Composer John Williams to receive AFI lifetime achievement award

Thu Oct 8, 2015 5:06pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - John Williams, the prolific composer of numerous memorable movie scores including "Star Wars," "Jaws," "Indiana Jones" and "Harry Potter," will receive a lifetime achievement award from the American Film Institute, the organization said Thursday.

Williams, 83, will be feted at a gala dinner next year in Los Angeles, AFI said. The organization aims to preserve the heritage of American cinema.

"John Williams has written the soundtrack to our lives," Sir Howard Stringer, chairman of AFI's board of trustees, said 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."

Williams, a graduate of New York's Julliard School, has more than 150 film scores to his name, many which have become embedded into pop culture, such as "Star Wars" or "Jurassic Park." He is known for frequently collaborating with filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

The composer has won five Oscars out of 49 nominations over his seven-decade career. His score for 1977's "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" was named the most memorable film score of all time by the AFI in 2005.

Williams is composing the score for the highly anticipated "Star Wars" seventh installment, "The Force Awakens," out in theaters in December.

Other recipients of the AFI lifetime achievement award include Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda and most recently, comedic actor Steve Martin.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by David Gregorio)

Composer John Williams arrives for "The 33rd American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to George Lucas" at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles June 9, 2005. REUTERS/Chris Pizzello