John Williams quotes about other composers

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Erich Wolfgang Korngold

  • "And I think one of the things I wanted to do with music is to write as well as Korngold" [1]
  • “People say they hear Wagner in ‘Star Wars,’ and I can only think, It’s not because I put it there. Now, of course, I know that Wagner had a great influence on Korngold and all the early Hollywood composers. Wagner lives with us here—you can’t escape it. I have been in the big river swimming with all of them.” [2]
  • “That’s my homage to old man Korngold” [3]
  • "George Lucas asked me to write a theme for Luke that was both heroic and idealistic in its essence, and it was presented in the form of fanfare, the associai in my mind to Korngold's heroism, idealism to Holst and fanfares to Elgar." [4]

Bernard Herrmann

  • "Benny was a famously irascible character, but in later years he was always very encouraging to me. One time he got irritated was when I arranged ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ ‘Write your own music,’ he said.” [5]