Natalie Portman hosts Dudamel Conducts a John Williams Celebration with the LA Phil on Great Performances Friday, July 24 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). Itzhak Perlman is the special guest in a gala opening night concert paying tribute to the prolific film composer. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel conducts.
By any standard, John Williams is one of the greatest film composers of all time; his 49 Academy Award nominations are second only to Walt Disney himself. And Williams and Walt Disney Concert Hall have gone hand in hand since Williams opened the Hall’s inaugural gala in 2003 with the world premiere of his concert work “Soundings.”
The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s gala celebration of Williams’ peerless achievements reunites Williams with master violinist Itzhak Perlman, who performed on the composer’s original score for Schindler’s List, which earned both Oscars and Grammys.
The musical program is interspersed with a conversation between Williams and Dudamel, as well as archival interview footage, as the composer reminisces about his life and career. The son of a musician in New York’s CBS Orchestra in the 1930s and 40s, Williams remarks, “I thought when you grew up you became a musician, that’s the only kind of adult I knew… I grew up in the ambience of music.”
The broadcast also features soloists Dan Higgins, Glenn Paulson and Michael Valerio, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, led by Anne Tomlinson, along with members from the Angeles Chorale.
Full Music Program
Olympic Fanfare and Theme
Three Pieces from Schindler’s List
Cadenza and Variations from Fiddler on the Roof
“Escapades” from Catch Me If You Can
“Throne Room and Finale” from Star Wars
“Dry Your Tears, Afrika” from Amistad
“Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back
Showcased throughout the program are several elaborate video installations created by projection designer Netia Jones and the critically-acclaimed creative studio LIGHTMAP.