John Williams’ ‘Film Night’ at Tanglewood 2023 – Listen to the Full Concert

Listen to this concert at CRB – Classical Radio Boston

August 5, 2023, Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, MA
Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS and David Newman
BU Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Vocal Program
Penelope Bitzas, director. Katie Woolf, conductor
Elita Kang, violin


Conducted by David Newman

  • Hooray for Hollywood (arr. Williams)
  • The Cowboys Overture
  • Scene d’Amour from Vertigo
  • Suite from Far and Away
  • Theme from Jurassic Park
  • Love Theme from Superman
  • Superman March


Conducted by John Williams

  • The Adventures of Mutt from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Call of the Champions
  • Dry Your Tears, Afrika from Amistad
  • Duel of the Fates from The Phantom Menace
  • Theme from Schindler’s List
  • The Asteroid Field from The Empire Strikes Back
  • Anakin’s Theme from The Phantom Menace
  • Throne Room and Finale from Star Wars


  • Helena’s Theme from Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  • Flying Theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back



Report by rpvee (original post)

I can now say I’ve reminded John Williams which Star Wars film his music is from. Once at Carnegie Hall last year, and again tonight! 😂

Absolutely stunning night. Maybe my favorite concert of his I’ve been to. The program was perfect. The choir was epic and Duel of the Fates gave me chills as a dream I’d had since childhood came true. I was directly in front of Williams and had more interactions with him than I ever have before (including reminding him which Star Wars “The Asteroid Field” is from).

I’m glowing!

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Review by Smeltington (original post)

This was such a fun show!! Williams was in fine form and seemed to be enjoying himself. I haven’t sat that close up in a while, so it was cool to hear different instruments surrounding me, making it easier to pick out separate parts, mainly in the string section since that’s what’s right in front of your face. But it’s a great way to focus in on little orchestral details you’d never notice in the familiar recordings. I also got a huge kick out of the facial expressions of some of the players. One violinist just to the right of Williams had the most intense look on her face while playing, then between pieces and during the ovations she kept beaming at Williams. Seemed like the right reactions to me… extreme concentration trying to get the music right, balanced with happiness to be performing with him! There was also a very blasé looking cellist who acted like he was “over it” through the entire show, but during the ovations Williams warmly put a hand on his shoulder and he turned and looked very surprised by the sudden nice gesture, lol. I’d like to think Williams melted his heart.

Duel of the Fates was the biggest highlight of the program for me. Agree the choir was a bit quiet, but I could hear them fine. But hearing the piece come alive in front of me was like hearing it for the first time. Think back to 1999, the intensity, I would even describe it as savagery, it was an amazing piece. I haven’t gotten tired of the recording like I know some people have, but it’s so ingrained that you don’t always get those feelings from it like you did when it first came out, so it was great to rediscover that. It’s a dynamic piece and I felt like the players rose to the challenge and really gave it their all, you could feel the electricity.

Going in, I was excited for Anakin’s Theme too, but it’s really NOT assertive compared to DotF and I wasn’t quite ready to focus my attention hard enough to catch all the nuances there, so it would be nice to hear that one again in concert sometime later.

The Superman video was just as good this time as the other time I saw it. Brilliant editing!

Review by Mr Hooper (original post)

Feeling refreshed today and recovered from the sleepless overnight bus back from Albany, and now able to collect my thoughts on the concert…

In a word: magic.

My first ‘pinch me’ moment was actually in the morning while taking in the rehearsal on the lawn.

I checked ticket availability, looking to upgrade, and chanced upon a front row, center seat, alongside Guillaume and rpvee (as seen in the picture above!). Could not believe my luck.

Though new to posting here, it was great meeting with some of you. Met MSM at the gift shop, and Foxfan and I could hear a trombonist practicing the Imperial March and Duel of the Fates in a little wooden hut near the shed. Check out the video below.

rpvee said that John interacts with people in the front rows, and I was hoping for a little my way. Sure enough, when he first took the rostrum, he pointed at my ‘Music by John Williams’ shirt with a smile!

The shirt got a lot of compliments and people were asking where I got it, so if anyone’s interested, check out Last Exit To Nowhere. It was perfect for me because it has the font from the Jaws credits, and Jaws was my introduction to JW.

The concert was great in that it was a real retrospective going back to The Cowboys, when his career really began to take off, all the way to today (Helena’s Theme)—with a nod to his work outside of film (Call of the Champions) along the way.

When I saw Schindler’s List in the program, it struck me that I was sitting directly in front of the soloist, Elita Kang. What a treat to watch her—and John’s interaction with her—up close like that.

I’ll repeat what everyone’s saying: Duel of the Fates was EPIC.

Yeah, I could quibble that the chorus was weak in spots, but man, the orchestra was thunderous! I was head-banging to it! 🤘

E.T. did break me a little and I got a tear in my eye. I was 7 when it came out, so yeah, that final fanfare struck me right in the feels…

You know how sometimes you go see a band live and they change up the songs and you just wished they played it like you remember it?

That’s how I felt a little about The Asteroid Field and Anakin’s Theme.

I should’ve expected that they’d be reworked for a concert setting, but I found myself listening critically. I’ll have to listen to them again to see how I feel about them.

The Imperial March was the cherry on top, and I’ll be forever glad and grateful he had the energy to perform that final encore. 🍒

It was said here that it was virtually impossible to see and have a brief interaction with John after the show…so over the loud applause at the end, I yelled “Thank you, John” (on behalf of fans everywhere) and hoped he would hear me.

He did, and acknowledged it with a nod and smile.

It was such a perfect evening, on a perfect summer’s day…

“What could be better?,” as the Maestro himself remarked at the start.


Official photos by Hilary Scott:

Photos by Jason LeBlanc:

Photos by rpvee:

Photos by Foxfan:

Photo by Guillaume:

Photo by MSM:

Photos by Mr. Hooper:

Photos by SilverTrumpet: