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John Williams

Born 1932

Early Life

John Williams was born in 1932 in New York. When he was 16 he and his family moved to  Los Angeles in 1948. In college he studied music composition and then he was drafted into the United States Air Force, where he composed and arranged music for the Air Force Band.  When he got out of the Air Force he returned to New York and studied Piano at Juilliard School of Music. He worked as a jazz pianist for a time before moving back to Los Angeles to begin his career in the film studios.


When he started out in Los Angeles, he worked as an orchestrator - the person who decides what instruments play the different parts of the music. He soon moved on to composing his own music for films. His big break was when he was asked by director, Steven Spielberg to write the music for the movie "Jaws". From there he went on to compose the music for close to eighty films including some of the most famous themes ever written for movies.

These include

  • Harry Potter

  • Jaws

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind

  •  ET - the Extraterrestrial

  •  Jurassic Park

  • Star Wars 

  • Indiana Jones 

  • Home Alone,

  • Empire of the Sun

  • Schindler's List

Williams has been nominated for 45 Academy Award nominations - more than anyone else other than Walt Disney.  He has also composed the themes for the NBC News, the 1987 International Special Olympics, and the 1984, 1988, and 1996 Summer Olympic Games, and much more! He is still composing today!

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