John Williams Conducts the Louisville Orchestra

January 18, 2014, Louisville, KY
The Louisville Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS


Behind the scenes rehearsal (Wave 3 News)



  • The Cowboys Overture
  • Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Three Pieces from Harry Potter
    (“Hedwig’s Theme”, “Nimbus 2000”, “Harry’s Wondrous World”)
  • Adventures on Earth from E.T. The Extra-terrestrial
  • Hooray for Hollywood
  • Dartmoor, 1912 from War Horse
  • With Malice Toward None from Lincoln
  • Suite from Far and Away
  • Theme from Schindler’s List
  • Three Pieces from Star Wars
    (“The Imperial March”, “Yoda’s Theme”, “Main Title”)
  • Theme from Jaws
  • The Raiders March
  • Theme from Superman


Concert review by ‘Smeltington’ (original post)

I drove from Atlanta for the show, which is the closest Williams has come to me since the concert in Atlanta over a year ago. We sat in the front row, a bit to one side, and had a great view of the podium. One really nice thing about the performance was that no video screen was used, which was a first for Williams concerts I’ve been to, and it was a lot easier to focus on the music.

The highlights for me were some of the pieces I’d never heard Williams conduct before – Nimbus 2000, the Imperial March, Yoda’s Theme, Superman, and With Malice Toward none (Lincoln has steadily grown on me since its release, and I was really hoping to hear something from it). While I wasn’t looking forward to hearing Schindler’s List for the umpteenth time, the violinist really sold me on it, and watching his performance up close helped draw me in.

Williams told his usual stories and jokes, including the one about all the translated languages of the Harry Potter books, and of course the Schindler’s story. I was reminded WHY he tells it every time, though, as it got a HUGE laugh. He also praised Day-Lewis’ performance in Lincoln, and mentioned that he had recently watched E.T. again for the first time in many years and felt that the child actors’ performances were the most timeless aspect of the film, adding that the same was true for Home Alone (leading me to wonder if they’d play something from it, but they didn’t).

The orchestra sounded fantastic to my admittedly untrained ears. They really came alive during Hedwig’s Theme, and the celeste performance was flawless, as was the flute in Dartmoore, cello at the opening of With Malice…, violin in Far and Away, and so on. It was a great joy to watch the violinists during the bridge of the Imperial March.

After the three pieces from Star Wars, Williams exited and returned three times after enormous applause and ovations to play encores – Jaws, to the usual audience laughter, followed by Raiders, and finally, Superman. The latter two pieces got a big cheer when the audience recognized them. After Superman, Williams did his sleepytime pose and this time the lights came up. I noticed the orchestra had the sheet music for Clash of the Lightsabers out, which admittedly would have been AMAZING but with three encores I was satisfied.

There were a few last minute changes to the program, such as moving the Harry Potter suite up to the first half. The original program also listed two different Star Wars pieces – Luke and Leia and Clash of the Lightsabers in place of the Imperial March and Yoda’s Theme.

We went and waited outside for autographs, along with about 20 or so other fans, but after half an hour of waiting some security dudes moved us far and away from the waiting cars, and we weren’t able to catch a glimpse of Williams. I saw people with Star Wars LPs, the orchestral score for the Raiders March, and a family who was in town from Seattle with a homemade poster featuring Superman, E.T., and others. I had my Sorcerer’s Stone CD just in case. Oh well, the quest continues!

All in all, a great evening and I got to hear a lot of music I had been really hoping for, plus watching everything up close helped give me a new appreciation for some old favorites. Here’s hoping Williams’ touring trend continues and everyone gets a chance to be transported by the magic of his music like we were in Louisville.

Concert report by ‘tranders65’ (original post)

Fantastic concert, especially since I’ve never been able to see him but have been listening to him since 1975! The orchestra was excellent, barring a few flubbed notes from the French horns that I caught. It was a packed house and apparently was the biggest grossing concert for them in their 76 year history (no surprise there). Williams seemed like he might have been fighting a cold or something and sounded a little tired, but still was cranking out some energy. Even though I love everything they played, I think I got the biggest kick out of hearing the Close Encounters suite and the end credits to Far and Away, since those are both typically not pieces you’d hear performed live. Great night though and so glad I finally got to see him in person!