RSNO The Music of John Williams, Usher Hall, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Richard Kaufman
Show details
Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Alice Mills, Love on the Wing; John Williams: Olympic Fanfare and Theme, A New Beginning from Minority Report, Born on the Fourth of July, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Suite, Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Concert Suite, Love Theme from Superman, Flying Theme from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Of Grit and Glory, Flight to Neverland from Hook, Catch Me If You Can: Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, The Adventures of Indiana Jones, Suite from Jaws, Suite from Star Wars: Episode IX, The Rise of Skywalker, Star Wars: Main Title.
Richard Kaufman (conductor)
Running time

Tickets for this Usher Hall were sold out and not surprising. John Williams, now aged 92, has been writing the most significant film music in our time for some of the great directors. The audience was there to hear some of the most popular. But tucked in we heard music from John Williams' personal collection and some lesser known. 

Whilst John Williams was the star of the evening, in absentia, the presence of Richard Kaufman as conductor and narrator more than made it an experience not to be missed. Kaufman, from Sourhern California has made a career conducting popular music with big orchestras. He described the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as one of the great orchestras of the world - to the delight of the Edinburgh audience. His clear-to-hear and succint narrations between most of the works fully demonstrated his knowledge and fondness of all that is John Williams. That they had worked together was indeed a bonus for us.

Memorable was Principal Trumpet, Christoper Hart, playing Born on the Fourth of July, so too Lewis Banks on the Alto Saxophone in Catch Me If You Can. Early in the second half of the concert was a work, not by John Williams, although it was good enough to have been, but by music technologist Alice Mills and her Love on the Wing. The choice of her music resulted from her participation in the Film Composers Lab of 2022/23. The lighting technicians must have had forewarning of where she was to be sitting when Richard Kaufman congratulated her and the lights shone on her.

For film music bufffs this really was a concert not to have missed.

Event: Friday 1st March 2024 at 7.30pm