John Williams, the greatest film composer ever (and arguably the greatest living American composer, period) turns 80 years old today. There’s too much to say about Williams for this limited space, but here are a few stats…
» Composed music for more than 100 films
» Earned 47 Oscar nominations (including two this year for “War Horse” and “Tintin”) and five wins
» Continuing collaboration with Steven Spielberg has lasted nearly 40 years
» Claimed three spots on AFI’s list of the 25 Greatest Film Scores of All Time, including the #1 spot for “Star Wars Episode IV”
Along with his accomplishments in film, Williams served as music director for the Boston Pops Orchestra for 14 seasons and composed themes for four Olympic Games. In 2009 he received the National Medal of Arts, which is the highest award given to artists by the U.S. government.
Williams’ name has become so synonymous with film music that it’s impossible to imagine a popular culture without him. Here’s to many more years of memorable movie music to come!
My top ten favorite John Williams scores:
1. “Star Wars Episode IV” and “Episode V” (tie)
3. “Raiders of the Lost Ark”
4. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
5. “Home Alone”
6. “Schindler’s List”
10. “Empire of the Sun”
Got a favorite John Williams film score? Let us know in the comments below, or give us a shout on Twitter!