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John T(owner) Williams

American Born 08 Feb 1932

John Williams is perhaps the best known film composer ever, having worked with Steven Spielberg on many of his biggest films.  He was born on February 8th 1932 in New York, went to the University of Los Angeles in California and then (after a period of service in the US Air Force) attented the famous Juillard School.  In 1956 he became a studio pianist for Twentieth Century Fox, playing in their orchestra.  During this time he played on the theme tunes for Lost in Space and Land of the Giants among others, as well as composing for low budget films.  In 1967 Williams was invited to write the score for The Valley of the Dolls, for which he received his first Oscar nomination (he is currently up to 35).  Four years later he won three Oscars for his Fiddler on the Roof score.  Today Williams is still writing for the biggest films of Hollywood, as well as conducting, and releasing classical albums.

Much of cinema's best known music was written by Williams.  He wrote for all the Star Wars films (and will be scoring the forthcoming prequels), brought the rubber shark Jaws to life with his terrifying theme, and composed Superman's tune.  He also scored the Indiana Jones Trilogy, ET, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, and more recently Saving Private Ryan and AI.

The alien communication music in Close Encounters of the Third Kind was also a Williams composition.  Briefed to write a five-note theme by Steven Spielberg, he had written 350 different attempts before a mathematician informed him that there are over one hundred thousand possible combinations of five notes, at which point Williams decided to stop composing and choose one.  Apart from film music, Williams has written concert pieces including two symphonies, and various concertos for Bassoon, Cello, Flute and Clarinet.  He also composed the news theme for NBC (called The Mission) and themes for several Olympic games.  His son Jospeh Williams has achieved independent fame as a singer in the 80s pop band Toto and as the voice of Simba in The Lion King.

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