John Williams, a legend who has shaped the history and sound of film music for more than half a century, will release the album "John Williams in Tokyo" in May 2024, which includes the concert he performed in Japan for the first time in 30 years in September last year. It has been decided that it will be released on Friday, March 3rd. In addition, digital distribution of the lead single ``Superman March' has started.
Last September, John Williams was invited by Seiji Ozawa to organize the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival, of which Seiji Ozawa is the general director, and the founding of Deutsche Grammophon, a prestigious classical music label held in conjunction with the festival. They came to Japan for a special performance commemorating their 125th anniversary. Following collaborations with the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, and Los Angeles Recording Arts Orchestra, this is his first collaboration with the Saito Kinen Orchestra. Tickets for both performances became a hot topic as tickets were flooded with applications on sales sites and sold out on the same day.
John Williams and Seiji Ozawa have been close friends since the days when Ozawa served as the 13th music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and hosted the Tanglewood music festival in western Massachusetts. It has been Seiji Ozawa's long-held dream to have John Williams and the Saito Kinen Orchestra perform together in Japan. The release of this live recording was originally scheduled for last year to take place during the week of John Williams' birthday (February 8th), but following the news of Seiji Ozawa's death, discussions were held with Seiji Ozawa's office and family. It was released today.
Commenting on performing with the Saito Kinen Orchestra, Ozawa said, ``I have always said that I would like John to experience the Saito Kinen Orchestra, because I know what he would feel from this special orchestra.' ” he says. It was a long-held dream come true for both of them, and for music fans around the world. John Williams said: ``I am honored to have returned to Japan for the first time in 30 years to visit my dear friend and long-time musical colleague, Seiji Ozawa, and to conduct his wonderful Saito Kinen Orchestra for the first time. I'm happy," he commented.
This miraculous collaboration consists of a program of songs composed by John Williams himself, such as ``Superman March,' ``Schindler's List Theme,' and ``Throne Room and End Titles.'The first half was performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Stéphane Denève, a world-renowned conductor who serves as music director of the orchestra, artistic director of the New World Symphony Orchestra, and chief guest conductor of the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and a long-time friend of John Williams, and John Williams will conduct the second half. It was held in two parts.
The album "John Williams in Tokyo", which will be released on Friday, May 3rd, the day before Star Wars Day (May 4th), is a long-awaited live recording of a concert at Suntory Hall in Tokyo. . Contains 11 songs conducted by John Williams at the Tokyo performance and ``Tributes! (for Seiji)' conducted by conductor Stéphane Denève. "Tributes! (for Seiji)" is a work composed by John Williams in 1999 to commemorate Seiji Ozawa's 25th anniversary as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and this is the world's first release of the work.
Today, digital pre-orders begin at the same time as the advance track "Superman March" begins distribution. The music video for the song and a trailer including an interview with John Williams will be released on Deutsche Grammophon's official YouTube channel today at 6pm.
Furthermore, there are also plans to release audio and video products such as CDs and Blu-rays from this Tokyo performance, and details will be announced at a later date.
John Williams in Tokyo – Trailer
John Williams & Saito Kinen Orchestra - Superman March (Live at Suntory Hall, 2023)