John Williams: Conductor, Composer, Centennial Champion

John Williams has been a beloved friend of the LA Phil for more than 40 years. This summer, he made a significant commitment to ensure that future generations of composers like him will always find a welcoming creative home at the LA Phil.

With a generous gift to the LA Phil's Centennial Campaign, John and his wife Samantha have recently named the John and Samantha Williams Creative Chair (currently held by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams).

The Creative Chair is a critical curatorial role within the Los Angeles Philharmonic's leadership, responsible for discovering new voices, guiding their musical development, and often conducting their works from the stage of Walt Disney Concert Hall.

For four decades, John Williams has been conducting his music for Southern California audiences. At the 40th anniversary “John Williams Maestro of the Movies” concert at the Hollywood Bowl this past summer, Williams told the three sold-out crowds of 18,000 fans that it was the LA Phil and its then-General Manager Ernest Fleischmann who convinced him to take up the baton and conduct his own for the first time. Audiences have been benefiting from Williams’ brilliance as a composer and conductor ever since.

Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel described Williams' gifts eloquently when he joined him for a discussion about the art of film music: “Every note, every simple note that John puts in a score is a universe. And, that note will give us what we want to feel. In the end, this is the power of what he does."

We are deeply grateful to John Williams for making a tremendous commitment to the Centennial Campaign, in addition to everything he has already done for the LA Phil. Of his contributions (musical and otherwise), Williams is characteristically humble:

“It isn’t the music. It isn’t the orchestra. It isn’t the composer or the audience. It’s the connection, the nexus, the linking of all of that together. Composer? I’m just a guy who puts dots on the paper. It means nothing. Gustavo conducts it. The orchestra plays it. The audience hears it. It is this interconnection of all of these elements that make music music.”

Donors form a critical part of the interconnection that makes music music. Click here to find out more about how you too can support the future of music in our community.

How do I help?

By making a gift to support the Centennial Campaign today!

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