The Kennedy Center and the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) will celebrate John Williams’ 90th birthday with a three-day festival honoring the renowned composer in June 2022. John Williams, a five-time Academy Award and 25-time Grammy Award winner, will be recognized across three evenings of concerts and events at the Kennedy Center.
John Williams 90th Birthday Celebration at The Kennedy Center
On 22 June, to mark the 40th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Principal Pops conductor Steven Reineke and the NSO will perform John Williams’ complete score as the movie is shown.
On 23 June John Williams will be the guest of honor for the 90th Birthday Gala Concert featuring the NSO conducted by Stéphane Denève and many special guests including Steven Spielberg, Yo-Yo Ma, and Anne-Sophie Mutter. This concert also serves as a fundraiser for NSO’s new endowment for music education, launched in honor of this special occasion.
The Kennedy Center’s festival concludes on 24 June with Steven Reineke and the NSO performing John Williams’ score for the 1993 Oscar-winning film Jurassic Park live to picture. Audiences are invited to join a special pre-concert Q&A with John Williams and Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter.
“John’s extraordinary music has transcended its original use in film to become part of the standard orchestral repertoire,” said NSO Executive Director Gary Ginstling. “Of course, his music is thrilling as a film score, but it is equally at home in the concert hall, and has been embraced by generations of classical music fans and new audiences alike. The NSO is honored to celebrate an incredible body of work by one of America’s favorite composers.”
“Few people have been more influential in American music”
“Few people have been more influential in American music than John Williams,” added Kennedy Center President Deborah F. Rutter. “I’m humbled by John’s enthusiasm to hold his 90th birthday celebration here at the Kennedy Center during our 50th anniversary season, and delighted that in celebrating him, we are also launching a new fund for music education – something about which John is incredibly passionate. He is a lifelong friend of musicians and a staunch advocate for music education at all ages.”
John Williams’ movie soundtracks are among the best-loved of all time and have received countless prestigious awards, including five Academy Awards and 52 Oscar nominations, twenty-five Grammys, seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), four Golden Globes, five Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records.
Tickets for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in Concert and Jurassic Park in Concert ($29–$99) and John Williams: The 90th Birthday Gala Concert ($99-$199) are on sale now.
John Williams will also celebrate his 90th birthday by releasing his new album, The Berlin Concert, on 4 February 2022. The recording features Williams conducting the Berlin Philharmonic for the first time and includes some of his best-known film music captured live during a series of sold-out concerts.
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