John Williams Receives Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal

The American composer, conductor and pianist received the RPS Gold Medal, which has recognized outstanding musicianship since 1870


The recipient of 3 Emmy Awards, 5 Academy Awards and 21 Grammy Awards, Williams has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in history, including Star Wars, Jaws, Superman, Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List and Harry Potter.

Previous winners of the RPS Gold Medal include Johannes Brahms (1877), Fritz Kreisler (1904), Frederick Delius and Edward Elgar (1925), Richard Strauss (1936), John Barbirolli (1950), Kathleen Ferrier (1953), Igor Stravinsky (1954), Benjamin Britten (1964) Vladimir Horowitz (1974) Witold Lutoslawski (1986) and Leonard Bernstein (1987).

"To receive this award is beyond any expectation I could possibly have," John Williams said. "For any composer to be able devote his or her life entirely to the composition of music is very fortunate indeed. I’d like to thank our musicians of our great orchestras in London and in the United States with whom I’ve worked so happily for so many years."

Director Steven Spielberg said in his congratulations video, "John, you have brought the classical idiom to young people all over the world through your scores, and through your classical training and your classical sensibilities. You are in the DNA of the musical culture of today."