Entertainment » Music

Maestro Of The Movies: The Music Of John Williams @ The Hollywood Bowl

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Sep 3, 2019
John Williams conducting at The Hollywood Bowl this past weekend.
John Williams conducting at The Hollywood Bowl this past weekend.  (Source:YouTube)

The yearly celebration of all things John Williams blasted off this weekend turning the Hollywood Bowl into a cinematic celebration complete with hundreds of lightsabers ignited in reverence.

While he didn't conduct the entire evening this time around, the 87-year old composer hosted the evening and also picked up the baton for the final round of "Star Wars" masterpieces he's so well known for.

Taking the reins for most of the evening was Williams' peer and friend composer David Newman ("Heathers") who lifted the audience through a rousing first half of non-Williams classics like "Hooray for Hollywood," the theme from "How the West Was Won" and Richard Rodger's "Carousel Waltz."

Some of William's older pieces were highlighted with the overture to one of his first movie compositions, "The Cowboys" taking a rousing center stage, as well as two lovely selections from the early '70s mini-series of "Jane Eyre."

The second half of the evening was all Williams with new pieces: "Theme from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge;" a live-to-film performance of the opening sequence from "E.T. The Extra Terrestrial;" as well as a sequence from "Jurassic Park" which included the CSUF University Singers joining him. They also contributed to an emotional montage from "Saving Private Ryan" and finished off with the gorgeous "Dry Your Tears, Afrika" from "Amistad."

When Williams took the stage it was all "Star Wars," with pieces from "Solo: A Star Wars Story," "Luke and Leia" from "Return of the Jedi" and the main title from the score that catapulted him into the mainstream: "Star Wars: A New Hope."

Of course Williams and Newman both bantered with the audience delighting the packed crowd with anecdotes of their early years in the biz. Williams also told fans that they will be very pleased with the ending of the forthcoming "Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker."

The rock concert-like crowd wouldn't let Williams leave without an encore so he came back out to thrill the audience with "The Imperial March" and the main theme from "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

As usual, this is one of the Bowl's most anticipated and attended series of concerts and Williams and his music never fail to bring nostalgia and joy to a Bowl audience made up of generations of film and music fans. Here's hoping the tradition continues for many more years to come.

"Maestro of the Movies: The Music of John Williams" played August 30th-Sept. 1st at the Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. For information on upcoming events, please visit https://www.hollywoodbowl.com.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.

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