Saw John Williams live... wow...
On Saturday night, I saw John Williams conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He performed several of his own works, as well as a few tributes to other composers. All I can say is: wow. Since I've never seen a John Williams printed score, it's neat to watch the orchestra play and see how he chooses his orchestration. Did you know a lot of his pieces use piano mixed in with the rest of the orchestra? Several times, I saw the woman at the piano pounding away now and then.. and though it's drowned out by the rest of the orchestra, I'm sure it adds something to the overall sound of the piece.
Some of the pieces he performed: Imperial March from Star Wars (quite awesome to hear/see it live!); from Harry Potter: Hedwig's Theme, Aunt Marge's Waltz, and Harry's Wondrous World; main theme from Indiana Jones; a couple themes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind; Cowboy's Overture from The Cowboys.. and a lot more. They also played Goldsmith's Star Trek theme, which was awesome!
Williams occasionally picked up a mic and talked to the audience, which was cool and unexpected, either to explain a bit about a piece he was about to conduct, or to share an anecdote. It was an awesome experience. Now if only Howard Shore would come to the CSO and have Lord of the Rings music played live..