I have to admit that I?m not a big fan of the ?Star Wars? trilogy ? I don?t hum the tunes from any of the famous instrumental numbers contained in the films. Ever.
However, I?m aware that many people do hum this music on a regular basis, play air guitar along with the soundtrack when they think nobody?s watching, and get choked up when certain musical climaxes remind them of their favorite character?s pivotal moment.
Those people and more will be thrilled to hear John Williams share his music at Eastman Sunday, April 29 at 3.
Williams has composed music and served as a music director for more than 80 films, including the ?Star Wars? trilogy and its recently released prequel, ?Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace.?
Among the 80 films are several box office smashes that I actually do like, including ?Jurassic Park,? ?Schindler?s List,? ?Home Alone,? ?The Patriot,? the ?Indiana Jones? trilogy and ?E.T.?
?John Williams rocks,? said River Campus junior John Hafner. ?He?s written the music for some of the best soundtracks ever, and the Olympics.?
Williams wrote the musical themes for the 1984, 1988 and 1996 Summer Olympic games.
Williams? upcoming concert will feature a variety of his film music, including the theme to ?Angela?s Ashes,? which won the 2000 Grammy Award for best instrumental composition.
Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) will also be visiting Eastman on Sunday. Simpson will provide the narration for Williams? Oscar-nominated music for the 1969 Southern coming-of-age movie, ?The Reivers.?
?We?re honored to have former Senator Simpson involved in the program,? Eastman Director James Undercofler said. ?It?s evidence of the power of John William?s music ? His music has a remarkable, diverse reach.?
Williams will be presented with an honorary doctoral degree from Eastman at the concert.
His accomplishments in the music world are staggering. His music has added textural layers to a wide variety of films and has been nominated for 39 Academy Awards, making Williams the most nominated living person. He has won five of them.
Williams has also won two Emmy Awards, 18 Grammys, three Golden Globes and one British Academy Award.
And, yes ? his soundtrack to ?Star Wars? sold more than four million copies, making it one of the most successful non-pop albums in recording history.
Williams? compositional talent isn?t confined to the silver screen. He has written many concert pieces, including two symphonies, a cello concerto premiered by Yo-Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and several other instrumental concerti.
The versatile musician currently holds the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor ? he has conducted the group since 1980 and has led them on tours of Japan.
He is also an Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood, where he has conducted major orchestras like the London Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Professor of Conducting and Ensembles Donald Hunsberger has spearheaded William?s visit to Eastman. Over 30 years ago, Hunsberger and the Eastman Wind Ensemble recorded Williams? ?Sinfonietta for Wind Ensemble,? which received positive critical reviews.
Eastman then commissioned Williams to compose a work for Hunsberger and the Wind Ensemble to commemorate the Wind Ensemble?s 50th anniversary. In 1972, Williams came to Rochester to rehearse with the group. His piece, ?A Nostalgic Jazz Odyssey,? premiered at Eastman in April of 1972.
Sunday?s program will consist entirely of works by Williams. The Eastman Philharmonia, the group that Williams will guest conduct, is regarded by many as Eastman?s premier orchestra.
General admission to this special concert event costs $8, but tickets are free to UR faculty, staff and students with ID. Tickets must be obtained through Ticket Express before the concert, either by visiting 100 East Ave. in person or by calling 222-5000.