The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has announced that esteemed composer John Williams will be the recipient of the 44th AFI Life Achievement Award, billed as America’s highest honor for a career in film. Williams will be the first composer honored with the award. Previous recipients include John Ford, Meryl Streep and Steve Martin.
“John Williams has written the soundtrack to our lives,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Chair, AFI Board of Trustees, of the announcement. “Note by note, through chord and chorus, his genius for marrying music with movies has elevated the art form to symphonic levels and inspired generations of audiences to be enriched by the magic of the movies. AFI is proud to present him with its 44th Life Achievement Award.”
Williams is best known for his work with frequent collaborator Steven Spielberg (who received the same honor in 1995), but he’s also beloved for his “Star Wars” scores that have punctuated the popular franchise. Williams will reunite with both Spielberg and “Star Wars” in the coming months, as he recently wrapped composing work on “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” and Spielberg’s animated feature “The BFG.”
Williams will be honored at a gala tribute on June 9, 2016, which will take place in Los Angeles. The tribute will later air on Turner Broadcasting, with encore presentations to follow on Turner Classic Movies.