If you’re caught up in the hype of the new Star Wars film, and you can’t get enough John Williams music, check out PBS’s Great Performances. You’ll find a concert of Williams’ music, hosted by Natalie Portman, and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. It’s not all Star Wars, and includes a concert piece written by Williams for the new Walt Disney concert hall where the LA Phil performs. As part of The Force Awakens, Dudamel was brought in to conduct new music for the opening and closing credits. There’s some fabulous music here, some world class playing, and it’s all live. Williams himself takes the podium to conduct the Imperial March.

(When they show the LA Phil trumpet section, look for the bearded trumpet player wearing glasses. That’s Jim Wilt, and I studied with him when I was at Rice. He’s a remarkable player.)


Olympic Fanfare and Theme

Three Pieces from Schindler’s List

Cadenza and Variations from Fiddler on the Roof


“Escapades” from Catch Me If You Can

“Throne Room and Finale” from Star Wars

“Dry Your Tears, Afrika” from Amistad

“Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back