Berlin, 4 May 2022. On Star Wars Day in the Hollywood legend’s 90th-birthday year, Deutsche Grammophon is delighted to announce that John Williams in Vienna has gone gold in Germany. John Williams, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniel Froschauer, chairman of the Wiener Philharmoniker, were presented with their gold discs at a private ceremony in March, when conductor, soloist and orchestra were reunited at the Vienna Musikverein for the European premiere of Williams’ Violin Concerto No. 2, written especially for the world-renowned violinist.
John Williams notes, “I’m very grateful to Deutsche Grammophon for celebrating the success of this very special album which I was so pleased to record with Anne-Sophie Mutter and the magnificent Wiener Philharmoniker in 2020. It truly was the experience of a lifetime.”
“We couldn’t be happier about this latest milestone,” adds Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “John Williams’ debut in Vienna was a hugely memorable occasion and I’m delighted that we were able to present him with the gold disc during this momentous birthday year and, at the same time, honour Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Wiener Philharmoniker for their extraordinary musical achievement. Having defined the sound of film music for more than half a century, John recently followed up the global success of the Vienna concert with The Berlin Concert, which topped the album charts here in Germany. We feel privileged to be working in partnership with him to release not only his magical film music but also ambitious contemporary works such as his new Violin Concerto, which is dedicated to Anne-Sophie.”
It was in January 2020 that the legendary film composer made his historic conducting debut with the Wiener Philharmoniker. Their two concerts at the Musikverein showcased a wide-ranging selection of classic Williams soundtrack scores, with Anne-Sophie Mutter performing a series of virtuosic adaptations written specially for her by the composer, including “Hedwig’s Theme” from the Harry Potter films, “Devil’s Dance” from The Witches of Eastwick and the Theme from Sabrina. Also on the programme were extracts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, the Star Wars films, and other timeless hits from Williams’ multi-award-winning catalogue.
Deutsche Grammophon was there to capture every note, and John Williams in Vienna was released in August 2020 to rave reviews and a long list of international Top 10 chart places. It went on to become the best-selling orchestral album of 2020. An extended live edition was released in February 2021 to mark Williams’ 89th birthday. Issued digitally and on CD, vinyl and Blu-ray, it features six bonus tracks and Williams’ own on-stage commentary about each of his iconic soundtracks. Both editions are also available in an immersive Dolby Atmos surround sound mix.
The birthday celebrations continue later this year with the release on 3 June of the world premiere recording of Williams’ Violin Concerto No. 2, performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by the composer. The album also includes three more film themes newly arranged for the violinist by Williams: the Theme from The Long Goodbye, “Han Solo and the Princess” from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and “Marion’s Theme” from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Watch John Williams & The Berliner Philharmoniker – The Berlin Concert (unabridged) on DG Stage.