Legendary composer John Williams puts the final notes on what may be his final film score, Indiana Jones 5, after six decades of spellbinding musical works on the big screen.
Williams, responsible for the heart-pounding soundtracks of more than 100 iconic movies – from Star Wars, Jaws and Jurassic Park to ET, Harry Potter, Superman and Schindler’s List – has hinted he will retire after turning 90 in February.
Scroll down for a selection of Williams’ most famous works, including the iconic Indiana Jones theme.
The musician – who has racked up five Oscar nominations, 25 Grammys and 52 Oscars – has been described by Steven Spielberg as “the single most important contributor to my success as a filmmaker”.
“Without John Williams, the bikes don’t really fly,” said the Hollywood director, a regular collaborator since he first invited Williams to a working lunch in 1972.
Opening up about a future away from composing film scores, Williams said: “Right now I’m working on Indiana Jones 5, which Harrison Ford – who’s a bit younger than me – has announced, I think, will be his last film.
“So I thought, ‘If Harrison can do it, then maybe I can too. “”
Ford, who turns 80 next month, has not publicly confirmed his retirement.
And Williams also seems reluctant to do so, revealing in an interview with The Associated Press how he doesn’t want “to be seen as categorically eliminating all activity.”
“I can’t play tennis, but I like to be able to believe that maybe one day I will,” he said, speaking from his home in Los Angeles.
Reflection on remaining ambitions
A Star Wars movie takes six months to complete, which “at this point in life is a long commitment for me,” Williams said.
Now he wants to pursue his passion for composing concert music – including a piano concerto he created for Grammy-winning American classical pianist Emanuel Axe.
This spring, Williams and cellist Yo-Yo Ma released “A Gathering of Friends,” an album recorded with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring new arrangements of scores such as Schindler’s List, Lincoln and Munich.
Williams said a lifetime of working in music gave her the “ability to breathe and live”.
“It gave me my life,” he added.
Here is a selection of some of his most famous works:
Williams’ wildly impressive record for film achievement would have been bested only by Walt Disney, with billions able to recognize Jaws’ theme song and the famous Imperial March from Star Wars.
“I’m told the music is played all over the world,” the composer said. “What could be more rewarding than that?”
“But I have to say it feels unreal,” he admitted. “I can only see what’s in front of me on the piano right now and do my best with it.”
Indiana Jones 5 – the first in the series not to be directed by Spielberg – is slated for release in June 2023.
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