At 91, composer John Williams is still so busy that it’s hard to pin him down for an interview. But I was able to do that on Thursday morning and on Friday Variety posted the story. He talks about reuniting with director Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans, loosely based on the filmmaker’s childhood; about eight months of off-and-on work on Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, which is due out in June; and about new classical commissions (including one for pianist Emanuel Ax and another for cellist Yo-Yo Ma) and his surprising conducting schedule for 2023, which will see him jetting to Chicago, New York, Tokyo and elsewhere.
Gerald Fried was the first composer I ever interviewed, back in 1974. I had been a huge fan of his work on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and he gave me a wonderful half-hour. He went on to collect an Emmy for the landmark miniseries Roots and even greater fame for his iconic Star Trek battle music (and his silly stuff for Gilligan’s Island, which he later confessed to me generated his biggest royalty stream because it reruns constantly everywhere in the world). He was a highly articulate, very witty and super-talented composer who could write in any genre. Here is my obituary, with a detailed look at his career, for Variety.