John Williams Conducts the Saito Kinen Orchestra in Matsumoto, Japan – Report, Photos & Video

September 2, 2023, Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival, Matsumoto, JAPAN
Saito Kinen Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS and Stéphane Denève


Conducted by Stéphane Denève

  • Sound the Bells!
  • Tributes! (for Seiji!)
  • Suite from Far & Away
  • Suite from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
    Three Million Light Years from Home
    Flying Theme
  • Superman March


Conducted by John Williams

  • Three Selections from Harry Potter
    Hedwig’s Theme
    Fawkes the Phoenix
    Harry’s Wondrous World
  • Theme from Schindler’s List
  • Three Selections from Star Wars
    The Rebellion is Reborn
    Princess Leia’s Theme
    Throne Room & Finale


  • Yoda’s Theme from The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back


MATSUMOTO, Nagano — World famous composer John Williams conducted his own scores at the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival in Nagano Prefecture on Saturday.

The 91-year-old music maestro, known for his music work on movies such as “Jurassic Park,” performed with the Saito Kinen Orchestra after he was invited to perform by longtime friend Seiji Ozawa, who also serves as the director of the festival. It was the first time in 30 years that Williams had performed in Japan.

French conductor Stephane Deneve, 51, lead the first half of the program. The preceding half saw Williams energetically swinging a baton to conduct various masterpieces he had composed for movies such as “Harry Potter,” “Schindler’s List” and “Star Wars.”

After the performance, Ozawa appeared on stage in a wheelchair and joyfully held hands with Williams, who told the audience that he came to honor Ozawa, whom he respects sincerely. The pair received a big round of applause from the audience of about 1,900 attendees.

Ozawa commented after the performance, “Thank you John for coming to Matsumoto.”

Source: The Japan News



John Williams and Stéphane Denève


Williams and Seiji Ozawa