Last Saturday octogenarian composer John Williams attended a gala tribute concert for his ongoing 80th birthday celebration at the Tanglewood music festival in Massachusetts. Steven Spielberg and James Taylor made surprise stage appearances, and both President Obama and George Lucas delivered video birthday greetings.
“I have collaborated with John for half of his life,” said Spielberg, who has had Williams score all but one of his 26 features. “He is this nation’s greatest composer and one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had in my life.”
The Boston Pops orchestra, along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, soprano Jessye Norman, violinist Gil Shaham, clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianist Gabriela Montero and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, as well as conductors Keith Lockhart, Leonard Slatkin and Shi-Yeon Sung, all contributed to the program, which featured themes from Williams’ most popular film scores, including “E.T.,” “Star Wars,” “Schindler’s List” and the “Harry Potter” series.
Check out the Tanglewood video below: