Acclaimed contemporary classical composer talks his career and his cinematic music for the concert hall, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night, his approach to composition and how much John Williams’ music touched him since childhood and inspired him to become a composer

Few contemporary classical composers have such a wide-ranging, colorful and personal style like Kevin Puts. Winner of the coveted Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for his debut opera Silent Night, he has become one of the leading American composers of his generation. Critically acclaimed for a richly colored, harmonic, and freshly melodic musical voice that has also been described as “emotional, compelling, and relevant,” his works, which include two operas, four symphonies, and several concertos, have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists throughout the world.

A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Kevin Puts started to study piano during childhood. His love for music was ignited by the John Williams’ scores for such films as Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, which made a lasting effect on him and were among the main inspirations to pursue a career as a composer.

His love for movie music, and specifically John Williams, led him to a musical style characterized by a strong storytelling element. His compositions have been often described as “cinematic” and “film-like” by music critics and commentators, an observation that Puts always took as a compliment.

Puts’ catalogue is truly impressive and includes major orchestral, symphonic and operatic works and a great deal of chamber music as well. His Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Silent Night is probably his most important and successful work so far. It was premiered by Minnesota Opera in November 2011, and marked his debut in the genre of opera and vocal works. Describing his work, Puts said he was “going for a cinematic quality, commenting on the action and the emotions of a scene as it unfolds as a great film composer like John Williams might do it”.

In this conversation, Kevin talks about his career as a contemporary classical composer, his approach to composition as storytelling, and how much the music of John Williams inspired him since childhood, particulary the score of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

For more information and the list of musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/03/22/legacy-conversations-kevin-puts/

Legendary trumpeteer talks his illustrious career as former Associate Principal Trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra / Principal Trumpet of the Boston Pops and his subsequent life as studio musician in Los Angeles, including his many collaborations with John Williams as soloist on such scores as Born On The Fourth of July, JFK, Nixon and Saving Private Ryan

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

Trumpet legend Tim Morrison has defined probably more than any other soloists one of the key signature styles of John Williams, enhancing the American spirit in many of the composer's brilliant pieces for film and the concert hall through his singing, lyrical trumpet sound and purity of tone. Tim Morrison has been the voice of Ron Kovic's struggle in Born on the Fourth of July and the reminiscence of President Kennedy's core American values in JFK; he underlined John Quincy Adams' noble speeches in Amistad, and accompanied with somber, plaintive tones the drama of World War II American soldiers in Saving Private Ryan. Whenever John Williams needed that signature American sound in some of his film scores, he often chose Tim Morrison to be the interpreter of choice. Also, as Principal Trumpet of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1987 to 1997, he has often being the soloist of choice in many concerts and recordings with Williams on the podium.

In this wide, in-depth conversation, Tim Morrison talks about his brilliant career and musical life, from his studies and early days as performer to his arrival in Boston, his many collaborations with John Williams as soloist on Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, Nixon and Saving Private Ryan, but also the many brilliant Boston Pops recordings he performed in, including the iconic Summon the Heroes solo. He also reflects on Williams' comment about his "American sound", his life as studio musician in L.A., and his solo recording album After Hours.

What happens when you discover and start to love music when you're still a little kid and share this passion with one of your siblings? This is the starting point of this in-depth discussion between two pairs of brothers with many things in common, specifically the love for the music of John Williams. One of the missions of this website is to celebrate and discuss the huge influence of the Maestro among at least two generations of people who literally grew up and became adults while listening to his music, and how it helped shape lives and even careers of millions of people around the world.

Brothers Will Brueggemann and Marty Brueggemann are two of the most admired podcasters among the niche of film music aficionados on the internet. Their show, UnderScore: A Podcast of Music and Story, offers insightful musical analysis of major film scores including works by John Williams. In this episode, titled "Growing Up With John Williams", editor Maurizio Caschetto and contributor/illustrator Gianmaria Caschetto sit down with Will and Marty to discuss what it means to grow up listening to the music of Maestro Williams. Both pairs of brothers were raised in similar contexts and started to fall in love with Williams' music for such films as Superman, E.T. and Star Wars since childhood (as happened to millions of fans and admirers of the Maestro around the globe). The discussion goes on to talk about Williams' unrivaled compostional prowess, his daring harmonic choices and his uncanny ability to craft the perfect melody for the film. More thoughts are also offered about what makes John Williams' music so exciting for kids and young people.

Legendary harpist talks her distinguished career as former Principal Harp for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, including the many collaborations with John Williams and the premiere of the Harp Concerto On Willows and Birches, composed for her by the Maestro in 2009

Ann Hobson Pilot is one of the most talented women in the classical music who ever performed in United States and also a distinguished international soloist, teacher, mentor and moving force behind music educational programs for underserved minorities. She has been Principal Harp for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops for almost 30 years, from 1980 until his retirement in 2009. She joined the BSO in 1969 as Associate Principal Harp after stints in the Pittsburgh Symphony and Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra where he performed as Principal Harp for 3 years (1966-69). Ann has the distinguished credit of being the very first African-American woman to land a Principal role in an American orchestra, building herself a career through her talent and unique sensibility back in a time where the classical music scene was still a predominant white male-driven environment.

Ann Hobson Pilot started to perform for John Williams in 1980, when the Maestro accepted the post as Principal Conductor of the Boston Pops. After many years performing under former Pops’ music director Arthur Fiedler (who died in 1979), Ann immediately got in perfect harmony with Williams’ musicianship (“he brought a breath of fresh air”, she said) and his own fabulous music. She was frequently featured as soloist in concerts and recordings with the Boston Pops often performing many of the Maestro’s exquisite passages for harp, including music from Schindler’s List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Harry Potter and Angela’s Ashes, all of which feature extensive writing for harp. Ann was also principal harp on the original soundtrack recording of Schindler’s List, where he performs in duet with violinist Itzhak Perlman.

When Pilot announced her retirement as BSO’s Principal Harp, Williams set to write a Concerto for Harp specifically for her, titled On Willows and Birches. The composer wrote the concerto during the spring and summer of 2009, and the piece was premiered on September 23, 2009, as part of the Opening Night of BSO’s annual subscription season.

In addition to her career as musician, Ann Hobson Pilot spent a lifetime devoted to teaching and mentoring young students in distinguished music schools and conservatories (including the New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University) and appearing in masterclasses and seminars at the Tanglewood Music Institute. She’s currently affiliated with the State College of Florida, in addition to the Tanglewood Music Center and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. 

In this conversation, Ann talks about her incredible life and career as classical musician, her challenges and obstacles of being an African-American woman playing in an environment predominantly white and male-driven and her many collaborations with John Williams, including the thrill and the honour of having a concerto written for her by the Maestro. She also talks about the recording of the film score for Schindler’s List and many other favourite memories of working together with John Williams for almost 30 years.

For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/02/22/ann-hobson-pilot-podcast/

The esteemed British conductor talks on his work as a specialist of Live to Picture concerts and his love and admiration for the music of John Williams

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

Ben Palmer is one of Europe’s foremost specialists in conducting live to film. He conducted many of the most successful film concerts in the UK and across mainland Europe, appearing in prestige venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London. Palmer conducted virtually all of the John Williams films available in this format, such as the Star Wars trilogy, Jurassic ParkE.T. the Extra-TerrestrialJawsHome AloneRaiders of the Lost ArkHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Palmer became also a profound connoisseur and student of John Williams's music, developing an intimate and profound knowledge of the composer’s style and language. I

n this long and engaging conversation with The Legacy of John Williams, Ben Palmer talks in-depth about the details, the intricacies and the challenges of conducting live to picture performances of John Williams’s film scores, while also offering his own insightful thoughts about Williams’s place in music history, sharing his deep love and admiration for the music of the Maestro.

For more information and the list of all musical excerpts, go to thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

The acclaimed Norwegian composer talks about his artistic journey, his approach to composition and how John Williams’s music has been a continuous source of inspiration

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

Norwegian composer Marcus Paus (b.1979) is one of the most performed and acclaimed contemporary classical musicians of his generation, and one of the most lauded Scandinavian composers working today. The rich and diverse catalog includes chamber music, works for solo musicians, choral music, orchestral works, opera and also works for the theater and film.

Paus is one of the strongest representatives in the contemporary classical music world of a reorientation toward tradition, melody and tonality. His works are often distinguished by a flowing melodic vein, full of lyricism and characterized by a complex harmonic language.

Growing up in a musical family, Marcus was surrounded by music since he was a toddler, but the spark that ignited his love for orchestral music were the classic scores composed by John Williams for films like E.T., Superman, Indiana Jones and the Star Wars saga. Paus acknowledges that the music of Williams has been one of the most profound inspirations of his life, becoming an element that helped him pursuing his goal as a composer.

In this long and engaging conversation with The Legacy of John Williams, Marcus talks about his own artistic journey and his approach to composition while also sharing his accurate observations on the music of John Williams and why the Maestro continues to be an endless source of inspiration for him and many other musicians worldwide.

For the full list of the musical excerpts featured in the episode visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/06/09/marcus-paus-podcast/

The legendary Music Contractor talks about her 50+ years career in Hollywood's film music industry and her long and fruitful collaboration with composer John Williams

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

Sandy DeCrescent is the leading music contractor working in Hollywood's film music industry. Her impressive resumé includes literally thousands of films, including many of the most beloved and successful ever produced (Jaws, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Titanic, Avatar). She worked closely for most, if not all, the most in-demand film composers of the last four decades such as Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Alan Silvestri, Randy Newman, Howard Shore, James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, and of course John Williams.

Discover more at thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

Music Theorist and Film Musicologist from Tufts University talks about how John Williams’s film scores shaped his interest in music and his path to academia, with a spotlight on his catalogue of the themes and motifs from the Star Wars saga

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

John Williams has inspired creative people in many different ways through his music for films. He’s a force that influences people in a wide variety of fields related to music and film. Among them, we must include also people working in education and formative fields, including scholars and academics...

Read more at thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

The esteemed American conductor talks about the history and the aesthetic of music written in Hollywood during the Golden Age era and how it led to the rise of John Williams.

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

There are very few musicians in the world who can easily compare to Maestro John Mauceri. Conductor, educator, writer and lecturer, Mauceri conducted the world's greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also worked on the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood...

For more information and details on the music excerpts featured in the episode go to thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

American conductor and Music Director of the Colorado Symphony talks about John Williams and how the music of the Maestro inspired him throughout his artistic and personal life.

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

Talented conductor Brett Mitchell talks about how much the music of John Williams played a crucial role in his artistic and personal life. We also talk about the challenges of conducting live-to-picture concerts, the differences between film and concert works, the importance of John Williams in the history of American music, and Brett’s attitude when preparing and programming a concert program.

Discover more at https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2019/08/29/brett-mitchell-podcast/

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