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.