Program Notes

John Williams and Home Alone

Ever since Home Alone appeared, it has held a unique place in the affections of a very broad public. Director Chris Columbus brought a uniquely fresh and innocent approach to this delightful story, and the film has deservedly become a perennial at Holiday time.

I took great pleasure in composing the score for the film, and I am especially delighted that the magnificent San Francisco Symphony has agreed to perform the music in a live presentation of the movie.

I know I speak for everyone connected with the making of the film in saying that we are greatly honored by this event… and I hope that [the] audience will experience the renewal of joy that the film brings with it, each and every year.

John Williams            

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, and he remains one of our nation’s most distinguished and contributive musical voices. He has composed the music for more than one hundred films, including all eight Star Wars films, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman, Memoirs of a Geisha, Home Alone, and The Book Thief. His forty-five-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, Saving Private Ryan, Lincoln, The BFG, and The Post. Mr. Williams has composed themes for four Olympic Games. He served as music director of the Boston Pops Orchestra for fourteen seasons and remains their Laureate Conductor. He has composed numerous works for the concert stage including two symphonies, and concertos commissioned by many of America’s most prominent orchestras. Mr. Williams has received five Academy Awards and fifty Oscar nominations (making him the second-most nominated person in the history of the Oscars), seven British Academy Awards, twenty-three Grammys, four Golden Globes, and five Emmys. In 2003, he received the Olympic Order (the IOC’s highest honor) for his contributions to the Olympic movement. In 2004, he received the Kennedy Center Honor, and in 2009 he received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the US government. In 2016 he received the 44th Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, marking the first time a composer was honored with this award.

(December 2017)

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