John Williams

What You Don't Know About The Iconic Olympic Theme Song

Jul 25, 2021
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If you watch the Olympic Games, surely you recognize the heroic Olympic theme song that’s played on TV. But do you know the story behind this piece of music? Who composed it? How did it become so iconic? Well, here’s the inside scoop…

Courtesy of the artist

From an ancient buried past in Pompeii, to an outer-worldly future, The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert on WRTI transports us to different worlds this Sunday, July 25th at 1 pm on WRTI 90.1 and on Monday, July 26th at 7 pm on WRTI HD-2.

When can music composed for a film stand on its own? WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports on how John Williams’ suite from Close Encounters of the Third Kind translates to the concert stage.


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It's enchanted and enchanting music played by The Philadelphia Orchestra on WRTI, Sunday, October 25th at 1 PM on 90.1 and Monday, October 26th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.

Credit: Benjamin Ealovega

Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony highlights this Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert re-broadcast from 2016 on Sunday, October 4th at 1 PM on WRTI and Monday, October 5th at 7 PM on WRTI HD-2. But there’s so much more. The Violin Concerto of John Williams and Ravel’s well-loved Pavane round out a brilliant program conducted by Stéphane Denève, who recently finished his tenure as the Orchestra’s Principal Guest Conductor.

August 31, 2020. “Wow!” That word burst from John Williams’ lips at the finish of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of “The Imperial March." It was just one of the orchestra’s jaw-dropping renditions of Williams’ film music, with the composer on the Musikverein podium, during a concert that Williams called one of the greatest honors of his life. Our Classical Album of the Week, John Williams in Vienna, beautifully captures the magic of that evening.

July 22, 2019. Two musical forces of nature join together in a live performance of fantasy, adventure and romance. Our WRTI Classical Album of the Week and Film at Five weekday feature combine in this powerful Deutsche Grammophon album, Celebrating John Williams.

Courtesy of the Allentown Band

The Allentown Band's first documented performance was July 4th, 1828. Almost two centuries later, the ensemble is going strong, playing old favorites, connecting with the community, and looking to the future. WRTI's Susan Lewis spoke with the Band's longtime conductor and music director, Ronald Demkee. 

July 16, 2018. The music of John Williams pops up everywhere—at the movies, in the concert hall, and on recordings. This latest album is a special collection: the performing ensemble is a virtuoso wind band that plays as though the music was written for them.

Classical guitarist John Williams reached millions of ears and even hit the charts when he played the main theme to the Oscar-winning 1978 film The Deer Hunter. But by then, Williams was already a classical star on a major record label who'd toured the world many times over.

He released his latest album, On The Wing, earlier this year. And although he announced a retirement from touring a few years ago, he's now 76 and still plays every day.

"But I love doing it so it's not a problem," he says.

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