Book part:
John Williams’s Film Music in the Concert Halls


Film music has its roots in late-romantic concert music. A number of composers of so-called “serious music” also composed for the film. And some Golden Age film composers came from the concert-music realm and, once they started their association with Hollywood, continued to pen works for the concert stage too. Film music had to struggle for a long time against the prejudice that saw it as music not to be taken seriously; it was regarded as “neglected art”. Nevertheless, film-music concerts have experienced a blossoming in the recent years. There is a large variety, from programmes that only perform film music in concert halls without any additional element to large-scale events in multi-purpose halls where film music is accompanied by film clips or provides the live accompaniment to entire films. This chapter examines the role of John Williams’s film scores in this context. Are there any special features of Williams’s film music that make it particularly suitable to the concert hall? How does the performance practice of his film music differ in comparison to classical concerts? Are there any pieces that are played more frequently than others, and if so, why?

Download icon

Published in:

Preferred Citation
Stoppe, Sebastian: John Williams’s Film Music in the Concert Halls. In: Audissino, Emilio: John Williams. Music for Film, Television and the Concert Stage. Turnhout: Brepols 2018, S. 95-116. DOI:
 author = {Stoppe, Sebastian},
 title = {John Williams’s Film Music in the Concert Halls},
 year = 2018,
 doi = "\url{}",
 editor = {Audissino, Emilio},
 volume = 1,
 address = {Turnhout},
 series = {Contemporary Composers},
 booktitle = {John Williams. Music for Film, Television and the Concert Stage},
 pages = {95--116},
 publisher = {Brepols},
license icon

The item has been published with the following license: Unter Urheberrechtsschutz