John Williams (born February 8, 1932) is one of the most widely recognized composers of film scores. As of 2006, he has received 45 Academy Award nominations, an accomplishment surpassed only by Walt Disney.
Williams is best known for heroic, rousing themes to adventure and fantasy films. This includes some of the highest grossing films of all time, such as Star Wars, Superman, Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and the first three Harry Potter movies. His richly thematic and highly popular 1977 score to the first Star Wars film was selected by the American Film Institute as the greatest American movie score of all time. So far, five of his film scores have won Oscars.
His long career has also included many sensitive dramatic scores (such as Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan) and more experimental concert works. As of March 2006, his latest works include the scores for the recent movies Munich and Memoirs of a Geisha.
While skilled in a variety of twentieth-century compositional idioms, his most familiar style may be described as a form of neoromanticism, informed by the large-scale orchestral music of the late 19th century and that of Williams's film-composing predecessors. The influence of Korngold and other Hollywood Golden Age composers is strong in much of Williams' most famous work.