John Williams, the Oscar-winning composer of such films as Star Wars, E.T., and Schindler’s List, has been named the 44th recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award. He is the first composer to receive the honor.
Williams, 83, will be feted at a gala June 9 in Los Angeles, and the event will subsequently be broadcast on TNT and TCM.
“John Williams has written the soundtrack to our lives,” said Howard Stringer, chair of AFI’s board of trustees, in a statement. “Note by note, through chord and chorus, his genius for marrying music with movies has elevated the art form to symphonic levels and inspired generations of audiences to be enriched by the magic of the movies.”
Born and raised in New York, Williams graduated from the Julliard School and moved to Los Angeles in 1948. He has worked on more than 150 film scores, including Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, the Indiana Jones series, Jurassic Park, the first three Harry Potter movies, and Memoirs of a Geisha.
He is known for collaborating with Steve Spielberg, with whom he’s reuniting on The BFG next year. Williams is also scoring Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens in December.
The previous three AFI honorees were Steve Martin, Jane Fonda, and Mel Brooks.