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Symphonic Suite from Far and Away
John Williams (1932 - )

Far and Away (1992) depicts an impoverished 19th-century Irish tenant farmer who has recently lost both his father and his home to the agents of his unscrupulous landlord. On a mission to avenge his family's injustice at the hands of the ruthless land baron he meets the landlord's daughter and the two run off to America together where the girl expects to claim a piece of land for herself in the Oklahoma Land Rush. After she is robbed on the boat that carries them to America, they arrive with nary a penny and struggle just to keep their heads above water in the slums of Boston. After a series of serious set-backs they do eventually work their way out West, where he must fight to realize his dream and claim a piece of the American Dream for himself -- and where they finally acknowledge their love for each other. Stars include Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

The most popular film composer of the modern era, John Williams created music for some of the most successful motion pictures in Hollywood history. Initially, he pursued a career as a jazz pianist, later working with Henry Mancini to compose the score for the hit television series Peter Gunn. Williams then went solo to pen a number of TV soundtracks for series including Playhouse 90, Wagon Train and Bachelor Father. In 1959 he ventured into film with Daddy-O, and spent the majority of the 1960s alternating between the silver screen (The Killers, The Plainsman) and its smaller counterpart (Gilligan's Island, Lost in Space).

In 1968 Williams earned his first Academy Award nomination for his work in Valley of the Dolls; in 1970, he garnered nods for both The Reivers and Goodbye, Mr. Chips, and two years later finally won for Fiddler on the Roof. A slew of Oscar nominations followed, for features including The Poseidon Adventure, Images, Tom Sawyer and The Towering Inferno. In 1974 he first teamed with a young filmmaker named Steven Spielberg on a movie titled The Sugarland Express; the two frequently reteamed over the years to come, with often stunning results -- Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Jurassic Park, and Schindler's List were just a few of the Spielberg / Williams pairings, with Jaws, E.T. and Schindler's List all winning the composer Academy Awards.