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Written by BrianS7785
Published on July 17, 2003

John Williams Concert
- July 15th, 2003
Mann Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia


I just got back from a wonderful trip to see John Williams conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts. It was my first time seeing him in concert, let alone my first trip to see any concert like that.

He performed music from his Liberty Fanfare, Overture to The Cowboys, JFK (Theme-Motorcade-Arlington), "Adventures on Earth" from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (my mom even choked up a bit hearing ET because she loves the movie so much), "Flight to Neverland" from Hook, Far and Away (County Galway, June 1892-The Fighting Donellys-Joseph and Shannon-Blowin' Off Steam (The Flight)-Finale, Suite from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, (Hedwig's Theme-Fawkes the Phoenix-Nimbus 2000-Harry's Wondrous World), the theme from Schindler's List (accompanied by a wonderful violin player named William de Pasquale), and last but not least, the main theme to Star Wars!

When all was thought to have been said and done he surprised the audience with TWO encores! One being the main theme from Indiana Jones, and the other his music for NBC. He cracked a joke before playing the NBC music as it being a consolation to those who missed Tom Brokaw on the news. Before playing Schindler's List, Mr. Williams told a very funny joke how when he saw Schindler's List before scoring it he said to Steven Spielberg, "You need a better composer for this" and Spielberg said something like, "But they're all dead."

My evening at the show got even better afterwards, however. Our dad knows his manager so my family and I were treated backstage to meet him! I couldn't even bear to look at the faces of all the envious fans staring at us who were waiting for him to come out. The three of us told him it was an honor to meet him, gave him much praise, told him we were looking forward to Episode III and anything else he was doing. He was very kind and appreciative. He even gave us autographs. I don't meet many people like this being an 18 yr. old from the suburbs, so this was obviously quite a thrill.

While I didn't hear many of my favorites, I enjoyed the concert more than anything I've ever seen in my life. To hear his music is one thing, but to see and hear it live in concert is a privilege! I was smiling the whole time hearing his work. I hope everyone can have the joy of hearing his music live one day. Here's to you, maestro!

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