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Explore interviews with local artists, ensembles, and organizations - in a bite-sized format.

John Williams' musical legacy: ‘What he’s forgotten about music, most people never knew’

Composer John Williams, 2020
Chad Batka
New York Times
Composer John Williams, 2020

Famed American composer John Williams turned 90 on February 8. Celebrate his birthday with Classical KC as local experts in film and music reflect on his music and legacy.


Michael Stern, Music Director - The Kansas City Symphony

Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor - The Kansas City Symphony

Mitch Brian, Film Studies Professor - UMKC College of Arts and Sciences

Michael Stern, Jason Seber and Mitch Brian
Todd Rosenberg/Paul Andrews
Michael Stern, Jason Seber and Mitch Brian

Music heard in this story:

All music by John Williams

Han Solo and The Princess
from "The Empire Strikes Back"
John Williams and The London Symphony Orchestra

Adventures on Earth (from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial)
Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic

The Forest Battle
from "Return of the Jedi"
John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra

The Mountain
from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

You can listen to a longer form version of this story here and you can listen to more film music on Classical KC every Saturday at 7 p.m. on The Score.

Michael Stern co-hosts the Kansas City Symphony on Classical KC every Thursday at 8pm and Sunday at 1pm. You can listen to archived episodes here.

Brooke Knoll is the digital audience specialist and afternoon host for Classical KC. You can reach her at
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at