Geneva Anderson digs into art

San Francisco Symphony gets a visit from Hollywood—director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams are teaming up for a concert at Davies on Monday, September 16, 2013

Composer John Williams and Director Steven Spielberg join San Francisco Symphony for “Maestros of Music,” an evening of music and film celebrating Williams and Spielberg’s 40 year collaboration on Monday, September 16, 2013.

Composer John Williams and Director Steven Spielberg join San Francisco Symphony for “Maestros of Music,” an evening of music and film celebrating Williams and Spielberg’s 40 year collaboration on Monday, September 16, 2013.

We all love the movies!  Late summer always ushers in the film festival season, a slate of new films and a focus on things cinematic.  This year, San Francisco Symphony’s (SFS) programing features a variety of concerts and film screenings that let us appreciate the brilliant composers whose melodies set the mood and atmosphere of our favorite films.  On Monday, September 16, 2013, SFS is going Hollywood when Davies Hall welcomes award-winning composer John Williams and acclaimed director Steven Spielberg for “Williams and Spielberg: Maestros of the Movies,” an impressive evening of music conducted by Williams and film screenings introduced by Steven Spielberg.

Williams and Spielberg have collaborated for more than 40 years on iconic Hollywood films including “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Schindler’s List,” and the “Indiana Jones” series.  Williams returns to conduct SFS in selections from those film scores and others from his celebrated career, such as the “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” series.

During the second half of the performance, Spielberg will join his longtime collaborator on stage to present selections from their work together, including film clips projected on a large screen. Williams, now 81, has composed scores for 26 of Spielberg’s 27 feature films to date.  He’s received 48 Academy Award nominations and has been awarded five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards and 21 Grammys.

Program:  John Williams conducts San Francisco Symphony with special guest host Steven Spielberg

Richard Whiting (arr. John Williams) Hooray for Hollywood (with film)

John Williams Suite from Far and Away 

John WilliamsThree Pieces from Harry Potter 

John Williams“Dartmoor, 1912” from War Horse

John Williams Star Wars Main Title

John Williams Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (with film)

John Williams The Circus Train Chase from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (with film)

John Williams “The Duel” from The Adventures of Tintin (with film)

John Williams Theme from Schindler’s List 

John Williams “Adventures on Earth” from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

     Concert Length: Approx. 2 hours, including intermission.

Steven Spielberg and John Williams discuss their collaboration in the AFI (American Film Institute) and TCM (Turner Classic Movies) “ART OF COLLABORATION” series with this 2011 audience “sit down.”

Part I

Part III

Part IV

Williams will do a seventh “Star Wars” score:   While the SFS concert is all about Williams and Spielberg, we can’t ignore his integral role in the Star Wars series.  In late July, it was confirmed that Williams, who scored all six Star Wars films, will return for the seventh installment in the series.  Star Wars: Episode VII has no name yet and is set to come out in 2015.  Williams has not been briefed on the storyline, but the movie will be directed by J.J. Abrams.  “I’ve loved doing the Star Wars films with all the fanfare and flourish,” said Williams  in a Lucasfilm video interview. “The galaxy far, far away — I feel like I’m still in it, like I never really left it.”

Spielberg Tops Forbes list:  There is hardly anyone in Hollywood who can compare to Steven Spielberg and that comes right from Forbes who recently declared him the Top-Paid Man in Entertainment, earning $125 million in the 6/2-12-6/2013 time-frame that the stats were collected for the 2013 honor.  At 66, Spielberg is still a vital force in Hollywood. Last year’s Lincoln was a critical and financial success, earning 12 Oscar nominations and $275 million at the global box office. Two new TV shows from his Amblin Television, Under the Dome and The Americans, are hits, and he’s an executive producer on the upcoming fourth film in the lucrative Transformers franchise.  There’s also the money he earns from his incredible history in Hollywood as the top-grossing director of all time.  He is a principal partner of DreamWorks Studios.  Among his myriad honors, he is a three-time Academy Award winner.

Other film projects of the San Francisco Symphony: SFS is presenting a number of other special film programs with orchestral accompaniment during the 2013-14 season, including a  week of Hitchcock films—Psycho, The Lodger, Vertigo, and Hitchcock!— all with live musical accompaniment, during the week of Halloween. The season also includes a two-night screening of the film White Christmas, A Night at the Oscars, Chaplin’s City Lights, and Disney’s Fantasia in Concert.

Details: “Williams and Spielberg: Maestros of the Movies” is Monday, September 16, 2013 at 8 PM at Davies symphony Hall, San Francisco.  Tickets and information: This highly-anticipated concert sold out long ago but a number of premier orchestra seats have been released for $139. Purchase at  or by phone at (415) 864-6000.

Getting to Davies: Davies Symphony Hall is located at 201 Van Ness Avenue at Grove Street, in San Francisco’s Civic Center, just across the street from City Hall.  The main entrance is on the south side of Grove Street between Van Ness Avenue and Franklin Street.  Driving to San Francisco and Parking: Be sure to allow ample time when driving into San Francisco on the weekend and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge—there is frequently a 15 to 30 minute back-up on Highway 101 South from Sausalito onwards due to congestion around the toll-plaza.  Arrive early at your parking garage of choice because those also fill up.  Recommended Garages: Two garages are very close to Davies— the Performing Arts Garage (1/2 block)(Grove Street between Franklin and Gough Streets) and Civic Center Garage (roughly 2 blocks) (McAllister Street between Polk and Larken Streets) (both have flat $15 pay cash as you enter policy on performance nights)

September 16, 2013 - Posted by | Film, Symphony | , , ,

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