Star Wars Playbill

Star Wars Playbill

I was honored to be asked, by the New York Philharmonic, to write the Playbill essay for their performances of the scores to four of John Williams’s iconic Star Wars film scores synced live to picture. These performances marked the first time this had been done for Star WarsThe Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens. In addition to speaking with two orchestra musicians and conductor David Newman — the son of Alfred Newman, who wrote the 20th Century Fox fanfare — I was able to talk with Williams himself, who was incredibly gracious and warm.

Here are links to the Playbill essay, and to features on Star Wars that I’ve written for YourClassical. In fall 2018, I wrote a second Playbill feature for the New York Philharmonic, about their performances of the scores to 2001 and There Will Be Blood; that feature is not available online.

Five-time Oscar winner John Williams talks bringing Star Wars scores to the New York Philharmonic

Star Wars at 40: Ten ways George Lucas changed the world

The Movies and the Music: Oscar-winning film scores of the ’70s

Max Rebo: Baroque composer?

Who shot first? A quiz about the Star Wars trilogy before George Lucas tinkered with it

Have John Williams’s Star Wars prequel scores been thrown under the bus?

Who’s who in the Star Wars scores: Your guide to John Williams’s musical motifs

How Meco made Star Wars music a disco sensation

Star Wars music: What were John Williams’s classical influences?

photo: Chris Lee, via the New York Philharmonic on Facebook)