Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

John Williams (3)

This page covers the author of Star Wars: A New Hope: Original 1977 Motion Picture Soundtrack.

For other authors named John Williams, see the disambiguation page.

MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
2,167 (27,872)28311,699 (4.01)1
John Williams was born February 8, 1932 in Floral Park, Long Island, New York. Williams discovered music almost immediately, as the son of a percussionist for CBS Radio and the Raymond Scott Quintet. He moved to Los Angeles in 1948, and started experimenting with arranging tunes; at age 15, he decided he was going to become a concert pianist; at 19 he premiered his first original composition, a piano sonata. Williams attended both UCLA and the Los Angeles City College, studying orchestration under MGM musical associate Robert van Eps while being privately tutored by composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He conducted for the first time during a three year stint in the U.S. Air Force. After he returned to the states, he went to Julliard, where renowned piano pedagogue Madame Rosina Lhevinne helped Williams hone his performance skills. He played in jazz clubs to pay his way. Williams found work with the Hollywood studios as a piano player, eventually accompanying such fare such as the TV series "Peter Gunn", South Pacific, Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, and To Kill a Mockingbird. At age 24, Williams became a staff arranger at Columbia and then at 20th Century-Fox. The orchestrating gigs led to serious composing jobs for television, notably "Gilligan's Island", "Lost in Space" and his Emmy-winning scores for Heidi and Jane Eyre. Daddy-O and Because They're Young brought his original music to the big theatres, but he was typecast doing comedies. The Reivers is what caught the ear of director Steven Spielberg, then preparing The Sugarland Express. When Spielberg reunited with Williams on Jaws, Williams gained his first Academy Award for Original Score, and Spielberg promptly recommended Williams to a friend, George Lucas. Star Wars became the best selling score-only soundtrack of all time. For the next five years, Williams wrote big scores for big films, including The Fury, Superman, 1941 and Raiders of the Lost Ark. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial brought about his third Oscar, and The River, Empire of the Sun, The Accidental Tourist, and Born on the Fourth of July were also hits, but Williams returned to television with work on Amazing Stories and themes for NBC, including NBC Nightly News. Williams intended to retire during the 1990s, particularly after Jurassic Park and the Oscar-winning Schindler's List, but he went on to produce scores for two Home Alone films, JFK, Nixon, Sleepers, Seven Years in Tibet, Saving Private Ryan , Angela's Ashes , and a return to familiar territory with Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. His relationships with Spielberg and Lucas continue in Artificial Intelligence: AI, the remaining Star Wars prequels, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, and a promised fourth Indiana Jones film. One highlight is his musical magic for the world of Harry Potter, which he also arranged into a concert suite geared toward teaching children about the symphony orchestra. Williams was conductor of the Boston Pops for 12 years, as well as working extensively with the London Symphony Orchestra. He currently serves as the Pop's Conductor Laureate. Williams is the most Oscar-nominated living individual, with an astounding 41 nominations. In 2003 his total increased to 42, after receiving a nomination for Catch Me If You Can. He is the composer of the biggest-selling instrumental single of all-time, and the only one to be officially awarded Platinum status for Star Wars Theme and Cantina Band. Williams has earned more than twenty Gold and Platinum Records, two Emmys, three Golden Globes, 18 Grammys, National Board of Review (including a Career Achievement Award), 6 Saturns, and 7 BAFTA citations, along with honorary doctorate degrees numbering in the teens. (Bowker Author Biography) — biography from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (Piano/Vocal/Songbook)… (more)
Star Wars Trilogy [6 CD] 34 copies, 1 review
Star Tracks 9 copies
Williams: American Journey 9 copies, 1 review
Time Warp (Composer) 9 copies
Saving Private Ryan [songbook] (Composer) 8 copies
Swing 5 copies
Unforgettable 5 copies
The Imperial March 3 copies, 1 review
Pops Stoppers 3 copies
Music From the Star Wars Saga (Composer) 2 copies
Exsultate Justi 2 copies, 1 review
A Celebration 2 copies
Concerto 1 copy
Encore! 1 copy
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone [2001 film] (Composer) 2,233 copies, 22 reviews
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban [2004 film] (Composer) 1,746 copies, 11 reviews
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets [2002 film] (Composer) 1,714 copies, 12 reviews
Star Wars: The Force Awakens [2015 film] (Composer) 1,028 copies, 8 reviews
Saving Private Ryan [1998 film] (Composer) 807 copies, 8 reviews
Jurassic Park [1993 film] (Composer) 801 copies, 5 reviews
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial [1982 film] (Composer) 800 copies, 10 reviews
Schindler's List [1993 film] (Composer) 715 copies, 16 reviews
Jaws [1975 film] (Composer) 682 copies, 7 reviews
Star Wars: The Last Jedi [2017 film] (Composer) 616 copies, 8 reviews
Return of the Jedi [1983 film] (Composer) 589 copies, 6 reviews
Hook [1991 film] (Composer) 583 copies, 3 reviews
The Patriot [unknown film] (Composer) 573 copies, 3 reviews
War of the Worlds [2005 film] (Composer) 568 copies, 1 review
Star Wars [1977 film] (Composer) 567 copies, 8 reviews
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [1989 film] (Composer) 564 copies, 8 reviews
Home Alone [1990 film] (Composer) 531 copies, 5 reviews
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom [1984 film] (Composer) 523 copies, 6 reviews
Close Encounters of the Third Kind [1977 film] (Composer) 515 copies, 11 reviews
Memoirs of a Geisha [2005 film] (Composer) 468 copies, 5 reviews
Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection (Composer) 468 copies, 3 reviews
The Empire Strikes Back [1980 film] (Composer) 410 copies, 6 reviews
Lincoln [2012 film] (Composer) 360 copies, 4 reviews
A.I. Artificial Intelligence [2001 film] (Composer) 346 copies, 5 reviews
The Book Thief [2013 film] (Composer) 334 copies, 9 reviews
War Horse [2011 film] (Composer) 294 copies, 1 review
Superman [1978 film] (Composer) 293 copies, 4 reviews
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Composer) 286 copies, 1 review
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York [1992 film] (Composer) 264 copies, 2 reviews
Munich [2005 film] (Composer) 260 copies, 6 reviews
Amistad [1997 film] (Composer) 212 copies, 3 reviews
1941 [1979 film] (Actor) 133 copies, 4 reviews
The Post [2017 film] (Composer) 131 copies, 2 reviews
Stepmom [1998 film] (Composer) 126 copies
Midway [1976 film] (Composer) 121 copies, 3 reviews
Empire of the Sun [1987 film] (Composer) 113 copies, 3 reviews
JFK [1991 film] (Composer) 97 copies
Always [1989 film] (Composer) 76 copies, 2 reviews
Space Camp [1986 film] (Composer) 61 copies, 1 review
The Eiger Sanction [1975 film] (Composer) 38 copies
The Fabelmans [2022 film] (Composer) 32 copies, 2 reviews
Obi-Wan Kenobi [2022 TV miniseries] (Composer) 7 copies, 2 reviews
Spirit of America 6 copies, 1 review
Dear Brigitte [1965 film] (Actor) 6 copies

Top members (books)

Member favorites

Members: cannellfan

action (530) action/adventure (57) adventure (589) Anthony Daniels (48) Blu-ray (314) Carrie Fisher (58) CD (125) Christmas (70) comedy (115) drama (390) DVD (2,588) family (132) fantasy (689) Feature Films (53) fiction (223) film (419) George Lucas (61) Harrison Ford (129) Harry Potter (179) history (81) Indiana Jones (86) John Williams (69) magic (111) movie (834) movies (321) music (132) PG (86) science fiction (1,054) series (60) soundtrack (168) Star Wars (519) Steven Spielberg (85) thriller (99) USA (58) VHS (204) video (86) war (129) watched (67) widescreen (55) WWII (156)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
3. The most prolific "author" here on LT is the US composer, John Towner Williams b. 1932. Do not confuse with the Australian guitarist in 32.

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Member ratings

Average: (4.01)
0.5 5
1 51
1.5 15
2 67
2.5 39
3 311
3.5 142
4 559
4.5 140
5 740

Author pictures (2)


(see all 2 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

"John Williams" is composed of at least 73 distinct authors, divided by their works. You can edit the division.

Name disambiguation

Go to the disambiguation page to edit author name combination and separation.


John Williams is composed of 6 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 195,090,635 books! | Top bar: Always visible