John Williams

Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony highlights The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI this Sunday, June 26th at 1 pm, but there’s so much more. The Violin Concerto of John Williams and Ravel’s well-loved Pavane round out a brilliant program conducted by the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor Stéphane Denève.

John Williams, so famous for his award-winning film scores including Jaws, Star Wars, and Schindler’s List, wrote a violin concerto that transcends the personal story behind it. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more.

The celebrated cello maestro Yo-Yo Ma kicks off a two-week Philadelphia Orchestra celebration of John Williams' music for concert hall and film this week, and Sunday’s concert will be broadcast LIVE at 2 PM here on WRTI.

The centerpiece of this program will be John Williams’ Cello Concerto, written specifically for Yo-Yo Ma, at the suggestion of Seiji Ozawa.

The violence in this Vietnam War film is noteworthy even among war films, and is controversial for a depiction of something no one has said they have ever witnessed: a scene where North Vietnamese soldiers force prisoners to play Russian roulette.

From an ancient buried past in Pompeii, to an outer-worldly future, The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI transports us to different worlds this Sunday, October 11th at 1 pm.

In this re-broadcast, we’ll hear excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, John Williams’s music from the film, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 1977. It was his third collaboration with director Steven Spielberg, immediately following their great success with Jaws.


When can music composed for a film stand on its own? WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on how John Williams’ suite from Close Encounters of the Third Kind translates to the concert stage.


For more than 50 years, John Williams' music has taken us to galaxies far, far away through adventures here on earth, made us feel giddy joy and occasionally scared us to death.

John Williams: Greatest Hits 1969-1999

A lone violin plays a simple, haunting melody, and you think of the people: the many taken away, the few saved, and the one who saved the few. His name is Schindler, and the violin plays. This forlorn, soft, heart-rending music--performed here by Itzhak Perlman--is by John Williams, the king of Hollywood composers. It transforms the movie, because as sad as Schindler's List is, it is the sweetness of the music that drives the sadness deeper. John Williams makes magic happen in front of our eyes. That's what he does.