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John Williams And Vienna Philharmonic Celebrate Star Wars Day With A Gold Record

‘John Williams In Vienna’ featuring the legendary composer’s debut with the Vienna Philharmonic has been certified gold.

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John Williams and Anne Sophie Mutter photo with gold disc
John Williams; Anne-Sophie Mutter; Daniel Froschauer, Chairman of the Wiener Philharmoniker. Photo: Deutsche Grammophon

Legendary composer John Williams is delighted to announce on Star Wars Day, 4 May 2022, and in his 90th-birthday year, that John Williams In Vienna, his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic featuring star violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, has been certified gold in Germany. The Deutsche Grammophon recording presents iconic themes from cinematic landmarks including Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park.

John Williams, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniel Froschauer, chairman of the Vienna Philharmonic, were presented with their gold discs at a private ceremony in March, when conductor, soloist and orchestra were reunited at the Vienna Musikverein for the European premiere of Williams’ Violin Concerto No. 2, written especially for the world-renowned violinist.

“It truly was the experience of a lifetime”

John Williams said, “I’m very grateful to Deutsche Grammophon for celebrating the success of this very special album which I was so pleased to record with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the magnificent Vienna Philharmonic in 2020. It truly was the experience of a lifetime.”

“We couldn’t be happier about this latest milestone,” added Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “John Williams’ debut in Vienna was a hugely memorable occasion and I’m delighted that we were able to present him with the gold disc during this momentous birthday year and, at the same time, honour Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Vienna Philharmonic for their extraordinary musical achievement. Having defined the sound of film music for more than half a century, John recently followed up the global success of the Vienna concert with The Berlin Concert, which topped the album charts here in Germany. We feel privileged to be working in partnership with him to release not only his magical film music but also ambitious contemporary works such as his new Violin Concerto, which is dedicated to Anne-Sophie.”

John Williams made his historic conducting debut with the Vienna Philharmonic in January 2020, just weeks before his 88th birthday. He told the audience that the invitation to work with the orchestra was “one of the greatest honours of my life.” The legendary composer and world-famous orchestra were joined for their two concerts at the Musikverein by star violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter who performed a selection of virtuosic arrangements written specially for her by John Williams including ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ from Harry Potter and ‘Devil’s Dance’ from The Witches Of Eastwick and the Theme from Sabrina.

John Williams In Vienna was the best-selling orchestral album of 2020

John Williams In Vienna, released in August 2020, received critical acclaim and became the best-selling orchestral album of 2020. An extended live edition, featuring six bonus tracks and on-stage commentary by Williams, was released digitally and on CD, vinyl and Blu-ray in February 2021 to celebrate the composer’s 89th birthday. Both editions are also available in an immersive Dolby Atmos surround sound mix.

The world premiere recording of John Williams’ Violin Concerto No. 2, performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer, will be released on 3 June 2022 as part of the continuing celebrations to celebrate the legendary composer’s 90th birthday year. “I can only think of this piece as being about Anne-Sophie. I took my inspiration and energy directly from this great artist herself,” explained John Williams. Anne-Sophie Mutter added, “It has been a lifelong dream of mine to have John Williams compose a concerto for me.” The album also includes three more film themes newly arranged for the violinist by John Williams: the Theme from The Long Goodbye, ‘Han Solo and the Princess’ from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and ‘Marion’s Theme’ from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Buy or stream John Williams In Vienna here.

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