New York: From Star Wars to Jaws to Schindler’s List, John Williams has written many of the most instantly recognizable scores in cinematic history.
The 91-year-old is already the oldest person to receive an Oscar nomination for the competition award, which he won thanks to his spare but impressive compositions for Steven Spielberg’s The Fablemen.
With a total of 53 nods, Williams has more Academy Award nominations than any living person, second only to Walt Disney, who has 59.
And if he gets another statuette on Sunday, it would be his sixth, making him the oldest person to win in any competitive category. The record is currently held by screenwriter James Ivory, who was 89 when he won.
“It doesn’t seem possible for anyone to be that old and work that long,” Williams told NBC News recently, adding, “53 years later, it’s still exciting.”
“I’m very happy, I think it’s a human thing to be satisfied with any kind of appreciation of human merit.”
Among dozens of nominations in his extraordinary career, the composer won Oscars for Star Wars, Fiddler on the Roof and three Spielberg films with which he was closely associated. ” ET: Extraterrestrial” and “Schindler’s List.”
He even competed with himself several times for Oscar glory.
William is best known for his magnificent neo-romantic scores in the Wagnerian fashion, as opposed to the more experimental fare common among many contemporary composers outside of Hollywood.
But his work is full of mid-century influences, including jazz and popular American standards.
Williams believes his music is not as Wagnerian as it appears, but admits the 19th-century German giant’s influence on early Hollywood composers, and therefore on himself, is clear.
“Wagner lives with us — you can’t escape it,” he told The New Yorker in 2020.
“I bathed in the great river with them all.” (AFP)