John Williams Is Receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award

The laureate conductor of the Boston Pops wrote soundtracks for Jaws, Star Wars, E.T., Harry Potter, and more.

john williams lifetime achievement award

John Williams photo via Shutterstock

Composer John Williams, who preceded Keith Lockhart as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Film Institute.

Throughout his career, which now spans more than six decades, Williams has composed instantly-recognizable themes for some of the most celebrated American films, including E.T. and installments of the Jaws, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Home Alone, and Jurassic Park series.

“John Williams has written the soundtrack of our lives,” said Sir Howard Stringer, the 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 movies.”

Williams has won five Academy Awards and received 49 nominations in total—the most for any living person. Now, he’ll become the first composer to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the AFI, the nation’s highest honor for a career in film.

During his time with the Boston Pops, from 1980 to 1993, he brought the orchestra on its first tours to Japan and invited his longtime collaborator Steven Spielberg and fellow director Martin Scorsese to the stage at Tanglewood.

Williams remains as a laureate conductor for the Pops and returns to lead the orchestra for the annual “Film Night,” although he had to cancel appearances this year due to a back injury.

The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Williams on June 9, 2016 at a gala held in Los Angeles.