John Williams Wants To Be Thought Of As A Serious Composer

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Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, the resident staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about John Williams, who left the Boston Pops and has become synonymous with George Lucas and Stephan Spielberg movies.

But underneath those scores lies a composer for which Schram admires and would love to conduct more of.

[audio src="http://wosu.org/audioclassical/2006/john-williams.mp3"]

Highlights From This Interview:

Boyce: “He wants to be thought of as a serious composer, but when you say ‘John Williams,’ you think of Star Wars and you think of the music that he wrote for the Olympics, and you think of all of these fanfares, and there’s this sound that John Williams had. And now his recording with Yo-Yo Ma, there are some fabulous things on there, and there are some things on there that people are going to find difficult – if not impossible – to listen to.”

Albert-George: “First of all, I think that a lot of John Williams’ music is profoundly wonderful. And I’m talking about the very things we take so for granted. I think Star Wars is great music. And the man knows how to use a symphony orchestra. And that in itself speaks to me. I’m in love with the way symphony orchestras can sound, and made to sound by someone who knows how to orchestrate and write good things.”

Albert-George: “And there’s a lot of music that he does not really allow us to perform. I wish he would make it public. I want to do some music from The Seven Years in Tibet, and it’s not available. And I want to do music from Hook. He also wrote an incidental piece called The Reivers, and it was narrated Anthony Burgess, I think. (Ed. note: It was actually Burgess Meredith).”

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