John Williams: 90th Birthday Bonanza
Friday 4 & Saturday 5 February 2022, 7.30pm
Perth Concert Hall
West Australian Symphony Orchestra acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and Elders of Country throughout Western Australia, and the Whadjuk Noongar people on whose lands we work and share music. We pay respect to all First Nations People and their rich cultures that include music and song. We recognise their continuing connection to land, water and community.
How to use your Digital Program
You are welcome to use this digital program at the concert throughout the performance.
• Please enable Concert Mode at the top of your screen to ensure minimal disruption to those around you.
• For the enjoyment of all, please mute videos whilst in the Auditorium.
• Your mobile phone must be switched to silent throughout the performance.
• Photography, sound and video recordings are only permitted prior to the start of the performance, or after the musicians have bowed at the end.
• For more information, see Your Concert Experience.
John Williams: 90th Birthday Bonanza
Olympic Fanfare and Theme
Hook: Flight to Neverland
Jaws: Out to Sea
Jaws: The Shark Cage Fugue
Schindler’s List: Main Theme
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Harry’s Wondrous World
The Adventures of Indiana Jones: Marion’s Theme
The Adventures of Indiana Jones: Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Adventures on Earth
Interval (25 mins)
Jurassic Park: Theme
Memoirs of a Geisha: Sayuri’s Theme
Star Wars – The Phantom Menace: Anakin’s Theme
Star Wars – The Last Jedi: The Rebellion is Reborn
Star Wars – A New Hope: Princess Leia’s Theme
Star Wars – The Force Awakens: Scherzo for X-wings
Star Wars – A New Hope: Throne Room and End Title
Jen Winley conductor
Semra Lee-Smith violin
WASO On Stage
Principal 2nd Violin
Assoc Principal 2nd Violin
Bao Di Tang
• Tokyo Gas
• Pamela & Josh Pitt
Acting Principal Oboe
• Sam & Leanne Walsh
• Stelios Jewellers
★ Rod & Margaret Marston
Principal 3rd Horn
Francesco Lo Surdo
• Dr Ken Evans AM & Dr Glenda Campbell-Evans
• Peter & Jean Stokes
★ Section partnered by
• Chair partnered by
* Instruments used by these musicians are on loan from Janet Holmes à Court AC.
About the Conductor
Jen Winley is WASO’s 2022 Assistant Conductor.
Jen completed a Bachelor of Music in Percussion at WAAPA in 1999. Moving to Melbourne in 2000, Jen worked principally with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in percussion and timpani including international tours, and regularly with Orchestra Victoria. In high demand as a freelance percussionist, Jen also performed regularly with the WA Symphony Orchestra and as a guest musician for the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony orchestras.
As a conductor, Jen began her career in 2019 with the WA Youth Orchestra. In January 2020 Jen was a participant in the prestigious Australian Conducting Academy Summer School, run by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and completed WASO’s Emerging Conductors program in 2021.
Recently named as a rising star in the conducting world, 2020 saw Jen successfully debut as conductor with several orchestras in Perth including the WA Symphony Orchestra and Perth Symphony Orchestra. 2021 saw repeat engagements including her live film conducting debut of Home Alone in Concert with WASO.
In 2021, Jen founded Banksia Ensemble; a flexible chamber orchestra designed for early-career professional orchestral musicians and for the promotion of works by underrepresented composers.
The WASO Assistant Conductor position is supported by the Simon Lee Foundation.
Guy Noble is unable to perform this concert as originally scheduled due to travel restrictions resulting from COVID-19. We are grateful to Jen Winley for joining us tonight.
About John Williams
The statistics speak for themselves: five Academy Awards, over 50 Oscar nominations, and a score which in 2005 topped the American Film Institute’s list of the 25 greatest film scores of the century (Star Wars). John Williams is justly famous for his sweeping, richly scored themes, but the breadth of his screen output shows that he is proficient in almost every genre of symphonic cinematic scoring.
The eclecticism that characterises his music is largely a result of his background and training. Born the son of a jazz drummer (Johnny Williams Snr played for CBS Radio and Columbia Pictures), he was exposed to the rigours of professional musical life from an early age. Williams spent hours watching his father work and credits this with fostering a fascination with orchestral textures. Formal music studies in California were followed by a stint in the US Air Force, where he composed and arranged for military bands. On being discharged, he moved to New York where he studied piano at Juilliard and picked up work as a jazz pianist and arranger.
Williams subsequently returned to Los Angeles, where his sight-reading abilities earned him a job as a pianist with Columbia Studios. He had no particular interest in film music at this point but a chance opportunity resulted in arranging work, which he eagerly accepted. It was during his next job, however, working at Universal under Alfred Newman and Bernard Herrmann, that Williams really served his apprenticeship and developed the kind of musicianship and work ethic that would make him one of Hollywood’s most prolific and versatile film composers. Under the terms of his seven-year contract he had to write the music for 39-40 one-hour television shows per year – on average one every week. For this he had to hop between genres – one week a comedy, the next a western, the following a space opera. ‘I was not selective,’ he says. ‘I would do whatever I was given and had no idea it would lead to being a film composer.’ However, that it did, and it was his scores for the films The Reivers and The Cowboys that caught the ear of the 27-year-old Steven Spielberg, who asked him to score his debut feature, The Sugarland Express (1974). Thus began an artistic partnership that has endured for almost 50 years. Williams’ collaborations with Spielberg and George Lucas have resulted in his most successful scores, and have led to his being credited with restoring the symphonic component to the modern film score.
What is it about Williams’ movie themes that makes them so memorable? That he has a melodic gift is undeniable; his extensive musicianship is not in question. His real genius, however, lies in his ability to devise a seemingly simple theme, perhaps consisting of a mere few notes, with which he is able to extract the full dramatic essence of a story or character. Moreover, he is able to convey this essence to the viewer using musical language that resonates instantaneously. Williams was aware of Spielberg’s and Lucas’ desire to recapture the romanticism and excitement of the black-and-white movies and action serials of their childhood, and so he mined his by now extensive film composer’s arsenal to create a fitting musical accompaniment.
His psychological and dramatic insights aren’t confined to the action-adventure blockbuster, however. In Jaws, the jaunty sea shanty introduced by woodwind as Quint, Brody and Hooper set out to sea gives way to the flight and chase of a fugue in the strings as the hunters become the hunted. In Hook, the magical strains of the celeste and glockenspiel glistening atop orchestral triplets transport us to Neverland. Such is Williams’ reputation that he can attract some of the most respected names in classical music to collaborate on his projects, including Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming and Itzhak Perlman, the latter having played the haunting violin solo in the theme from Schindler’s List. So unerring are his dramatic instincts that Spielberg credits Williams with making him a ‘better director than I could ever have been without him’.
The esteem in which Spielberg holds the composer is best summed up by an anecdote related by Williams himself, who tells of being so moved by the initial screening of Schindler’s List that he had to step outside to compose himself. When he expressed the concern that he didn’t think he could do it and that perhaps Spielberg should find another composer, the latter replied, ‘I know, but they’re all dead.’ Among film’s greatest composers, for Steven Spielberg at least, John Williams is the last man standing.
Adapted from a note by Lorraine Neilson
Symphony Services International © 2014/2017
The Genius of John Williams - Star Wars Trilogy
Engage | Excite | Experience | Educate
From the centre of Perth to the furthest corners of the state, we have provided the soundtrack to life in WA since 1928.
As the State Orchestra, Perth’s first and finest, WASO is the largest employer of performing artists in Western Australia and reaches two million people with musical experiences each year on stage, in our community, and online.
From concert halls to classrooms, hospitals to aged care, we bring joy, inspire learning, and nurture participation in our community, because everybody deserves the opportunity to experience live music. Every year, through community and leading industry partnerships, we engage a new generation of young and emerging artists to help secure a bright future for music in Australia.
We celebrate our rich classical music heritage with great artists from all over the world and commission and perform new repertoire to renew and expand it. The Orchestra collaborates widely with major arts companies and independent artists, performing opera to ballet, movies to musicals, jazz to rock. We champion the diversity of music in all its forms, with a team of talented and passionate people who create unforgettable experiences for all West Australians to enjoy.
Asher Fisch is Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of our Orchestra and we are proud to call Perth Concert Hall home.
Your Concert Experience
FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF ALL
When to applaud? Musicians love applause. Audience members normally applaud:
• When the conductor walks onto the stage
• After the completion of each piece and at the end of the performance
When you need to cough, try to do it discreetly. Cough lozenges are available from the WASO Ticket Collection Desk before each performance and at the interval.
Hearing aids that are incorrectly adjusted may disturb other patrons, please be mindful of those around you.
Mobile phones and other electronic devices need to be switched off or silenced throughout the performance.
Photography, sound and video recordings are permitted prior to the start of the performance.
Latecomers and patrons who leave the auditorium will be seated only after the completion of a work.
Moving to empty seats. Please do not move to empty seats prior to the performance as this may affect seating for latecomers when they are admitted during a suitable break.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
You are now able to take your cold drinks to your seat.
Foyer bars are open for drinks and coffee two hours before, during interval and after the concert. To save time we recommend you pre-order your interval drinks.
There are St John Ambulance officers present at every concert so please speak to them if you require any first aid assistance.
• A universal accessible toilet is available on the ground floor (Level 1).
• The Sennheiser MobileConnect Personal Hearing Assistance system is available for every seat in the auditorium. Visit perthconcerthall.com.au/your-visit/accessibility/ for further information.
WASO BOX OFFICE
Buy your WASO tickets and subscriptions, exchange tickets, or make a donation at the Box Office on the ground floor (Level 1) prior to each performance and at interval. Tickets for other performances at Perth Concert Hall will be available for purchase only at interval. Please note that 30 minutes prior to performance, the Box Office will only be available for sales to that night’s performance.
The Box Office is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, and contactable on 9326 0000.
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