Oscars 2016: ‘Star Wars’ brings composer John Williams his 50th nomination


John Williams proved to be a force unto himself on Thursday, when the 83-year-old composer behind the latest “Star Wars” film earned his 50th Oscar nomination.

Williams’ score for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is part of more than 15 hours of original music he has written for the franchise. One of his five Oscars is for scoring the original “Star Wars” film; his other wins were for “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1972, “Jaws” in 1976, “E.T.” in 1983 and “Schindler’s List” in 1994.

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Although epic music for epic stories may be Williams’ forte, he has earned love from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for comedies as well, including director Sydney Pollack’s 1995 “Sabrina.” In 1991, Williams received two nominations for “Home Alone” -- one for the original song (“Somewhere in My Memory,” with Leslie Bricusse) and the other for original score.

Williams’ very first Oscar nod was for scoring the 1967 film “Valley of the Dolls.” His most recent nomination came two years ago for “The Book Thief.”

Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, who conducted the opening and end titles in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and who frequently conducts Williams’ music at Disney Hall, last month called the Juilliard-trained composer “the Mozart of our day.”

“I cannot tell you how inspired I felt when I held his score in my hands for the first time, stunned by the beauty of his writing,” Dudamel told The Times. “He’s a genius.”

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