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John Williams Conducts Berlin Philharmonic For The First Time On ‘The Berlin Concert’

John Williams’ historic debut with the Berlin Philharmonic on new album ‘The Berlin Concert’ features some of his best-known film music.

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John Williams and the Berlin Philharmonic - photo
John Williams and the Berlin Philharmonic. Photo: Deutsche Grammophon/Stephan Rabold

John Williams conducts the Berlin Philharmonic, one of the world’s greatest orchestras, for the first time on his new album The Berlin Concert. This historic debut, featuring some of John Williams’ best-known film music captured live during a series of sold-out concerts, will be released on 4 February 2022 to celebrate the renowned composer’s 90th birthday just four days later. After the concert Rolling Stone noted, “John Williams doesn’t need the films, the films need him”. Fans can watch a preview of the concert on 2 January 2022 when it will be streamed in full on Deutsche Grammophon’s online platform DG Stage.

“Truly a great honour and a privilege” – John Williams

John Williams In Vienna, featuring the multi-award-winning composer’s debut concert with the Vienna Philharmonic was the best-selling symphonic recording of 2020. John Williams – The Berlin Concert now complements that programme with additional repertoire including some of the world’s best-known film music and some lesser-known gems such as the Suite from Far and Away and the moving Elegy for cello and orchestra. Before the concert John Williams confided to the players, “For any musician to be standing in front of this orchestra, and to be here with you for these few moments, is truly a great honour and a privilege,” and the feeling was clearly mutual.

Features some of the world’s best-known film music

John Williams – The Berlin Concert opens with the Olympic Fanfare and Theme, written for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, representing what Williams has described as “the spirit of cooperation, of heroic achievement, and all the striving and preparation of our great athletes”. That spirit flows throughout his Berlin Concert which includes performances of the ‘Superman March’, the Theme from Jurassic Park, excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones films, and encores including ‘The Flying Theme’ from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and ‘The Imperial March’ from Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

John Williams – The Berlin Concert will be released digitally and on 2 CDs and will also be available in a limited deluxe edition (2 CDs + 2 Blu-ray discs), including a Dolby Atmos sound mix, both video and audio only, as well as a Surround 5.1 version. A limited gold vinyl 7-inch disc featuring the ‘Superman March’ and ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be available exclusively D2C from 4 February. A limited 180g vinyl edition (2 LPs) of the album and an exclusive D2C gold vinyl version will be released on 29 April.

John Williams’ movie soundtracks are among the best-loved of all time and have received countless prestigious awards, including five Oscars, five Emmys, four Golden Globes and twenty-five Grammys. His extensive catalogue also includes other symphonic and chamber works, as well as innovative arrangements of his iconic cinema themes.

The world premiere recording of John Williams’ Violin Concerto No. 2, featuring star violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will be released in summer 2022 as part of the continuing celebrations for the composer’s 90th birthday.

John Williams – The Berlin Concert will be released on 4 February 2022 and can be pre-ordered here.

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