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AFI Life Achievement Award: John Williams
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AFI Tribute to John Williams - 9/12

Composer John Williams, described by Steven Spielberg as "a great talent" and his "most important collaborator," is the winner of this year's AFI Life Achievement Award. During a ceremony that was taped in June and airs September 12 on TCM, Spielberg presents the AFI award to Williams. (The special was broadcast earlier on sister network TNT.) In another fascinating event, an episode of TCM Presents: AFI's Master Class--the Art of Collaboration (2011), Spielberg and Williams discuss their four-decade friendship and collaboration on a series of memorable films that began with The Sugarland Express (1974) and included many masterworks such as Jaws (1975).

Williams' illustrious career boasts a record-setting 50 Academy Award® nominations and five Oscars®. Jaws, with its famous two-note "shark" theme emerging as a classic piece of suspense music, marked Williams' first win for an original dramatic score. Also included in the TCM tribute to Williams is The Cowboys (1972), a John Wayne Western with a stirring early Williams score that helped established the composer's reputation as a master of epic themes. Music critic Jerry McCulley praised Williams' "exemplary work" on this "robust, brassy score."

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