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John Williams Comes to London Thanks to RPO

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I once went to a concert of film composer Jerry Goldsmith's music conducted by the man himself. At the beginning of the performance, he turned to the audience and joked that we were welcome to talk through it as much as we want - after all, that's what happens on-screen.

Attending a similar show at the Hollywood Bowl outdoor amphitheatre in Los Angeles - only this time with the legendary John Williams conducting music from Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones et al. - I turned round to see the night sky illuminated by an army of toy lightsabres. It was ridiculous, hilarious and moving all at the same time.

These are the reasons I love going to watch film music being performed. And it's why I'm incredibly excited to attend Williams' 80th birthday concert, which is taking place at the Royal Albert Hall on October 19 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on playing duty.

The RPO are a brilliant ensemble and the thought of hearing the Superman fanfare emanating from their brass section is tantalising. It's always been an annoyance to me that movie scores aren't accorded the same respect as "traditional" classical music, despite the complex orchestration and their unique criteria for being written in the first place.

Why is this? Is it because it's seen as being too "Hollywood", as something too unrefined or gauche to be equated with Schubert, Mozart and the rest?

Nevertheless, I don't think I'll be bringing a lightsabre. But it's likely I'll shed a tear if they play the Schindler's List theme. So sue me.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's John Williams concert is on 19 October. Information here. They will also be playing the Best Of Broadway on Wednesday 7 November, at the Royal Albert Hall at 7:30p.m. Music comes from Evita, Cats, Hairspray, Chicago and more. Tickets here.