Patrick Williams (composer)

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This article is about the American composer. For the Irish-American politician, see John Patrick Williams. For the American football player, see Pat Williams (American football).

Patrick Moody Williams (born April 23, 1939) is a 20th- and 21st-century American composer, winning recognition in jazz, popular music, concert music and music for film and television.

Biography[edit]

Born in Missouri, Williams grew up in Connecticut and received a degree in history from Duke University, where he directed the student-run jazz big band, known as the Duke Ambassadors, from 1959-1961. Since music was always his first love, he went on to Columbia University to study music composition and conducting, where his passion became his profession. He quickly became busy as an arranger in New York; he moved to California in 1968 to pursue work in the movie and television field while continuing to write and arrange jazz albums.

Williams has also been a leader in the music-education field for many years. He served as the Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute - one of the nation's premier training programs for young musicians seeking professional careers in music - for five years. He has been Visiting Professor and Composer-in-Residence at the University of Utah and the University of Colorado, which awarded him an honorary doctorate. He also holds an honorary doctorate from Duke University and has performed and/or lectured at such other institutions as the Berklee College of Music, Indiana University, Texas Christian University, UCLA, USC, and Yale University.

Career and recognition[edit]

Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for composing the orchestral work An American Concerto, he has won two Grammys for his jazz arrangements, four Emmys for his television music, an Oscar nomination for film composition, and the Richard Kirk Award from BMI.

Williams has scored more than 200 films, including Breaking Away, which received a 1978 Oscar nomination; All of Me, Swing Shift, Cuba, Casey's Shadow, and The Grass Harp. For television, his music has accompanied shows such as Columbo, Lou Grant, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, The Streets of San Francisco, and The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. His jazz-funk arrangement of The Beatles' "Get Back" was used as the longtime theme for the 1970s sports quiz show Sports Challenge, emceed by Dick Enberg.

In addition to Williams' 4 Emmys, he has received 23 nominations.

Several of Williams' recordings are considered contemporary big-band standards, including Threshold, which won a 1974 Grammy; Too Hip for the Room, a Grammy nominee in 1983; Tenth Avenue, a double Grammy nominee in 1987; and Sinatraland, a tribute to the singer which was Grammy-nominated in 1998. Williams has received 16 Grammy nominations for his compositions and arrangements.

Frank Sinatra asked Williams to arrange and conduct his two Duets albums. For clarinetist Eddie Daniels, Williams wrote A Concerto in Swing; for saxophonist Tom Scott, he penned Romances for Jazz Soloist and Orchestra. His Theme For Earth Day was recorded by John Williams and the Boston Pops. And his most recent compositions, Adagio for Orchestra and August are currently being programmed by orchestras in the U.S. and abroad.

An American Concerto, composed in 1976, was one of the first successful attempts to combine jazz elements with traditional symphonic writing.

"His An American Concerto is, in my opinion, the best mixture of jazz and classical that anybody has ever done," says respected music critic Gene Lees. "Pat's writing is breathtaking. He's just one of the finest arrangers and composers who ever put pen to paper." Daniel Cariaga wrote in the Los Angeles Times: "An American Concerto must be one of the most attractive, affecting and original of jazz-symphonic meldings. The style is unrestrained, the tunes ingratiating, the writing expert. What Williams owes to the fair influences of Debussy, Bartok, Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff seems no more and no less than other living composers may owe in those directions. What sets him a cut above others is the individual integration he has achieved out of those influences."

One of Williams' accomplishments is the 1986 orchestral tour-de-force Gulliver. He spent eight months writing the work, which was recorded by London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, with narration by Larry Gelbart (based on Jonathon Swift's writings) read by John Gielgud. For the concert premier, Williams conducted the Yale Philharmonia with Tony Randall narrating.

Critics have also praised Williams' numerous concert-hall works. In addition to An American Concerto, Gulliver, Romances, Earth Day, Adagio, and August, they have included Suite Memories for trombone and symphony orchestra, which won a 1986 Grammy; Spring Wings, a double concerto for piano and saxophone and symphony orchestra; Appalachian Morning, recorded by the Boston Pops; Memento Mei for solo soprano and orchestra; The Prayer of St. Francis for flute and strings; and others.

Film credits[edit]

  • Passion's Way (1999): Sela Ward, Timothy Dalton, Alicia Witt; Robert Allan Ackerman, Dir.
  • Kiss the Sky (1998), MGM: William Petersen, Gary Cole, Sheryl Lee; Roger Young, Dir.
  • Julian Po (1997), New Line Cinema: Christian Slater, Robin Tunney; Alan Wade, Dir.
  • That Old Feeling (1997), Universal: Bette Midler, Dennis Farina; Carl Reiner, Dir.
  • Stormchasers (1995): Greg MacGillivray, Dir.
  • The Grass Harp (1995), New Line Cinema: Walter Matthau, Piper Laurie, Sissy Spacek; Charles Matthau, Dir.
  • Big Girls Don't Cry... They Get Even (1992), New Line Cinema: Hillary Wolf, Ben Savage; Joan Micklin Silver, Dir.
  • The Cutting Edge (1992), MGM: D.B. Sweeney, Moira Kelly; Paul Glaser, Dir.
  • Cry-Baby (1990), Universal: Johnny Depp, Ricki Lake, Polly Bergen; John Waters, Dir.
  • In the Spirit (1990), Marlo Thomas, Elaine May; Sandra Seacat, Dir.
  • Worth Winning (1989), 20th Century Fox: Mark Harmon, Madeleine Stowe, Lesley Ann Warren; Will Mackenzie, Dir.
  • Fresh Horses (1988), Columbia: Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy; David Anspaugh, Dir.
  • Just Between Friends (1986), Orion: Mary Tyler Moore, Ted Danson, Christine Lahti; Allan Burns, Dir.
  • Violets Are Blue (1986), Columbia: Kevin Kline, Sissy Spacek; Jack Fisk, Dir.
  • The Slugger's Wife (1985), Columbia: Michael O’Keefe, Rebecca De Mornay; Hal Ashby, Dir.
  • All of Me (1984), Universal: Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin; Carl Reiner, Dir.
  • Best Defense (1984), Paramount: Dudley Moore, Kate Capshaw, Eddie Murphy; Willard Huyck, Dir.
  • The Buddy System (1984), 20th Century Fox: Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon, Wil Wheaton; Glenn Jordon, Dir.
  • Swing Shift (1984), Warner Bros.: Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Ed Harris; Jonathon Demme, Dir.
  • Marvin and Tige (1983), 20th Century Fox Classics: John Cassavetes, Billy Dee Williams; Eric Weston, Dir.
  • The Toy (1982), Columbia: Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason; Richard Donner, Dir.
  • The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), Universal: Dolly Parton, Burt Reynolds; Colin Higgins, Dir.
  • Some Kind of Hero (1982), Paramount: Richard Pryor, Margot Kidder; Michael Pressman, Dir.
  • Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981), Peter Ustinov, Lee Grant, Angie Dickinson; Clive Donner, Dir.
  • How to Beat the High Co$t of Living (1980), Jessica Lange, Susan Saint James, Jane Curtin; Robert Scheer, Dir.
  • It's My Turn (1980), Columbia: Jill Clayburgh, Michael Douglas; Claudia Weill, Dir.
  • Used Cars (1980), Columbia: Kurt Russell, Jack Warden; Robert Zemeckis, Dir.
  • Wholly Moses (1980), Columbia: Dudley Moore, Richard Pryor, John Ritter; Gary Weis, Dir.
  • Hero at Large (1980), MGM: John Ritter, Anne Archer; Martin Davidson, Dir.
  • Breaking Away (1979), 20th Century Fox: Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern; Peter Yates, Dir.
  • Butch and Sundance: The Early Days (1979), 20th Century Fox: Tom Berenger, William Katt; Richard Lester, Dir.
  • Cuba (1979), United Artists: Sean Connery, Brooke Adams; Richard Lester, Dir.
  • Hot Stuff (1979), Columbia: Dom DeLuise, Jerry Reed, Suzanne Pleshette; Dom DeLuise, Dir.
  • Casey's Shadow (1978), Columbia: Walter Matthau; Martin Ritt, Dir.
  • The One and Only (1978), Paramount: Henry Winkler, Kim Darby; Carl Reiner, Dir.
  • The Cheap Detective (1978), Columbia: Peter Falk, Ann-Margret, Madeline Kahn; Robert Moore, Dir.
  • Sssssss (1973), Universal: Dirk Benedict, Strother Martin; Bernard L. Kowalski, Dir.
  • Evel Knievel (1971), Paramount: George Hamilton; Marvin J. Chomsky, Dir.
  • Macho Callahan (1970), Avco Embassy: David Janssen, Jean Seberg, Lee J. Cobb; Bernard L. Kowalski, Dir.
  • Don't Drink the Water (1969), Avco Embassy: Jackie Gleason, Estelle Parsons; Howard Morris, Dir.
  • A Nice Girl Like Me (1969), Avco Embassy: Barbara Ferris, Harry Andrews; Desmond Davis, Dir.
  • How Sweet It Is! (1968), Avco Embassy: James Garner, Debbie Reynolds; Jerry Paris, Dir.

Television film credits[edit]

Partial List 1990 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie "Decoration Day", James Garner, Judith Ivey, Laurence Fishburne

  • Hercules, NBC: Sean Astin, Leelee Sobieski, Timothy Dalton, Elizabeth Perkins
  • The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story, USA
  • When Angels Come To Town, CBS: Peter Falk
  • John Christmas, CBS: Peter Falk
  • James Patterson's 1st to Die, NBC
  • We Were the Mulvaneys, Lifetime: Blythe Danner, Beau Bridges
  • Power & Beauty, Showtime: Natasha Henstridge
  • Just Ask My Children, Lifetime: Virginia Madsen, Jeffrey Nordling
  • Blonde, CBS: Poppy Montgomery, Kirstie Alley, Ann-Margret
  • Yesterday's Children, CBS: Jane Seymour, Hume Cronyn
  • The Thin Blue Lie, Showtime: Rob Morrow, Randy Quaid, Paul Sorvino
  • The Three Stooges, ABC: Michael Chiklis, Paul Ben-Victor
  • Jesus, CBS: Jeremy Sisto, Jacqueline Bisset, Gary Oldman
  • Miracle on the 17th Green, CBS: Robert Urich, Meredith Baxter
  • Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story, CBS: Dana Delany, James Coburn, Kathy Baker
  • A Song From the Heart, CBS: Amy Grant, D.W. Moffatt, Keith Carradine
  • A Cooler Climate, Paramount: Sally Field, Judy Davis
  • Take My Advice: The Ann and Abby Story, Lifetime: Wendi Malick
  • Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke, CBS: Lauren Bacall, Richard Chamberlain
  • A Knight in Camelot, Disney: Whoopi Goldberg, Michael York
  • Passion's Way, CBS: Sela Ward, Timothy Dalton
  • Soloman, CBS: Ben Cross, Max von Sydow
  • Heart Full of Rain, CBS: Richard Crenna, Rick Schroder
  • After Jimmy, CBS: Meredith Baxter, Bruce Davison
  • Never Give Up: The Jimmy V Story, CBS: Anthony LaPaglia, Ronny Cox
  • Ruby Ridge: An American Tragedy, CBS: Laura Dern, Randy Quaid
  • A Brother's Promise: The Dan Jansen Story, Matt Keeslar, Jayne Brooke
  • Journey, Hallmark Hall of Fame – CBS: Jason Robards, Meg Tilly, Brenda Fricker
  • Tom Clancy's OP Center, CBS: Harry Hamlin
  • Saved by the Light, Showtime: Eric Roberts
  • The West Side Waltz, CBS: Liza Minnelli, Shirley MacLaine
  • Deadline For Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan, Meredith Baxter
  • Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long, TNT: John Goodman, Anne Heche
  • Take Me Home Again, Kirk Douglas, Craig T. Nelson
  • Because Mommy Works, CBS: Anne Archer, John Heard
  • The Gift of Love, CBS: Andy Griffith, Blair Brown
  • Getting Gotti, CBS: Lorraine Bracco, Anthony John Denison
  • The Corpse Had A Familiar Face, Elizabeth Montgomery, Dennis Farina
  • Accidental Meeting, Paramount: Linda Gray, Linda Purl
  • French Silk, Susan Lucci, Lee Horsley
  • Mercy Mission: The Rescue of Flight 771, CBS: Robert Loggia, Scott Bakula
  • Geronimo, TNT: Joseph Runningfox
  • Zelda, TNT: Natasha Richardson, Timothy Hutton
  • Murder in the Heartland, Tim Roth, Fairuza Balk
  • Blind Spot, Hallmark Hall of Fame – CBS: Joanne Woodward, Laura Linney
  • Jewels, CBS: Annette O’Toole, Anthony Andrews
  • In Broad Daylight, CBS: Brian Dennehy, Marcia Gay Harden
  • Her Hidden Truth', NBC: Kellie Martin, Antonio Sabato Jr.

Television series credits[edit]

Partial List

External links[edit]