The Master and The Bowl: A Forty Year Celebration of John Williams


Kai Charles describes her experience at The Hollywood Bowl with John Williams and Steven Spielberg in concert. Star Wars, Hook, ET – amazing selections!

by Kai Charles @YogiKai

There are a lot of local pleasures available to SoCal residents and one of the best is the Hollywood Bowl.  Since 1922 this architectural treasure designed by Frank Gehry, Lloyd Wright, and Myron Hunt, has entertained fans with musical performances.

Williams has been a staple at the bowl since 1978 and his show over this Labor Day weekend was a celebration of his craft and his contribution to popular culture.


In the past few years Williams has shared the stage with composer David Newman who is best known for his scores for Matilda, Bowfinger, and Heathers.

Newman opened the show with a stirring rendition of Williams Olympic Fanfare and Theme accompanied by the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets. Newman also played pieces from Minority Report, Hook, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Newman ended his set with a celebration of the music of Leonard Bernstein, including a montage of music from West Side Story.

Lightsabers Salute the Maestro

Then the Master himself took the stage to thundering applause, from the audience and a sea of lightsabers. I’ve noticed an increase of lightsabers over the years ever since Williams shared his enjoyment of them, and told the audience that the Bowl is one of the few venues that bring them to concerts.

Credit: Tricia Barr

Williams special guest for the evening was his collaborator of over 45 years Steven Spielberg! Steven’s appearance of course set the stage for a celebration of their work together. Spielberg shared a partial history of sound and films and demonstrated the power of Williams work by sharing an unscored scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, vs the cinematic version.

Credit: Webstagram

Spielberg introduced a montage of scenes from E.T. The Extra Terrestrial by stating that John’s music gave E.T., “his soul “. John then conducted the LA Philharmonic through more Spielberg collaborations : Hook, Tin Tin, and Raiders of The Lost Ark.

DAPSMagic has quite a few videos from this amazing evening.

Williams then spoke briefly to the audience, acknowledging how the Hollywood Bowl has been a part of his life since he was 12 when he played piano there until 1978 when he was first talked into conducting by Ernest Fleischmann.

John Williams also took a moment to speak positively about his experiences on The Last Jedi and the piece “The Rebellion is Reborn”, The evening ended with the fan favorites Star Wars Main Theme, and The Imperial March.

Williams shows no sign of slowing down which is a blessing to fans. It was a joy to see so many young boys and girls enjoying their first live show. I hope for many more years of Williams shows. The are a perfect way to end the summer

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