Hollywood Bowl – August 30, 2008
John Williams’ annual concert of film music with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl has been an annual tradition for me as long as I have lived in Southern California. I’ve been a huge fan of Williams’ music since I was a kid and I love these regular opportunities to hear his music live, particularly with Williams conducting it himself.
Even though I have continued to attend, and thoroughly enjoy, the concerts every year, my last review was of the 2005 concert. The concerts are great fun, but the content is basically similar from year to year. The concerts tend to be targeted more towards the fans of Williams’ mainstream blockbusters than at film score enthusiasts, which results in the selections usually being drawn from a somewhat limited subset of Williams’ exceptional repertoire of compositions.
Williams typically includes a section featuring additional material besides his own during his concerts, sometimes including guest performers. My interest in those parts has varied from year to year. Generally, I have most enjoyed those segments when they have been very focused on classic film music that clearly influenced or otherwise connected strongly with Williams. The second half of this year’s concert featured a lengthy tribute to musicals directed by Stanley Donen, with each piece introduced (in person) by Donen himself. This was easily my favorite "extra" yet from the Williams’ Hollywood Bowl concerts I have attended.