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Boston Pops Orchestra
Across the Stars: Music of John Williams

Tanglewood

Koussevitzky Music Shed - Lenox, MA View Map

Join the Boston Pops for the first of three programs this summer, celebrating the art of John Williams. Drawing from her recent recording “Across the Stars,” the great violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter performs selections from Mr. Williams’ iconic scores, in brilliant new arrangements created especially for her. The program includes music from Star Wars, Dracula and Harry Potter, as well as the haunting melodies of Memoirs of a Geisha.

Featured Performers

John Williams, conductor
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In a career spanning five decades, John Williams has become one of America's most accomplished and successful composers for film and for the concert stage. He has served as music director and laureate conductor of one of the country's treasured musical institutions, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and he maintains thriving artistic relationships with many of the world's great orchestras. He remains one of our nation's most distinguished and contributive musical voices.

Mr. Williams has composed the music and served as music director for more than 100 films. His nearly 40-year artistic partnership with director Steven Spielberg has resulted in many of Hollywood's most acclaimed and successful films, including Schindler's List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Indiana Jones films, Lincoln, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, The Adventures of Tintin, Amistad, Munich, Hook, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, and Empire of the Sun.   Mr. Williams also composed the scores for all six Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman, JFK, Born on the Fourth of July, Memoirs of a Geisha, Far and Away, The Accidental Tourist, Home Alone, Nixon, The Patriot, Angela's Ashes, Seven Years in Tibet, The Witches of Eastwick, Rosewood, Sleepers, Sabrina, Presumed Innocent, The Cowboys, The Reivers, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, among many others. His most recent film project was The Book Thief.  He has worked with such legendary directors as Alfred Hitchcock, William Wyler, and Robert Altman. He adapted the score for the film version of Fiddler on the Roof, for which he composed original violin cadenzas for renowned virtuoso Isaac Stern. He has appeared on recordings as pianist and conductor with Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Jessye Norman, and others. Mr. Williams has received five Academy Awards and a total of forty-nine Oscar nominations, making him the Academy's most-nominated living person. He also has received seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), twenty-one Grammys, four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records.

A composition student of Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Mr. Williams also studied piano at the Juilliard School with Madame Rosina Lhevinne. He began his career in the film industry working with such accomplished composers as Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for more than 200 television films for the groundbreaking, early anthology series Alcoa Theatre, Kraft Television Theatre, Chrysler Theatre, and Playhouse 90. His more recent contributions to television music include themes for NBC Nightly News ("The Mission"), the theme for what has become network television's longest-running series, NBC's Meet the Press, and the prestigious PBS arts showcase Great Performances.

Mr. Williams has composed numerous works for the concert stage, among them two symphonies, and concertos for flute, oboe, violin, clarinet, viola, and tuba. His cello concerto was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and premiered by Yo-Yo Ma at Tanglewood in 1994. Mr. Williams also has filled commissions by several of the world's leading orchestras, including a bassoon concerto for the New York Philharmonic, a trumpet concerto for the Cleveland Orchestra, and a horn concerto for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. "Seven for Luck," a seven-piece song cycle for soprano and orchestra based on texts by former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove, was premiered by the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood in 1998. And at the opening concert of their 2009-10 season, James Levine led the Boston Symphony in the premiere of Mr. Williams's "On Willows and Birches," a new concerto for harp and orchestra.

In January 1980, Mr. Williams was named nineteenth conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, succeeding the legendary Arthur Fiedler. He currently holds the title of Laureate Conductor, which he assumed following his retirement in December 1993, after fourteen highly successful seasons. He also holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood.

One of America's best-known and most distinctive artistic voices, Mr. Williams has composed music for many important cultural and commemorative events, including "Liberty Fanfare" for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, "American Journey" for the America's Millennium concert in Washington, D.C., on New Year's Eve 1999, and "Soundings" for the gala opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. In the world of sport, he has contributed musical themes for the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Mr. Williams holds honorary degrees from twenty-one American universities, including The Juilliard School, Boston College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, The Eastman School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the University of Southern California. He is a recipient of the 2009 National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the United States Government. In 2003 he received the Olympic Order, the IOC's highest honor, for his contributions to the Olympic movement. He served as the Grand Marshal of the 2004 Rose Parade in Pasadena, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honor in December 2004. In January 2009, Mr. Williams composed and arranged "Air and Simple Gifts" especially for the inaugural ceremony of President Barack Obama.

John Williams, conductor David Newman, conductor
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David Newman is one of today’s most accomplished creators of music for film. In his 30-year career he has scored more than 110 films, ranging from War of the Roses, Matilda, Bowfinger, and Heathers to the more recent Five Flights Up and Serenity. His music has brought to life the critically acclaimed dramas Brokedown Palace and Hoffa; top-grossing comedies Galaxy Quest and Throw Mama from the Train; and award-winning animated films Ice AgeThe Brave Little Toaster, and Anastasia. Mr. Newman holds an Academy Award nomination for his score to Anastasia, and was the first composer to have a piece — 1001Nights — performed in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s FILMHARMONIC series, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

Mr. Newman is also a highly sought-after conductor and appears with leading orchestras throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. In Fall 2017, Mr. Newman conducted the world premiere of John Williams' epic film series, Star Wars - Episodes IV, V, VI and VII, with the New York Philharmonic.

The son of nine-time Oscar-winning composer Alfred Newman and an active composer for the concert hall, David Newman has composed works that have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, and Long Beach Symphony, as well as at the Ravinia Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival. He also composed a violin-orchestra suite for Sarah Chang based on the songs from the Broadway hit West Side Story. Passionate about nurturing the next generation of musicians, Newman serves on the Board of the American Youth Symphony, a 51-year-old pre-professional orchestra based in Los Angeles, and in 2010 he served on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival in the Film Scoring Program.

Newman is married to wife Krystyna, and is the father of two girls, Diana and stepdaughter Brianne.

 

David Newman, conductor
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
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Anne-Sophie Mutter is a musical phenomenon and virtuoso who, for more than 40 years, has been a fixture in all the world’s major concert halls, making her mark in classical music as a soloist, mentor and visionary.

Since her recital debut at the 1976 Lucerne Festival and solo debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Herbert von Karajan at the 1977 Salzburg Whitsun Festival, Ms. Mutter has frequently performed with the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony, Gewandhaus Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and has collaborated with the most prominent composers and musicians of our time.
Ms. Mutter is as equally committed to the great canonical works as to the future of music, and has given the world premieres of 26 works, many written for her, by composers including Unsuk Chin, Sebastian Currier, Henri Dutilleux, Sofia Gubaidulina, Witold Lutoslawski, Norbert Moret, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir André Previn, Wolfgang Rihm and John Williams.

Ms. Mutter’s 2018/2019 season includes a six-city tour of China in October 2018 with the Sinfonia Varsovia featuring works by Krzysztof Penderecki on the occasion of his 85th birthday. In November 2018, Ms. Mutter returns to the Staakskapelle Berlin with the German premiere of Williams’ Markings for Solo Violin, Strings, and Harp for the Deutsche Grammophon‘s 120th Anniversary Jubilee Concert conducted by Manfred Honeck, followed by appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Edinburgh and Glasgow performing Penderecki’s “Metamorphosen” with the conductor on the podium.

In March 2019, Ms. Mutter returns to North America for a five-city tour of the U.S. and Canada featuring the world premiere of Currier’s Piano Trio at Carnegie Hall on March 12. Ms. Mutter then embarks on an extensive tour performing Mozart’s Violin Concertos with the Chamber Orchestra Vienna-Berlin—consisting of members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Wiener Philharmoniker—in May and June 2019 with performances throughout Germany, Austria, Spain, Greece, and the U.S.

Dedicated to fostering the careers of emerging musicians, Ms. Mutter founded the “Association of Friends of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation e.V.” in 1997, to which the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation was added in 2008. Since 2011, she has regularly shared the spotlight on stage with the foundation’s exclusive ensemble of fellows, The Mutter Virtuosi. She has featured them in recordings, including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons,andSchubert’s “Trout” Quintet with Daniil Trifonov.

The four-time Grammy® Award winner released an all-Penderecki album in August 2018 titled Hommage à Penderecki, which included the world premiere recording of the composer’s Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano. The album marks the culmination of Ms. Mutter’s season-wide celebration of Penderecki’s 85th birthday in 2018, which has included recitals across U.S. and Europe, performed with the London Philharmonic, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and at Carnegie Hall.
                                                                                                                   
Ms. Mutter has received international awards and honors, including the Polish Gold Medal for Merit to Culture, the Bavarian State Foundation Culture Prize, the Romanian Order of Cultural Merit in the rank of Grand Officer, the insignia of a Commander of the French Order of Arts and Literature, the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum for her services to music education and young artists, the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, and the German Grand Order of Merit, among numerous others.

 

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin