John Williams (b. 1932) is perhaps the most famous and accomplished composer alive today. Even Wikipedia’s extremely dry introduction to his biography can’t dull the luster of his career:
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career that spans six decades, Williams has composed many of the most famous film scores in Hollywood history, including Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone, the first three Harry Potter movies and all but two of Steven Spielberg’s feature films including the Indiana Jones series, Schindler’s List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Jaws. He also composed the soundtrack for the hit 1960s television series Lost in Space as well as the fanfare of the DreamWorks Pictures’ logo.Williams has composed theme music for four Olympic Games, the NBC Nightly News, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and numerous television series and concert pieces. He served as the principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 to 1993, and is now the orchestra’s laureate conductor.Williams has been nominated for 45 Academy Awards and won five. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards, seven BAFTA Awards and 21 Grammy Awards. With 45 Academy Award nominations, Williams is, together with composer Alfred Newman, the second most nominated person after Walt Disney. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.
A John Williams fan website (better than the official one!)
John Williams on the Internet Movie Database – easily the most colorful biography of him.
The Cowboys is a 1972 western starring John Wayne for which the young John Williams provided a vivid, intricate score.
A very fine high school band performs Jim Curnow’s band arrangement of The Cowboys. It’s a lot harder than it sounds!
John Williams conducting the Boston Pops in The Cowboys, which follows the same form as our band version.
Original trailer for the theatrical release of the movie: