BSO pays tribute to legendary composer John Williams with a star-studded 90th birthday celebration


The sold-out event featured selections from his iconic film scores and performances from Yo-Yo Ma and James Taylor.

John Williams bows out with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Hilary Scott

Tanglewood celebrated the 90th birthday of renowned composer and bandleader John Williams with a major concert on Saturday night honoring his musical legacy.

The sold-out show included performances from cellist Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Branford Marsalis and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

John Williams and James Taylor embrace. – Hilary Scott

“It is wonderful to have been invited to be part of this evening in honor of our beloved John Williams and to have the chance to say thank you for all that you have done for this community and for the world. , really,” Taylor said before performing “Sweet Baby James” alongside Yo-Yo Ma. beautiful orchestral music that was ever made.You are the man.

Yo-Yo Ma and James Taylor perform. – Hilary Scott

Over 18,000 people attended the event, culminating with the crowd singing “Happy Birthday to You” to the legendary musician. Steven Spielberg, who shared a nearly 50-year artistic collaboration with Wiliams, also offered a special video greeting.

However, a highlight of the night was when Williams led the “Raiders March” from the 1981 hit “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

John Williams directs the BSO. – Hilary Scott

The iconic score is one of many recognizable feature film musical selections

Williams has also composed scores for all nine Star Wars films and iconic films such as “Jurassic Park”, “Jaws”, “ET The Extra-Terrestrial” and many more.

Ken-David Masur directs Branford Marsalis, J. William Hudgins and the BSO. – Hilary Scott

He was bandleader of Boston Pops from 1980 to 1993 and currently holds the titles of Boston Pops Bandleader Laureate and Tanglewood Artist in Residence. Williams has won five Oscars and 52 Oscar nominations, making him the Academy’s most nominated living person.

Williams has also written scores for several television series and themes for “NBC Nightly News”, NBC’s “Meet the Press” and PBS’s “Great Performances”.

Ken-David Masur conducts violinist Itzhak Perlman and the BSO. – Hilary Scott

His works for the concert stage include two symphonies, as well as concertos for violin, viola, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, tuba and harp.

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