The Legacy of John Williams Podcast

The Legacy of John Williams

A series on in-depth talks celebrating the musical legacy of composer John Williams
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L.A. Studio Legends: The Reunion
Dec 27 2021
2 hrs 2 mins
L.A. Studio Legends: The Reunion
The great Los Angeles studio musicians reunite for the first time in years to celebrate John Williams Hosted and Produced by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden The Legacy of John Williams is proud to present this special podcast episode dedicated to the legendary Los Angeles studio musicians who performed in dozens of film soundtracks by John Williams, including such iconic scores as Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Hook and Jurassic Park. L.A. STUDIO LEGENDS – The Reunion explores the unparalleled contribution that the great Los Angeles-based studio players brought to many of John Williams’ film soundtracks and recordings in a conversation with some of those world’s most legendary studio musicians who performed in principal roles on dozens of his scores recorded in Hollywood from the late 1960s until recent years: Flutists Louise Di Tullio and Sheridon Stokes, Pianist and Keyboardist Ralph Grierson, Trumpet player Malcolm McNab, French Horn player James Thatcher and Tuba player James Self. Joining the conversation is esteemed Conductor (and former studio Violinist) Richard Kaufman, one of the world’s leading interpreters of film music repertoire and also a personal friend of Maestro Williams. This spectacular ensemble of talented musicians, reuniting for the first time in years, offers a precious perspective on John Williams’ musicianship as a composer and conductor, recollecting the unforgettable performances on such classic film scores as Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Jurassic Park among others and sharing many of their fond memories of playing for Maestro Williams. The event is hosted by The Legacy of John Williams’ Editor-In-Chief Maurizio Caschetto and Head Contributor Tim Burden. More info: https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/12/23/l-a-studio-legends-the-reunion-video Link to video version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ANAJK-hu_s
Dec 27 2021
2 hrs 2 mins
Legacy Conversations: Remembering Alexander Courage
A tribute to the legendary award-winning composer, arranger and orchestrator who collaborated with John Williams on many projects over the years, as remembered by his stepdaughter Renata Pompelli Featuring Special Guest Mike Matessino Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden Among the collaborators who worked with John Williams during his long and distinguished career, Alexander Courage (1919-2008) certainly holds a very special place. Composer, arranger, orchestrator and conductor of rare skill and incredible bravura, Alexander Courage (affectionately named "Sandy" by his family and closest friends) is considered one of the best and most revered musicians who ever worked in Hollywood at least since the 1940s. His association with John Williams started way back in the mid-1950s, when Courage requested a young man named Johnny Williams to perform as pianist for the soundtrack of the 1957 film musical Funny Face starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. Courage recommended Williams to Deutsch for orchestration duties on Some Like It Hot. Williams often spoke of Courage's importance as an arranger and orchestrator for the great MGM musicals of the 1950s, comparing him to great arrangers like Robert Russell Bennett and Conrad Salinger for his uncanny ability in creating a unique orchestral sound. Courage's collborations with John Williams continued also throughout the following decades. In 1970, Courage joined Williams as an orchestrator on Fiddler On The Roof, for which the composer won his first Academy Award (and thanked Courage during his speech). Courage also contributed orchestrations for The Poseidon Adventure (1972), The Cowboys (1972) and also some of Williams' blockbuster scores of the era including Superman and Return of the Jedi. One of their key collaborations was for the 1987 film Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, the last starring the beloved Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel. Among his orchestration credits for John Williams are also major blockbuster scores including Home Alone, Hook and Jurassic Park. We're very honoured to have Alexander Courage's stepdaugher Renata Pompelli as the special guest of The Legacy of John Williams podcast to honour and celebrate Sandy's memory and legacy on the day of his 102nd birthday (December 10). Renata is the family's custodian of memories and historian In this conversation, she shares many affectionate memories of Alexander Courage, both as a man and as a musician, offering an intimate, caring and lovely portrait of one of Hollywood's true (and perhaps lesser-known) musical geniuses, including his long-standing friendship and working relationship with John Williams. For more info, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/12/10/legacy-conversations-alexander-courage/(opens in a new tab)
Dec 10 2021
2 hrs
Tradition! Mike Matessino Talks ‘Fiddler On The Roof‘ 50th Anniversary Edition
Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino presents the 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition of Fiddler On The Roof and discusses the history and the legacy of the beloved film musical and its importance for the career of John Williams Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden Soundtrack label La-La Land Records just released a spectacular new limited edition of one of the cornerstones in John Williams’ filmography. Fiddler On The Roof 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition is the most comprehensive and detailed release ever assembled of the soundtrack for the film adaptation of the beloved Tony Award-winning Broadway musical written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, produced by the great Harold Prince and directed for the stage by Jerome Robbins on a play by Joseph Stein. The 1971 film version was directed by Norman Jewison and it features a phenomenal adaptation score by John Williams, who won his very first Academy Award for his work on this film. This new release presents a restored and remastered version of the popular soundtrack album, with alternates and newly-discovered material presented across an expansive 3-CD set. La-La Land Records’ lavish release, in time for the film’s 50th anniversary, is a wonderful opportunity to revisit a very important milestone in John Williams’ rich filmography. In this special episode of The Legacy of John Williams podcast, producer Mike Matessino returns to talk with Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden about Fiddler On The Roof and its place in John Williams’ filmography, while also reflecting on his own personal connection to the film and the original musical and why they’re still relevant to today’s audiences, John Williams' love affair with the violin and the many aspects that makes this release very special for fans and admirers of the Maestro. Learn more at https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/12/03/fiddler-on-the-roof-podcast-pt1/(opens in a new tab) ------- Thanks to Mike Matessino, MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys Order Fiddler On The Roof 50th Anniversary Remastered Edition on La-La Land Records: https://bit.ly/3d2XWDt Music Excerpts featured in the podcast © 1971, 2021 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. under exclusive license to Capitol Records LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used under permission
Dec 3 2021
1 hr 42 mins
L.A. Studio Legends #13: Mike Lang
Legendary pianist and keyboardist talks his unparalleled career as a first-call studio musician on thousands of film scores for top film composers, including his many collaborations with John Williams, for whom he played on more than 30 films including The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, The Eiger Sanction and Hook Pianist Mike Lang certainly doesn't need much introduction among the legendary musicians who performed on film and television soundtracks in the last 50 years. He represents the epitome of the greatness and versatility of the studio musician in several different ways, having performed with virtually all the greatest film composers since the 1960s in more than 2,000 film scores, in many cases as first pianist and keyboardist, but also with an impressive slew of iconic recording artists. Lang's resume is one of the most impressive among any living musician on the planet. Lang's career as pianist for film scores is the stuff of legend. He performed in thousands of film and television soundtracks serving virtually all the legendary film composers of the last 50 years including John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, John Barry, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, Bill Conti, Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, Danny Elfman, James Newton Howard. Mike Lang's collaborations with John Williams started in the early 1970s and continued until the very recent years, playing in scores like The Towering Inferno, The Eiger Sanction, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1941, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Always, Hook, Rosewood, Catch Me If You Can and many others. In this wide-ranging, fun conversation, Mike sits down with The Legacy of John Williams' Editor Maurizio Caschetto and Head Contributor Tim Burden to talk about his unparalleled career as one of the most sought-after studio musicians in the history of music, not just film scores, reminiscing on his beginnings, his training and his early years playing for film composers, including John Williams. Mike also offers his own unique insight about Williams' musicianship, the Maestro's skills as pianist and the evolution of his career, while pondering also on the life as a studio musician with all its unique aspects and idiosincracies. For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/11/16/mike-lang-podcast
Nov 16 2021
2 hrs 5 mins
Legacy Conversations: Sarah Willis
French Horn player of the Berlin Philharmonic and music educator extraordinaire talks her lifelong love for John Williams and the unforgettable experience of performing his music under the Maestro's baton French Horn player Sarah Willis is member of the Berlin Philharmonic since 2001 and she's one of the most generous musical citizen of the world. In addition to being one of the most talented and distinguished French Horn players in the world, she's a true music ambassador of her instrument and a devoted and joyful educator, sharing her deeply passionate love for music and music-making with a worldwide community that's growing bigger every day. Sarah Willis is a gigantic fan of John Williams and his music since 1977, when she saw Star Wars for the first time with her family. As a member of the Berlin Philharmonic, Sarah was part of the historic concerts that John Williams conducted in Berlin, an experience she doesn't hesitate to define as one of the most joyful she ever had as a musician. This is the main topic of the conversation Sarah had with The Legacy of John Williams for this new episode of the Legacy Conversations video series, where she sat down with editor Maurizio Caschetto and head contributor Tim Burden to recollect the joy and happiness of working for a full week with Maestro Williams, but also the challenges of playing a very demanding repertoire especially for the horn section. Sarah also illustrates what makes John Williams' music so special for the horn player, sharing anecdotes and stories from the rehearsals and the whole experience, but more importantly communicating her deeply contagious love for music and music-making. ------------------------------------ For more information: https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/11/08/sarah-willis-podcast/(opens in a new tab)   Sarah Willis Official Website: https://sarah-willis.com
Nov 9 2021
55 mins
Legacy Conversations: Emilio Audissino
Sep 24 2021
1 hr 46 mins
Top of the World: Mike Matessino Talks 'The Eiger Sanction'
Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino presents Intrada Records' new 2-disc expanded edition of John Williams’ score for Clint Eastwood’s alpine thriller, featuring the world premiere release of the original film recording and a remastered version of the 1975 soundtrack album Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden The restoration of Maestro John Williams’ rich filmography adds another pivotal item to its ongoing process of “future proofing”. Intrada Records has just released a 2-disc expanded edition of one of the Maestro’s most interesting and diverse scores of his pre-Jaws era: The Eiger Sanction, written for the 1975 alpine thriller directed by and also starring Clint Eastwood, in his one and only collaboration with the composer. The new release is produced and remastered by Mike Matessino, who continues to be the ultimate guardian of John Williams’ film score presentations through his universally admired painstaking methodology of soundtrack restoration, preserving the Maestro’s work for all future generations in the best and most accurate way. The original soundtrack album issued on MCA Records at the time of the film’s theatrical release was a re-recording where Williams selected cues from the score expanding and repurposing them for a more cohesive listening experience. The brand-new 2-CD release by Intrada Records presents both a remastered version of the 1975 MCA soundtrack album and the premiere release of the original film recording, featuring a great deal of unreleased music, including never-before-heard material that was written and recorded for a longer cut of the film. All the material has been painstakingly restored and remastered by Mike Matessino. The end product is a wonderful musical journey that puts a well-deserved spotlight on one of John Williams’ lesser-known yet most fascinating and diverse scores to be found in his long and rich filmography.  In this conversation, Mike Matessino returns to The Legacy of John Williams podcast to present this new 2-disc expanded edition of John Williams’ score for Clint Eastwood’s alpine thriller, spotlighting and documenting his own unique restoration work while offering thoughts and insights on the Maestro’s music for the film. For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/08/10/the-eiger-sanction-podcast
Aug 10 2021
1 hr 39 mins
L.A. Studio Legends #12: Stephen Erdody
Cellist extraordinaire talks his distinguished career as a studio musician in Hollywood and his many collaborations with John Williams, including his exquisite solo playing for such scores as Angela’s Ashes, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich, offering precious thoughts about the Maestro’s music and his creative process with musicians. Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto If you’ve heard an exquisite solo cello while watching a big Hollywood movie of the last 25 years, it’s very likely that you were listening to the stunning musical talent of Stephen Erdody. He’s one of the most distinguished and talented cellist working in the studio world, but also a very fine classical musician who have spent many years playing with symphony orchestras and chamber groups. His impeccable playing impressed also Maestro John Williams, who appointed him as principal cello of all his recordings in Los Angeles since 1999 until today. Stephen Erdody performed cello solos for John Williams on such scores as Angela's Ashes (1999), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Munich (2005), War Horse (2011) and The Book Thief (2013). He performed a duet with world-renowned cello superstar Yo-Yo Ma on the score for Memoirs of a Geisha, and also was 1st cello on the Star Wars sequel trilogy produced by Disney. In addition to film scores, Erdody was also principal cello on various recording projects, including the albums American Journey (2002), Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Music of John Williams (2002) and The Spielberg-Williams Collaboration Vol.3 (2017). Steve is the most renowned studio cellist working in Hollywood today and has recorded hundreds of film and television scores with many top film composers including Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman and Ludwig Goransson. You can hear some of Steve’s lovely solos on such scores as I Am Legend (James Newton Howard, 2009), The Pacific (Hans Zimmer, Geoff Zanelli & Blake Neely, 2010), August Rush (Mark Mancina, 2009).  In this conversation, Steve talks in-depth about his distinguished career as Hollywood’s preferred principal cello and his many collaborations with John Williams on such scores as Angela’s Ashes, Munich, Memoirs of a Geisha, War Horse and many others, offering his own deep thoughts and reflections about the uniqueness of Maestro Williams’ music and the role of the cello in his scores, telling many stories and anecdotes from decades of recording sessions with him. For more information and a list of musical excerpts go to https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/07/26/stephen-erdody-podcast
Jul 26 2021
1 hr 50 mins
Heavens and Dreamscapes: Mike Matessino Talks 'Images' and 'Always'
The esteemed Soundtrack Producer discusses two classic John Williams' film scores recently released: Steven Spielberg's 1989 aviation drama Always and Robert Altman's 1972 cult classic Images   Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden   As we reach the middle point of 2021, fans and admirers of John Williams have more than a reason to be happy and cheerful at the moment. A couple new CD releases present two of Maestro Williams's most unique and varied scores of his extensive filmography: the first official commercial edition of the soundtrack for Robert Altman's disturbing and fascinating cult classic from 1972 Images (released by Quartet Records) and a newly expanded edition of the score for Steven Spielberg's 1989 aviation drama Always (released by La-La Land Records). Both titles have been meticulously restored and remastered by soundtrack producer Mike Matessino, who continues to be the ultimate guardian for what he called the "future proofing" of John Williams' invaluable musical legacy in terms of album releases. Images is one of Williams' most original and groundbreaking scores of his entire career, while Always showcases the Maestro's more intimate and quiet musical persona. In this new exclusive audio interview, Mike Matessino talks with The Legacy of John Williams about the restoration of these new editions of John Williams' Images and Always, focusing on the respective places of these scores in Williams' filmography, offering his own always deep thoughts about both movies and their scores, spotlighting his methodology and creative decisions in producing these new stellar albums that should belong in the soundtrack collection of any student of John Williams' music. The discussion features various exclusive audio clips from both releases.   For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/06/24/mike-matessino-always-images-podcast
Jun 24 2021
1 hr 27 mins
Legacy Conversations: Steven C. Smith and William Stromberg
Distinguished author Steven C. Smith and composer & conductor William Stromberg discuss the lineage that connects John Williams and the great composers of the Golden Age of Hollywood, including Bernard Herrmann and Max Steiner John Williams is the film composer who, more than any other, was able to take the great tradition of the Golden Age of Hollywood's film music and revive it for modern audiences. Thanks to the impressive box office success of such films as Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Superman, the late 1970s saw a resurgence of the classic symphonic film score as intended by the great composers of the Golden Age: Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Dimitri Tiomkin, Miklós Rózsa, Franz Waxman, were the forefathers of what is commonly referred as "the Hollywood sound", i.e. the lush, romantic orchestral vernacular in vogue during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, mostly based on the great tradition of Late Romantic symphonic music from Europe, of which all the aforementioned composers were all natural descendants. This type of vibrant, colorful and emotional musical accompaniment defined Hollywood's film music until the dramatic turn of the tide known as the end of the studio era in the early 1960s. John Williams restored almost single-handedly that tradition with a sincere, heartfelt homage to those musical stylings and a new renaissance of film music began. This is the starting point of this new episode of the Legacy Conversations series on The Legacy of John Williams podcast, featuring two very esteemed and distinguished special guests who are among the most respected authorities on the subject of classic film music: author Steven C. Smith and composer/conductor William T. Stromberg. Steven is an Emmy-nominated documentary producer, author, and speaker who specializes in Hollywood history and profiles of contemporary filmmakers. He is the author of two acclaimed biographies: Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer (Oxford University Press), and A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann (University of California Press). William T. Stromberg is a respected composer and conductor working in the film music business since the late 1980s. Together with his artistic partner John W. Morgan, he produced an impressive amount of brand-new recordings of classic film scores from the Golden Age of Hollywood by Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman, Dimitri Tiomkin and other illustrious composers, including premiere complete recordings of such iconic scores as King Kong, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Fahrenheit 451, The Egyptian. The profound expertise and knowledge of both Steven C. Smith and William Stromberg make them the ideal guests to talk about the lineage that connects John Williams to the great tradition of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s film music, especially to composers like Max Steiner and Bernard Herrmann. For more information and the list of the musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/06/10/steven-c-smith-william-stromberg-podcast
Jun 10 2021
2 hrs 3 mins
L.A. Studio Legends #11: Louise Di Tullio
Legendary flutist talks her incredible career as a performing artist, the legacy of her own musical family, the phenomenal streak of work as a studio musician in Hollywood and her many collaborations with John Williams on such iconic scores as Hook, Jurassic Park, War Horse and many others. Flutist Louise Di Tullio is one of the true icons among the generation of musicians performing in the Los Angeles area who came on the scene between the late 1950s and early 1960s. In an amazing career spanning almost six decades, Louise performed both as a world-class classical player and studio musician, often in the position of principal flute, for countless film scores, recording projects and live performances. A native of Los Angeles, Louise Di Tullio comes from a family of very distinguished musicians who had incredible careers as classical players and studio musicians. Louise started to play flute at a very young age and soon began to take lessons to become a professional musician. Before reaching the age of 20, Louise joined the LA Philharmonic, playing piccolo in the flute section, following in the footsteps of her father and two uncles. After six years with the Philharmonic, she found success in all aspects of the recording world. Louise started to perform in Hollywood studio orchestras, mostly as a piccolo player, and was contracted regularly to play for big name film composers including Alfred Newman, Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry and of course John Williams.  Louise’s first session with John Williams dates back in 1969 for the score for The Reivers. You can hear Louise’s playing, often performing both delicate and virtuosic piccolo parts, on such iconic scores as The Towering Inferno, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Fury, 1941 and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. In 1990, Louise inherited the first chair from Sheridon Stokes as principal flute for John Williams and from this moment onward her career as studio musician became the stuff of legend. As principal flute, Louise Di Tullio can be heard performing on many John Williams’ scores since 1990, including Home Alone 1 and 2, Hook, JFK, Far and Away, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Rosewood, Seven Years in Tibet, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, and The Book Thief. Besides her work in countless John Williams’ scores, Louise Di Tullio served as principal flute for many other great film composers, including Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, James Horner, Lalo Schifrin, Bill Conti, James Newton Howard, Bruce Broughton, Danny Elfman, among others. Over the course of her extraordinary career, Louise performed on more than 1,200 motion pictures and tv films including some of Hollywood's biggest hits of the last 50 years. In this conversation, Louise reminisces for the first time since many years about the legacy of her extraordinary musical family, the first steps as a classical player, including performing under Igor Stravinsky. Louise talks extensively about her many years recording film scores with John Williams, from her first experiences playing piccolo on The Reivers and Jaws, to her playing as principal flute on scores like Hook, Jurassic Park and War Horse, recollecting many memories and sharing her point of view about the music and the art of Maestro John Williams. Visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/05/28/louise-di-tullio-podcast/ for more informations and the list of the musical excerpts featured in the episode.
May 28 2021
1 hr 53 mins
Presenting The Logo Music of The Legacy of John WilliamsConductor Kevin Griffiths Talks "Spotlight on John Williams"
The English-born conductor talks about the brand-new recording "Spotlight on John Williams", the debut album of the Swiss-based City Light Symphony Orchestra, a 2-CD collection of some of John Williams' film masterpieces Spotlight on John Williams presents the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by English-born Maestro Kevin Griffiths in a 100-minute musical journey throughout some of John Williams’ movie masterworks, featuring such acclaimed soloists as Valentine Michaud, Reinhold Friedrich and Paul Meyer. The selections include 21 tracks, including music from many of the popular film franchises the composer is associated with – the Star Wars saga is represented by a 4-movement suite from The Force Awakens and the Indiana Jones movies with the riveting “End Credits” suite from The Temple of Doom, while the Harry Potter wizarding world is featured with four selections from The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban. The stirring themes from such beloved film scores as Hook, Jurassic Park, Superman are also represented, but there is space for other Williams’ gems like “Viktor’s Tale” from The Terminal, the patriotic themes from JFK and Born on the Fourth of July, the jazzy 3-movement “Escapades” suite for alto saxophone from Catch Me If You Can, the lively opening credits from The Adventures of Tintin, and the stirring Americana of The Cowboys Overture. The recording is a real showcase of the City Light Symphony Orchestra’s brilliance – the performance is tight and vigorous, the spectrum of sonorities they bring out is sparkling, full of colours and nuances, but always focused and sharp at the same time. In this conversation, conductor Kevin Griffiths talks with The Legacy of John Williams about the challenges of recording the album, how the project was put together and how he worked with the City Light Symphony Orchestra to bring out all the marvelous nuances and details of John Williams’ music. He also talks about the differences of conducting live to picture vs. traditional symphonic setting, how the audience’s perception of film music has changed throughout the years, and what John Williams’ music meant for him since childhood, while also reflecting on the legacy of the Maestro. Spotlight on John Williams is released on Prospero Classical For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/04/09/kevin-griffiths-city-light-interview/
Apr 9 2021
1 hr 4 mins
Legacy Conversations: Kevin Puts
Acclaimed contemporary classical composer talks his career and his cinematic music for the concert hall, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night, his approach to composition and how much John Williams’ music touched him since childhood and inspired him to become a composer Few contemporary classical composers have such a wide-ranging, colorful and personal style like Kevin Puts. Winner of the coveted Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for his debut opera Silent Night, he has become one of the leading American composers of his generation. Critically acclaimed for a richly colored, harmonic, and freshly melodic musical voice that has also been described as “emotional, compelling, and relevant,” his works, which include two operas, four symphonies, and several concertos, have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists throughout the world. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Kevin Puts started to study piano during childhood. His love for music was ignited by the John Williams’ scores for such films as Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, which made a lasting effect on him and were among the main inspirations to pursue a career as a composer. His love for movie music, and specifically John Williams, led him to a musical style characterized by a strong storytelling element. His compositions have been often described as “cinematic” and “film-like” by music critics and commentators, an observation that Puts always took as a compliment. Puts’ catalogue is truly impressive and includes major orchestral, symphonic and operatic works and a great deal of chamber music as well. His Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night is probably his most important and successful work so far. It was premiered by Minnesota Opera in November 2011, and marked his debut in the genre of opera and vocal works. Describing his work, Puts said he was “going for a cinematic quality, commenting on the action and the emotions of a scene as it unfolds as a great film composer like John Williams might do it”. In this conversation, Kevin talks about his career as a contemporary classical composer, his approach to composition as storytelling, and how much the music of John Williams inspired him since childhood, particulary the score of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. For more information and the list of musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/03/22/legacy-conversations-kevin-puts/
Mar 22 2021
1 hr 28 mins
Legacy Conversations: Tim Morrison
Legendary trumpeteer talks his illustrious career as former Associate Principal Trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra / Principal Trumpet of the Boston Pops and his subsequent life as studio musician in Los Angeles, including his many collaborations with John Williams as soloist on such scores as Born On The Fourth of July, JFK, Nixon and Saving Private Ryan Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden Trumpet legend Tim Morrison has defined probably more than any other soloists one of the key signature styles of John Williams, enhancing the American spirit in many of the composer's brilliant pieces for film and the concert hall through his singing, lyrical trumpet sound and purity of tone. Tim Morrison has been the voice of Ron Kovic's struggle in Born on the Fourth of July and the reminiscence of President Kennedy's core American values in JFK; he underlined John Quincy Adams' noble speeches in Amistad, and accompanied with somber, plaintive tones the drama of World War II American soldiers in Saving Private Ryan. Whenever John Williams needed that signature American sound in some of his film scores, he often chose Tim Morrison to be the interpreter of choice. Also, as Principal Trumpet of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1987 to 1997, he has often being the soloist of choice in many concerts and recordings with Williams on the podium. In this wide, in-depth conversation, Tim Morrison talks about his brilliant career and musical life, from his studies and early days as performer to his arrival in Boston, his many collaborations with John Williams as soloist on Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, Nixon and Saving Private Ryan, but also the many brilliant Boston Pops recordings he performed in, including the iconic Summon the Heroes solo. He also reflects on Williams' comment about his "American sound", his life as studio musician in L.A., and his solo recording album After Hours.
Mar 15 2021
1 hr 16 mins
Legacy Conversations: Growing Up With John Williams
What happens when you discover and start to love music when you're still a little kid and share this passion with one of your siblings? This is the starting point of this in-depth discussion between two pairs of brothers with many things in common, specifically the love for the music of John Williams. One of the missions of this website is to celebrate and discuss the huge influence of the Maestro among at least two generations of people who literally grew up and became adults while listening to his music, and how it helped shape lives and even careers of millions of people around the world. Brothers Will Brueggemann and Marty Brueggemann are two of the most admired podcasters among the niche of film music aficionados on the internet. Their show, UnderScore: A Podcast of Music and Story, offers insightful musical analysis of major film scores including works by John Williams. In this episode, titled "Growing Up With John Williams", editor Maurizio Caschetto and contributor/illustrator Gianmaria Caschetto sit down with Will and Marty to discuss what it means to grow up listening to the music of Maestro Williams. Both pairs of brothers were raised in similar contexts and started to fall in love with Williams' music for such films as Superman, E.T. and Star Wars since childhood (as happened to millions of fans and admirers of the Maestro around the globe). The discussion goes on to talk about Williams' unrivaled compostional prowess, his daring harmonic choices and his uncanny ability to craft the perfect melody for the film. More thoughts are also offered about what makes John Williams' music so exciting for kids and young people.
Mar 5 2021
1 hr 58 mins
Legacy Conversations: Ann Hobson Pilot
Legendary harpist talks her distinguished career as former Principal Harp for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, including the many collaborations with John Williams and the premiere of the Harp Concerto On Willows and Birches, composed for her by the Maestro in 2009 Ann Hobson Pilot is one of the most talented women in the classical music who ever performed in United States and also a distinguished international soloist, teacher, mentor and moving force behind music educational programs for underserved minorities. She has been Principal Harp for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops for almost 30 years, from 1980 until his retirement in 2009. She joined the BSO in 1969 as Associate Principal Harp after stints in the Pittsburgh Symphony and Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra where he performed as Principal Harp for 3 years (1966-69). Ann has the distinguished credit of being the very first African-American woman to land a Principal role in an American orchestra, building herself a career through her talent and unique sensibility back in a time where the classical music scene was still a predominant white male-driven environment. Ann Hobson Pilot started to perform for John Williams in 1980, when the Maestro accepted the post as Principal Conductor of the Boston Pops. After many years performing under former Pops’ music director Arthur Fiedler (who died in 1979), Ann immediately got in perfect harmony with Williams’ musicianship (“he brought a breath of fresh air”, she said) and his own fabulous music. She was frequently featured as soloist in concerts and recordings with the Boston Pops often performing many of the Maestro’s exquisite passages for harp, including music from Schindler’s List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Harry Potter and Angela’s Ashes, all of which feature extensive writing for harp. Ann was also principal harp on the original soundtrack recording of Schindler’s List, where he performs in duet with violinist Itzhak Perlman. When Pilot announced her retirement as BSO’s Principal Harp, Williams set to write a Concerto for Harp specifically for her, titled On Willows and Birches. The composer wrote the concerto during the spring and summer of 2009, and the piece was premiered on September 23, 2009, as part of the Opening Night of BSO’s annual subscription season. In addition to her career as musician, Ann Hobson Pilot spent a lifetime devoted to teaching and mentoring young students in distinguished music schools and conservatories (including the New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University) and appearing in masterclasses and seminars at the Tanglewood Music Institute. She’s currently affiliated with the State College of Florida, in addition to the Tanglewood Music Center and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.  In this conversation, Ann talks about her incredible life and career as classical musician, her challenges and obstacles of being an African-American woman playing in an environment predominantly white and male-driven and her many collaborations with John Williams, including the thrill and the honour of having a concerto written for her by the Maestro. She also talks about the recording of the film score for Schindler’s List and many other favourite memories of working together with John Williams for almost 30 years. For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/02/22/ann-hobson-pilot-podcast/
Feb 22 2021
1 hr 17 mins
L.A. Studio Legends #10: Sheridon Stokes
Legendary flutist talks his distinguished career as studio musician in Hollywood, from his early days performing under Alfred Newman at 20th Century Fox to his many collaborations with John Williams as first chair flute, including his solos in such scores as Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and The Witches of Eastwick, as well as the premiere of the Flute Concerto   Flutist Sheridon Stokes is one of the true all-time greats among Hollywood studio musicians. In a career spanning six decades, Sheridon Stokes became one of the most heard flute artists in the world mostly thanks to his impressive career in the film and television industry in Los Angeles. He has performed as principal flute on dozens of classic film scores including many by John Williams. For the Maestro, he performed solos on Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and The Witches of Eastwick. It’s his beautiful, crystalline tone that accompanies some of the most iconic scenes in those films. But, as you’ll hear in the episode, Sheridon and John Williams met long before the Maestro would become the most famous and celebrated film composer in history.   In this conversation, Sheridon talks about his illustrious life and career as one of the most venerable studio musicians in Hollywood, from his early days performing in the 20th Century Fox Orchestra under Alfred Newman to his meeting with a young John Williams in 1957. He talks at length about his first works with Williams in the early 1970s and the world concert premiere of the composer’s Flute Concerto with the UCLA orchestra in 1973. He also reminisces his flute solos on Jaws, E.T. and The Witches of Eastwick, and the work with composer Lalo Schifrin, offering his own unique insight into the great history of Hollywood’s film music.   For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/01/18/sheridon-stokes-podcast/
Jan 18 2021
55 mins
L.A. Studio Legends #9: Dan Higgins
Legendary saxophonist and woodwind specialist talks his career as studio musician in Los Angeles, from his early days as session player to his collaborations with Maestro John Williams, including the stunning alto saxophone solos he performed on the score for Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Catch Me If You Can Saxophonist and woodwind specialist Dan Higgins is unquestionably one of the most talented session musicians on the planet and also highly respected among his peers. His stunning skills both as saxophonist and woodwind player on several instruments (including clarinet and flute) have been appreciated by a wide variety of composers and musicians with whom Higgins collaborated throughout his amazing career. He has performed in the woodwind section on several John Williams' film scores since the mid-1990s, but he's first and foremost remembered for the stunning alto saxophone solos he recorded on the brilliant score Maestro Williams composed in 2002 for the film Catch Me If You Can, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hanks. Born in Boston, MA, in 1955, Dan Higgins first distinguished himself as an outstanding saxophonist while attending University of North Texas. After moving to Los Angeles, Dan started to work as a freelance studio musician, mostly on record dates, but also on many recordings for television shows, including playing on live shows and specials, following the footsteps of other great saxophone players like Gene Cipriano, Ronnie Lang and Plas Johnson. His career as studio musician for the film and television industry is impressive: he has worked on 700+ motion picture scores and is a featured saxophone soloist on many great films with such notable composers as John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Marc Shaiman, Randy Newman, David Newman and Alexandre Desplat among others. Dan Higgins has worked extensively with John Williams for more than 25 years. His first collaboration was playing alto saxophone on a few “period music” source pieces that Williams arranged as part of the musical score for Schindler’s List (1993). However, the big breakthrough came in 2002, when the Maestro called upon Dan’s talents as soloist on alto saxophone for the score to Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can. The film was a box office hit and the score garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. The success pushed Williams to prepare a three-movement concert suite based on the main thematic material from the score called Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. Higgins premiered the concert suite with the Maestro on the podium conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra in May 2003 and subsequently appeared as guest soloist to perform the piece with notable orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In this conversation, Dan talks about his amazing career as studio musicians in Los Angeles, his early days as jazz musician, how he picked up the legacy from legendary studio saxophonists like Gene Cipriano and Ronnie Lang and also how he learned discipline from them. Dan talks extensively about the projects he did with John Williams, with a special focus on his soloist work on Catch Me If You Can, remembering the recording sessions for that film and offering his own unique insight into the creative process of Maestro Williams. Dan also recollects the work on The Adventures of Tintin and the unique instructions John Williams gave him before recording the zany “Canto Bight” jazz piece for The Last Jedi. For more information and the list of the musical excerpts, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/01/08/dan-higgins-podcast/
Jan 8 2021
1 hr 30 mins
L.A. Studio Legends #8: Dylan Hart
French Horn player extraordinaire talks his life and career as studio musician in Hollywood and his many collaborations with John Williams, including his work as Principal Horn on The Post and the recent Star Wars sequels The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, sharing his views on the Maestro's music Los Angeles native French Horn player Dylan Skye Hart is part of the younger generation of studio musician who are carrying over the great tradition of the "Hollywood sound" in film scores established by legendary horn players such as Vince DeRosa and Jim Thatcher, of whom Dylan can really be considered a natural heir. Dylan had the distinguished honour of performing as Principal Horn for John Williams on a few of his more recent scores, including The Post (2017) and the Star Wars sequels The Last Jedi (2017) and The Rise of Skywalker (2019), following in the footsteps of those above mentioned musicians. Since 2008, Dylan Hart has played for many top Hollywood composers including Alan Silvestri, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Bruce Broughton, John Powell and Alexandre Desplat. Dylan is also a devoted classical musician—he's currently Principal Horn for the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Barbara Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Dylan is also a member of the Los Angeles Horn Quartet and Modern Brass Quintet. In this conversation, Dylan talks about his life and career as French Horn player in Los Angeles, from his humble beginnings to his years studying with Vince DeRosa and Jim Thatcher. He recalls his first gigs in major film scores and his work performing for John Williams in such scores as War Horse, The Post, Dear Basketball and the Star Wars films, offering his own unique insight about Williams' process in the studio and his writing for the instrument. Dylan also reflects on the great tradition of Hollywood's horn playing style as mastered by his teachers DeRosa and Thatcher and what it means carrying that legacy. For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/12/18/dylan-hart-podcast/
Dec 18 2020
1 hr 9 mins