John Williams Composes Theme Music for THIRTEEN`s Great Performances in Unique Collaboration

Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:35am EDT

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New Theme Music To Premiere With Broadcast Of Great Performances: King Lear,
March 25 on PBS 
NEW YORK--(Business Wire)--
WNET.ORG, New York`s public media provider, teams up with leading American
composer John Williams to score new theme music for THIRTEEN`s award-winning
performing arts series Great Performances. 

Williams` composition will premiere during the opening credits of Great
Performances: King Lear, starring Ian McKellen, Wednesday, March 25 at 8 p.m.
(ET) on PBS (check local listings). 

This is the first time Williams has created a composition for a THIRTEEN
production. David Horn, executive producer of THIRTEEN`s Great
Performances,approached Williams about composing a new theme as the crowning
element for the series` new on-air look. "After 36 years of showcasing the best
in the performing arts for American audiences, we wanted to reinvigorate our
Great Performances broadcast identity for today`s digital HD generation," said
executive producer David Horn. "As one of America`s master composers with an
unmistakable musical signature, John Williams is his own brand name for
excellence and innovation. When the opportunity came up to create a new opening
to the series, John was automatically our first choice - we didn`t think twice."

Williams, a five-time Academy Award-winner, who most recently scored the music
for President Obama`s inauguration, is best known for composing the soundtrack
to some of Hollywood`s biggest box-office hits including Jaws, Star Wars, Harry
Potter and Schindler`s List, among many others. Williams appeared on PBS`s
Evening at Pops while the principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from
1980 to 1993. In 2003, Williams` "Soundings" was premiered in Great
Performances` opening night telecast from Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment
for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public
television viewers, and PBS. Major funding is also provided by The Anna-Maria
and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund and the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust. 

Visit Great Performances Online at for additional information
about this and other programs. Bill O`Donnell is Series Producer for Great
Performances. David Horn is Executive Producer. 


New York public media company WNET.ORG is a pioneering provider of television
and web content. The parent of Thirteen, WLIW21 and Creative News Group,
WNET.ORG brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Worldfocus,
Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Wide Angle, Secrets
of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack,
Wild Chronicles,Miffy and Friends, and Cyberchase to national and international
audiences. Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET.ORG serves the
entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts and
innovative educational and cultural projects. In all that it does, WNET.ORG
pursues a single, overarching goal - to create media experiences of lasting
significance for New York, America and the world. For more information, visit 

Gloria Park, 212-560-2063
Donald Lee, 212-560-3005

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