John Williams Conducts the Phoenix Symphony

26 Dec 2013 by Josephine Russell, No Comments »

On September 28th, 2013 The Phoenix Symphony had the great pleasure of joining John Williams and Stephen Speilberg for the show of a lifetime. While this is amazing, it seems impossible that they would come here to Arizona.When I showed a greeter my badge and asked if I could interview her for this article, I was professionally led to two different people including the director of technology for the orchestra. He was very willing to talk to me about technology, but instead introduced me to the assistant director of marketing. She was very pleasant and was willing to answer every question I asked. She let me record our conversation and let me know I could email her with any additional questions I had. Jim Ward (CEO of the Phoenix Symphony), who used to work for Lucas Film Ltd., met and became friends with both John Williams and Steven Speilberg during his 10 year period with the company. Mr. Williams and Mr.Speilberg paid for transportation, food, and hotels on their own. They didn’t get paid one dime and were doing this on their own time. The 66 members of the Phoenix Symphony also didn’t get paid and graciously donated their time and wonderful talents. Together, Mr. Williams and Mr. Spielberg helped the symphony raise over $600,000 for music education.  Thousands of guests attended this splendid event, including the Mayor of Phoenix and his wife. Mr. Williams and Mr. Spielberg are currently in their 41st continuous year of collaboration as director and composer. Mr. Spielberg, the highest-grossing director in the world, introduced all of the music Mr. Williams conducted during the second half of the performance.  With every new piece that was played there came a new wave of  memories and tears to go with them. When introducing the theme to Schindler’s List, Steven Speilberg stated that,”The theme to Schindler’s list is the greatest gift that John has given me or the world.” While the piece was being beautifully played by a very talented local violinist Steven Moeckel, Speilberg got very emotional and held his hand over his heart. Thanks to so many giving and pleasant people, this event was able to happen and turn out to be a huge success.


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