The Legacy of John Williams Podcast
A series on in-depth talks celebrating the musical legacy of composer John Williams
Friday Aug 05, 2022
Friday Aug 05, 2022
Award-winning pianist talks her career as a classical performer specialized in contemporary repertoire and her many collaborations with John Williams, including her solos on Munich and The Adventures of Tintin, and the recent premiere of ‘Prelude and Scherzo’ for Piano and Orchestra Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto Pianist Gloria Cheng belongs in the category of instrumentalists who are true favourites of John Williams to the point of being even an inspiration for the composer. One of the most acclaimed musicians of his generation and an advocate of the contemporary repertoire and new-music, Gloria Cheng performed as pianist for John Williams in many film scores since the mid-2000s and has been spotlighted as soloist on such scores as Munich (2005), The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and War Horse (2011). She also performed on other Williams’ scores including The BFG, The Post, and the Star Wars sequel trilogy. In addition to the film work, Cheng also had the unique honour of performing Williams’ rare piano compositions for the concert hall: the 4-movement Conversations for solo piano (written and dedicated to her between 2013 and 2014), and the Prelude and Scherzo for piano and orchestra, which premiered in Barcelona in 2021 with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Vallès under Marc Timón, and later for its American premiere with the Albany Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller. Gloria Cheng is one of the world’s leading interpreters of piano works by major composers and a true advocate for new music, establishing fruitful partnerships with such contemporary music icons as Gyorgy Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Terry Riley, Thomas Adès and Steven Stucky. Gloria Cheng also works frequently as pianist and keyboardist for film scores and has performed on soundtracks by by such composers as Randy Newman, James Horner, Michael Giacchino. In 2005, she began a fruitful association with John Williams that continues until this day. In this conversation, Gloria talks about her career as a classical performer and her path that led to perform as pianist for film scores; she recollectes her first experience playing for John Williams on Munich, the challenges of playing the solo on Tintin and her views on the Maestro’s style when writing for piano, reflecting upon her experiences playing Conversations and the Prelude and Scherzo. For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/08/05/gloria-cheng-podcast/
Friday Jul 15, 2022
Friday Jul 15, 2022
Harpist extraordinaire talks her career both as a classical musician and studio recording artist, including her many collaborations with John Williams on such scores as Angela's Ashes, A.I. Artificial Intelligence and The Book Thief Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto JoAnn Turovksy is one of the most accomplished and talented harpists in the world. She is Principal Harp of several Los Angeles-based orchestras: the L.A. Opera orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. In a career spanning now four decades, Turovsky has been lauded and revered with many accolades: she is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American Harp Society. Harp is an instrument very dear to John Williams as it's often prominently featured in a lot of his film and concert music. Harpist extraordinaire JoAnn Turovsky has possibly the longest and most impressive track record of playing a lot of John Williams' harp parts over the last three decades as his favoured principal harp for studio recordings in Los Angeles. Turovsky is heard playing exquisite harp solos on some of the composer's most lyrical and haunting film scores including Angela's Ashes, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Munich and The Book Thief. Turovsky's impeccable playing can be appreciated even when not playing a solo part, but when accompanying and enriching the orchestral texture, as the harp is used by Williams like a master orchestrator would do. JoAnn has also been a professor of harp at the USC Thornton School of Music for the past three decades and sits on the faculty of the Colburn Conservatory of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts, teaching the next generation of harpists. In this conversation, JoAnn Turovsky talks about her impressive career as a classical and studio musician, remembering her many experiences playing for John Williams, including her solo work for Angela's Ashes and The Book Thief, but also illuminating on the composer's use of harp and how he let the instrument shine within the orchestral palette. Visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/ for more information.
Friday May 20, 2022
Friday May 20, 2022
Producer Mike Matessino talks the latest John Williams expanded reissues just released: the 1986 space adventure film SpaceCamp and the 1990 courtroom drama Presumed Innocent Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden For the joy of fans and admirers of the Maestro around the world, the first two John Williams expanded archival releases of 2022 have been recently announced. They are respectively SpaceCamp (from Intrada) and Presumed Innocent (from Varèse Sarabande), two sought-after titles that have been long out of print and that now are finally available in expanded and remastered form courtesy of Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino, giving a new chance to listeners to appreciate and rediscover two very unique and distinctive film works in John Williams’ catalogue. In this conversation, Matessino returns to The Legacy of John Williams podcast to discuss how both SpaceCamp and Presumed Innocent fit into the chronology of John Williams’ career, talking about how the composer became a household name during the 1980s and how he challenged himself in new and diverse projects. Special Thanks to Douglass Fake & Roger Feigelson (Intrada), Cary Mansfield (Varèse Sarabande) and to Mike Matessino. For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/
Saturday May 14, 2022
Saturday May 14, 2022
Listen to an exclusive preview of the new expanded release of John Williams' SpaceCamp, now available from Intrada Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden The Legacy of John Williams presents a special podcast "bonus" episode celebrating the release of the expanded edition of one of John Williams' most uplifting and joyous scores from the 1980s: SpaceCamp, composed for the 1986 film directed by Harry Winer and starring Kate Capshaw, Lea Thompson, Kelly Preston and a very young Joaquin Phoenix, telling the story of a group of young kids accidentally launched deep into outer space during an astronaut training program. Specialty soundtrack label Intrada just announced the release of a 2-CD set featuring the complete film score composed by John Williams on disc 1 (mastered from the recently found original three-track film mixes by engineer Armin Steiner), and the original soundtrack album program as mixed for record by Len Engel from a newly mastered hi-res transfer of the 1/4" album master on disc 2. This new edition is once again assembled, mastered and produced brilliantly by Mike Matessino, who also wrote detailed liner notes chronicling the film's history and production and providing an excellent analysis of the score. A conversation with Mike Matessino discussing this new release is coming soon on The Legacy of John Williams podcast, but as a gift to our readers and listeners, The Legacy of John Williams presents a bonus "prologue" episode featuring two full tracks from this new release, including the long-awaited unreleased cue "Arriving at Daedalus", perhaps one of the most sought-after in the long list of previously unreleased pieces from Williams' filmography. So, sit back, relax and prepare to enjoy a special treat, courtesy of Intrada and Mike Matessino. Order your copy of SpaceCamp Expanded Edition at Intrada's website:SpaceCamp Expanded Edition 2-CD set Special Thanks to Douglass Fake, Roger Feigelson and Jeff Johnson at Intrada, and to Mike Matessino.
Thursday Apr 28, 2022
Thursday Apr 28, 2022
Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino talks his involvement in the preparation of the live-to-picture concert performance of John Williams' classic score premiering at the KKL in Lucerne on April 29 Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden On the eve of the world premiere of Superman In Concert at the KKL in Lucerne, Switzerland, The Legacy of John Williams welcomes Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino for Part 2 of the podcast special dedicated to this thrilling and long-awaited concert performance of John Williams' majestic score live to picture (listen to Part 1 HERE). In addition to his stellar soundtrack restoration work for which he's much appreciated, Matessino has collaborated with Film Concerts Live on several of their 'Film with Orchestra' projects, assisting and consulting on Back To The Future, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and more recently on Superman: The Movie. In this conversation, Mike Matessino sits down again with The Legacy of John Williams' Editor Maurizio Caschetto and Head Contributor Tim Burden to talk with thorough detail how the 'Film In Concert' presentations are put together, chronicling his work on Superman and also on other classic John Williams' film concerts as Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Matessino also discusses the reasoning behind the choice of reintroducing music that was originally dialed out or cut from the film's original theatrical release and the many technical challenges of the live-to-picture format. John Williams' Superman In Concert is having its world premiere on April 29, 2022 at the KKL in Lucerne, Switzerland, performed by the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele. The event is presented by City Light Concerts in association with Film Concerts Live and Warner Bros. Pictures. It will also be presented on June 25, 2022, at the Royal Albert Hall in London, UK, with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele. More info at thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com
Monday Apr 25, 2022
Monday Apr 25, 2022
Conductor Anthony Gabriele talks the stirring musical score by John Williams for the 1978 classic film premiering in a live-to-picture concert presentation at the KKL in Lucerne on April 29 Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden The unforgettable superhero film Superman: The Movie is making a long-awaited comeback for the world premiere of John Williams' stirring musical score performed live to picture by the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele in the splendor of the spectacular KKL Concert Hall in Lucerne (Switzerland) on April 29, 2022. The event is presented by City Light Concerts in association with Film Concerts Live and Warner Bros. Pictures. The 1978 classic movie directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando is rightfully considered as one of the best comic book films ever made and it's still beloved by legions of film and superhero fans around the world, thanks in no small part to the stirring and unforgettable musical score composed by John Williams. Superman is the latest of the classic John Williams' film scores being presented in the live-to-film concert format and, after two years of postponement due to Covid pandemic, it's finally having its long-awaited world premiere at the spectacular KKL in Lucerne, Switzerland, performed by the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Gabriele. The conductor is one of the most renowned specialists of the 'film with orchestra' format and he kindly accepted the invitation of The Legacy of John Williams to talk about the music of Superman, how it sits into the filmography of John Williams, the many virtues of Richard Donner's film and its stirring score, and the uniqueness of Maestro Williams' overall opus. This is the first of a two-part podcast special dedicated to the world premiere of Superman In Concert. Listen to the full episode to discover the guest of Part 2...
Friday Apr 01, 2022
Friday Apr 01, 2022
Legendary singer and vocal contractor talks her illustrious career in Hollywood working in choirs and as soloist for many film composers, including her work for John Williams on Amistad and other projects Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto Film score recordings in Hollywood are performed not just by hundreds of talented orchestra musicians, but they often feature the superb work of great vocalists, singers and choirs. Sally Stevens is perhaps the most famous and distinguished singer and vocalist who lent her beautiful voice to countless film and television soundtracks and studio recordings in Los Angeles. Her resume includes work for illustrious film composers including John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Alan Silvestri, James Newton Howard, Danny Elfman, just to name a few, but also for some of the most famous names of the recording industry like Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Burt Bacharach among others, in a career spanning five decades and thousands of performances. Under the banner name Hollywood Film Chorale, she contracted choirs and singers for successful films including Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns, The Abyss, Forrest Gump, The Matrix Revolutions, Jurassic World, among others, and also on popular tv shows as The Simpsons and Family Guy. She also served as choral director of the Oscars broadcasts for over 20 years, the most recent being the 2018 Academy Awards. Sally's collaboration with John Williams started in 1997, when she was asked to be vocal contractor for the film Amistad, directed by Steven Spielberg. She also collaborated on such films as Minority Report (2002), War of the Worlds (2005), Munich (2005), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). In this conversation, Sally Stevens reminisces about her glorious career as a singer and vocal contractor working in Hollywood, from his early days singing in the choir for Alfred Newman's How The West Was Won to the work as soloist for Lalo Schifrin, Jerry Goldsmith and other great composers. She also recollects her experience working as a vocal contractor for John Williams on Amistad and other projects involving choirs and vocal soloists, sharing her own unique insight and perspective on Williams' choral writing and the use of human voice. For more information and the list of music excerpts visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/04/01/sally-stevens-podcast/
Friday Mar 04, 2022
Friday Mar 04, 2022
Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino returns to talk more on his work for the 50th Anniversary Edition, with distinguished Broadway Music Director and Conductor Andy Einhorn joining as a special guest to discuss the first concert performance of John Williams' orchestrations and the legacy of the beloved musical. Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden The Legacy of John Williams goes back to Anatevka for the long-awaited 2nd part of the discussion on Fiddler On The Roof 50th Anniversary Soundtrack Edition. The massive 3-disc set released by La-La Land Records was the subject of an in-depth talk and feature article published last December, and now Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino returns to offer more eloquent thoughts and insights about the 1971 classic film by Norman Jewison, its Academy Award-winning adaptation score by John Williams, and the painstaking restoration work he went through to bring new life to the original soundtrack recordings. This second act of the Fiddler On The Roof podcast special is also enriched by the presence of a very welcome special guest. Leading Broadway Music Director and Conductor Andy Einhorn joins to talk about a truly unique and very special initative: the presentation of a lightly-staged production of Fiddler On The Roof featuring the world premiere concert performance of John Williams' Oscar-winning orchestrations, a project spearheaded by the UMS in collaboration with The Philadelphia Orchestra and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance/Department of Musical Theatre. During the conversation, Einhorn reflects on the various reasons why this project holds a special place in his career, the challenges he faced to put it together and the thrill of hearing Williams' sumptuous orchestrations performed live for the first time in 50 years, talking also about the details and nuances hidden in the score. He and Mike Matessino offer precious insight on the timelessness of Fiddler On The Roof and its relevance for today's audiences also in light of the tragic recent events happening in the same region in which the original story takes place, i.e. the small Ukraine village of Anatevka. Read more: https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/03/04/fiddler-on-the-roof-podcast-pt2/
Friday Feb 25, 2022
Friday Feb 25, 2022
Legendary pianist and keyboardist talks about his career and his collaborations with John Williams on numerous projects, including his iconic solos on such classic scores as Harry Potter, Angela’s Ashes, Lincoln and The Book Thief Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto Among the studio musicians who performed for John Williams during the last two decades, Randy Kerber occupies a special place. He’s one of the most accomplished pianists and keyboardists working in the studio environment, with an impressive resume that includes many legendary film composers (Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Michael Kamen, Randy Newman, Alan Silvestri), but also a great deal of iconic recording artists including Michael Jackson, Paul Anka, Leonard Cohen, Rickie Lee Jones, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Rod Stewart, B.B. King, Bill Medley, Annie Lennox, Art Garfunkel, Anastacia, Celine Dion, Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, Ray Charles. He’s also a Grammy-nominated composer and arranger, and worked as orchestrator for top Hollywood composers including James Horner and John Powell. He had the privilege of being appointed as featured piano soloist on several John Williams’ scores including Angela’s Ashes (1999), Lincoln (2012) and The Book Thief (2013) among others, but was also the keyboard soloist playing the celesta part of “Hedwig’s Theme” on the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001). His impressive career as one of the first-call studio keyboardist in Los Angeles also includes such unforgettable film scores as Forrest Gump (music by Alan Silvestri) and Titanic (music by James Horner), in which he can be heard performing exquisite piano solos. Kerber’s impeccable playing is also prominently featured in the Academy Award-winning musical La La Land, with music by Justin Hurwitz. n this conversation with The Legacy of John Williams, Randy Kerber talks about his career as a session musician, his early years working in the studio environment and how he became one of John Williams’ first-call musicians, from his first experiences as a synth programmer on such films as Always and Jurassic Park, to the prominent role as piano soloist on Angela’s Ashes, Lincoln and The Book Thief. Randy also talks about John Williams’ approach to piano writing and offers his take on the Maestro’s musicianship, reflecting on the various experiences as seen from his perspective as a studio musician. For more information and a list of the musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/02/25/randy-kerber-podcast/(opens in a new tab)
Saturday Jan 29, 2022
Saturday Jan 29, 2022
Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino remembers the legendary Academy Award-winning composer, lyricist and songwriter who collaborated with John Williams on several projects including Superman, Home Alone and Hook Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden Composer, lyricist, librettist Leslie Bricusse (1931-2021) is one of the most talented and versatile musicians who worked in movies and musical theatre in the second half of the 20th century. His gift both for melody and catchy lyrics kept his works popular throughout the decades. Bricusse is well known to fans and admirers of John Williams for their collaborations on such pivotal and successful projects as Superman: The Movie (1978), Home Alone (1990) and Steven Spielberg’s Hook (1991), but also for the film musical Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), for which Williams did a magnificent work of adaptation, arrangement and orchestration of Bricusse’s lovely song score. Bricusse passed away suddenly last October at the age 90 and we tribute his memory and his artistic achievements with this podcast episode featuring Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino, who worked on many restorations of Bricusse’s scores (Doctor Dolittle and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, among others) and was also a personal friend, offering an in-depth overview of Leslie’s career and his collaborations with John Williams. For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/01/29/remembering-leslie-bricusse/
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