williams music.”
And you can bet that Star Wars music will very much be played at the tribute concert led by Kaufman and the 80+ member Pacific Symphony. Additionally, they’ll also be playing an Indiana Jones suite to complete the Disney scores catalog for the concert, but that’s just a portion of the music that will be performed in the 2+ hour music spectacular. Expect to also hear his other movie compositions from “Harry Potter,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Schindler’s List” to name a few.
Tickets are now on sale for both concert dates, June 2 and 3 at 8 PM at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.
Williams isn’t scheduled to appear at the concerts as he is busy putting the finishing touches on his next big project: writing the score for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”