John Williams

by Jordan from San Diego

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.- Ludwig van Beethoven

Beyond the Music

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" (C.S. Lewis). This quote is certainly a defining description of what John Williams has done, does now, and will continue to do for as long as he lives. As a saving grace and exciting crusader for musical arts, Williams has taken the notes on paper and magnified the emotions projected in a cinema and leaving the audience with a joyous rhythmic reminder of the adventure they had just experienced. As the former principal conductor and current conductor laureate for the world-renowned Boston Pops Orchestra, Williams travels the US conducting local orchestras and at famous events. In his career spanning over sixty years, he has earned five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes, five Oscars, three Emmies, seven BAFAs and 21 Grammies. He also holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person, 47 times! This impressive record under his belt has earned him the induction to the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. Not much is expected from a man with small beginnings, but Williams stuck to his passion of music and broke the ceiling of what is expected of him. Williams' kindness, perseverance, and inspiring personality have made him a hero of a different kind.

Williams' success has helped him show the goodness we all want in humanity. Williams has raised money for money charities and does not publicly announce it. Recently he has been working on an album titled, 'They Are Why We Sing.' " For this album, Williams conducted a recording of the song 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' arranged by Randy Kerber and preformed by soprano Christine Brewer"(Befan). Doing this, Williams has shown that he raises money for the pure reason of helping. Publicity and stardom doesn't entice him as much as charity. Also when local orchestras have him guest conduct, he gives back the money it takes to have him there. Mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner, stated at one of Williams concerts that, " he would be giving back all the money it takes to have him play with the San Diego Symphony"(Filner). Giving back the money is a gesture shown by Williams that he performs for the pure pleasure of entertaining. Modeling a core ideology of a Good Samaritan, don't do it for the money, do it for the greater good. John Williams' passion for music has taken him away from the greed and selfishness often portrayed by the fortunate, and has taken him to a level of kindness and heart we all see in people we adore.

Williams works with Kerber and Brewer for TAWWS. (
Williams works with Kerber and Brewer for TAWWS. (

Overcoming adversity large or small, Williams is no stranger to these situations. Every time he puts down his pencil to a paper, he is presented with a challenge of fulfilling the contentment of a movie, audience's critic, and self satisfaction. Williams has stated that, " I developed from a very early on a habit of writing something every day, good or bad" (Williams). His wanting to challenge himself everyday shows that he is willing to put himself in a situation that is uncomfortable to him to be the best at what he does. This method he has also helps him deal with the self satisfaction of his scores and deal with the bad scores he writes. Worst of all, Williams had to overcome the death of his first spouse Barbara. As friends in high school, Williams worked with "Barbara Ruick, who later became his wife until her death in 1974" (Rovi). After her death he was devastated and expressed it in his music that he wrote in the following years. Some would argue that his 'Violin Concerto' expressed the upsetting emotion he was feeling and through his music expressed his undying love for her. Williams overcomes adversity everyday and when faced with a life-changing one, he uses music as a way to vent his emotions out towards the audience.

Williams' original score from 'Star Wars'. (
Williams' original score from 'Star Wars'. (

By inspiring many young composers today, he also inspires people to remember that creativity and imaginative ideas never stop. As an 80 year old doesn't seem like he is slowing down by still writing to this day." In this millennium, the artist shows no interest in slowing down. His relationships with Spielberg and Lucas continue" (Wheeler). The very fact that he is at his age and still pumping out completely original music is an amazing feat. His music still is relevant today and its tunes are ones that never get old. Many things written today are loosely based on Williams' style and organization of scores. His ability to write every day, good or bad, inspire young composers that there are an infinite amount of original compositions that have still yet to be written. Composing for over 121 movies such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and a dozen of other compositions, " John Williams is the biggest name in history of the movie music and, probably, the most widely heard composer of the last one hundred years" (John). Williams has a lot still up his sleeves. His music being world widely known brings cultures together. His ability to keep going shows that the brain has no creative limit. And that anyone can do what he does as long as they are passionate about what they do.

Williams' kind heart, strong mind, and inspiring creativity acts as a typical example of a true hero. His life has always been revolving around music. His passion has taken him beyond the joys of playing and put him able to do more good using music. It has also been used as a weapon to fight adversity. Expressing his sadness of his first spouse dying and the stresses of being forced to write completely original compositions on a daily basis. That is what makes him inspiring. Showing creativity has no limitations and that there is nothing stopping you. Williams inspires me to do good every day. Whether if it's donating and raising money for charity or making someone smile. Everything can make a difference. Many of my peers and I are writing music based of his work. He inspires people to follow their dreams even if it seems impossible to reach. You are the main reason why you can't reach it. The doubts you have and the things you fear keep you from the things that bring joy to you. John Williams' film scores will live long after the film is forgotten. His off the stage actions will be long remembered after he is gone. He has painted a beautiful melody in the fabric of history making him not only a hero, but a legend to movie-goers and composers alike.

"Works Cited Page"

Infoplease. Infoplease, 2012. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. .

"John Williams on AllMusic." AllMusic. Rovi, 2012. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. .

"John Williams Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, 2012. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. .

"The John Williams Web Pages: Biography." The John Williams Web Pages: Biography. The John Williams Web Pages, 05 June 2006. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. .

"Motivational Quotes." BrainyQuote. Xplore, 2012. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. .

Schier, Tim, ed. "John Williams in Concert." Performances Magazine Dec. 2012: 1-57. Print.

Wheeler, Jeffery. "John Williams Biography." IMDb., 2012. Web. 19 Dec. 2012. .

Page created on 1/9/2013 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/11/2022 9:36:15 AM

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Related Links

New York Times - Q/A with Williams about his creative process.
John Williams Web page - A small insight into John Williams life.
HeartBeats - The site for the charity Williams is involved with.