John Williams: Over 40 Years of Collaboration with Steven Spielberg
Recently, it was announced that the legendary John Williams is slated to become the first composer to ever receive the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. Williams is best known in the Harry Potter fan community as the composer responsible for the scores of the first three Harry Potter films. However, Williams’s career has spanned over 70 years, and for over 40, he has been collaborating with cinema giant Steven Spielberg. A 2012 article posted on the LA Times website highlighted an interview in which Spielberg and Williams discussed the 1972 start of their relationship and their continued collaborative efforts. Williams had this to say about his working relationship with Spielberg:
My relationship with Steven is the result of a lot of very compatible dissimilarities. Steven works with huge groups of people and is an international businessman…. This is the environment that I need. I don’t use a lot of — as my younger colleagues do — synthesizers and computers. When I started, that didn’t exist…. It is a labor-intensive, solitary business.
During the interview, Spielberg also commented on the relationship, stating,
John is much more of a chameleon as a composer. He reinvents himself with every picture.
In the time since their first meeting in 1972, Spielberg and Williams have worked together on over 20 films and earned countless Oscar nominations for their collaborative efforts. The two even hosted a 2011 Masterclass together, which was re-posted today in an article on The Film Stage website. The Masterclass can be viewed here:
The article on The Film Stage’s website also highlighted the fact that due to Williams’s recent health concerns, he did not collaborate with Spielberg on his most recent film, Bridge of Spies, which was released on October 4. According to an article posted on NPR’s website, Bridge of Spies is the first film since the start of their relationship over 40 years ago in which Williams and Spielberg did not work together, with the exception of 1985’s The Color Purple.
Composer Thomas Newman was chosen to score the movie in Williams’s absence.
To read more about Williams’s past and present work, visit the MuggleNet article here.
To hear some of the greatest tracks from the Spielberg/Williams relationship, check out The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration, available on Amazon.
To hear 39 of some of Williams’s best tracks from the Harry Potter films, check out The Harry Potter Collection, also available on Amazon.
What is your favorite piece from Williams’s body of work? Tell us in the comments below!