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  • HB
  • Aug. 29, 2008
  • Concerts Feature Film Scores and Clips, Tributes to MGM Musicals and George Lucas/Steven Spielberg Films, and a Solo from Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Associate Concertmaster Bing Wang

    FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2008, AT 8:30 PM
    SATURDAY, AUGUST 30, 2008, AT 8:30 PM

    The August 29 Performance is a Fidelity Investments FutureStage Concert; The August 30 Performance is a Lexus Passionate Performance

    One of the most highly-anticipated Hollywood Bowl events for audiences and movie fans arrives when celebrated composer/conductor John Williams returns to lead a cinematic extravaganza with an in-person tribute to the legendary director, choreographer and raconteur Stanley Donen and the MGM musicals on Friday, August 29, and Saturday, August 30, at 8:30 p.m. Williams’ annual weekend at the Bowl also features some of his own Oscar-winning scores, a celebration of films by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, plus a ravishing solo by Los Angeles Philharmonic Associate Concertmaster, Bing Wang.

    In a nod to the 2008 Olympics, the concerts begin with a Williams’ tribute to the games that includes his The Olympic Spirit accompanied by film clips on the Hollywood Bowl’s screens. The program continues with more of Williams’ famous compositions including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Indiana Jones, and the theme from Sabrina featuring Wang. Donen takes the stage to host a tribute to the popular musicals that graced movie theaters in the 1950s thanks to his direction and innovative dance sequences, such as Singin’ in the Rain, Royal Wedding, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and It’s Always Fair Weather as well as Anchors Aweigh, portions of which were filmed at the Hollywood Bowl. These incomparable scores are played by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conducted by Williams while clips run for the audience to enjoy. The evenings climax with a tribute to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, featuring film clips, as the orchestra performs selections from Jaws, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

    JOHN WILLIAMS was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948. There he attended UCLA and Los Angeles City College, and studied composition privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. After service in the Air Force, Williams returned to New York to attend Juilliard, where he studied piano with Madame Rosina Lhévinne. While in New York, he also worked as a jazz pianist, both in clubs and on recordings. He then returned to Los Angeles, where he began his career in the film industry, working with such composers as Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for many television programs in the 1960s, winning four Emmy Awards for his work. Williams has composed the music and served as a music director for more than 100 films, including War of the Worlds, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Minority Report, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, The Patriot, Angela's Ashes, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Stepmom, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, Seven Years in Tibet, The Lost World, Rosewood, Sleepers, Nixon, Sabrina, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Far and Away, JFK, Hook, Presumed Innocent, Born on the Fourth of July, the Indiana Jones trilogy, The Accidental Tourist, Empire of the Sun, The Witches of Eastwick, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Star Wars trilogy, Jaws, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. He has received 45 Academy Award nominations, most recently for his scores from Memoirs of a Geisha and Munich, making him the Academy's most nominated living person. He has been awarded five Oscars, seven British Academy Awards (BAFTA), 18 Grammys, four Golden Globes, four Emmys, and numerous gold and platinum records. In January 1980, Williams was named 19th Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885. He currently holds the title of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor, which he assumed following his retirement in December 1993 after 14 highly successful seasons. Williams also holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at Tanglewood. He has written many concert pieces, including two symphonies and concertos for cello, flute, violin, clarinet, tuba, trumpet, bassoon and horn. In addition, Williams has composed the well-known NBC theme "The Mission," "Liberty Fanfare" composed for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, "We're Lookin' Good!," composed for the Special Olympics in celebration of the 1987 International Summer Games, and themes for the 1984, 1988 and 1996 Summer Olympic games as well as the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. Williams holds honorary degrees from 21 American universities, including the Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music in Boston, Boston College, Northeastern University, Tufts University, Boston University, the New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, the Eastman School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the University of Southern California. Williams served as the Grand Marshal of the 2004 Rose Parade in Pasadena, and was the recipient of a Kennedy Center Honor in December of 2004.

    STANLEY DONEN - American film director and choreographer, is hailed by David Quinlan as “the King of the Hollywood musicals.” He started out as a Broadway dancer in the 1940s, then decided to try movies and went on to work with the greatest dancers, and helm several of the most highly regarded musicals to emerge from classical Hollywood. Even after he left the musical genre, his smooth touch earned him hits well into the following decades. Born in South Carolina, Donen began dancing as a child. Making his Broadway debut at 16 in the chorus of Pal Joey, he soon began a collaboration with the show's star, Gene Kelly, assisting with the choreography for the show Best Foot Forward in 1941. Donen then headed to Hollywood, repeating his jobs as assistant choreographer and chorus dancer in the film version of Best Foot Forward (1943). He worked steadily as a choreographer for the rest of the decade, including on Kelly's Cover Girl (1944) for Columbia. After moving to MGM in 1945, Donen continued to collaborate with Kelly, choreographing such films as Anchors Aweigh (1945) (featuring Kelly's dance with cartoon mouse Jerry) and Living in a Big Way (1947). Donen's career kicked into high gear when he began working with storied MGM producer Arthur Freed, co-choreographing and co-writing Busby Berkeley's Kelly and Frank Sinatra musical Take Me Out to the Ballgame (1949). His subsequent trio of Freed-unit musicals became landmarks of the genre and included his work with dancing stars such as Fred Astaire and Cyd Charrise. In 1952, he returned to the shared director's chair with Kelly, the two made their most renowned film, the classic Singin' in the Rain (1952). He joined forces with Kelly and the Freed unit one last time with the sardonic It's Always Fair Weather (1955), which marked the end of his tenure at MGM. As a free agent, Donen illustrated that he was still one of the top musical directors with The Pajama Game and Funny Face in 1957. He re-teamed with Abbott and Fosse on another bright Broadway transplant, Damn Yankees (1958). His last theatrical film to date was the May-December romance Blame It on Rio (1984) with Michael Caine and Demi Moore, though he would go on to do additional work for television, including directing a musical sequence for the series Moonlighting, Lionel Richie’s music video for “Dancing on the Ceiling”, and the TV version of A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters (1999). Donen was nominated for five Directors Guild of America Awards. He produced the 58th Academy Awards ceremony in 1986. In 1998, he received an honorary Academy Award “in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit, and visual innovation.”

    Violinist BING WANG joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Associate Concertmaster in 1994 at the age of 26, becoming the first Chinese violinist to hold such a prestigious position. As a soloist, Wang has won critical praise for her appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In September 1997, during the Philharmonic’s celebration of the Brahms anniversary year, Wang performed the composer’s Double Concerto with Philharmonic Assistant Principal Cellist Ben Hong, and in August 1999, she performed Bach’s Double Concerto at the Hollywood Bowl with Alexander Treger under the direction of Esa-Pekka Salonen. Wang appears annually as both concertmaster and soloist at the Hollywood Bowl under the baton of composer John Williams, performing his signature movie classics such as Schindler’s List and Fiddler on the Roof. In addition, Wang has been featured as the soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Manhattan Symphony, and other various local orchestras. She has appeared regularly as a soloist with the American Youth Symphony since her debut with that orchestra in 1997. In April 2002, she gave her first appearances in China since emigrating to the U.S., performing as a soloist and touring with her hometown orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Wang made her Walt Disney Concert Hall concerto debut in May of 2005. Active as a chamber musician, Wang has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Lang Lang, Pinchas Zukerman, Emanuel Ax, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Olli Mustonen, and former Beaux Arts Trio members Ida Kavafian and Peter Wiley, among others. Chamber music appearances have included the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, and the Sans Souci Palace in Germany. She also performs regularly on the Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella and Chamber Music Society series. Wang began studying the violin with her parents at the age of 6. She entered the middle school of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she was concertmaster of the school orchestra and graduated with the highest honors. After coming to the United States to study with Berl Senofsky on a four-year scholarship at the Peabody Conservatory, Wang received her Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where her teacher was Glenn Dicterow, Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic. In 1991, Wang joined the Cincinnati Symphony and became Principal Second Violin of that orchestra in January 1993.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 40th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2008, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fourth year in a row at the 19th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards. The Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.


    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood

    FRIday, August 29, 2008, AT 8:30 PM

    SATURday, August 30, 2008, AT 8:30 PM


    JOHN WILLIAMS, conductor

    STANLEY donen, special guest

    The August 29 Performance is a Fidelity Investments FutureStage Concert.

    The August 30 Performance is a Lexus Passionate Performance.

    Tickets ($10 - $114) are on sale now at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Sunday, noon–6 p.m.), by phone 323.850.2000 or by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details.

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    Lisa White, 213.972.3408,; For photos: 213.972.3034