Summon the Heroes

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"Summon The Heroes"
Single by John Williams
from the album Summon The Heroes
Released July 19, 1996 (1996 Summer Olympics)
Format Digital download
Recorded Avery Fisher Hall, New York City, US
Genre Pop
Length 6:17
Label NBC
  • John Williams
Producer(s) John Williams
John Williams singles chronology
"The Olympic Spirit"
"Summon the Heroes"
"Call of the Champions"

Summon the Heroes is a one-movement orchestral composition written for the 1996 Summer Olympics by the American composer John Williams. It premiered July 19, 1996, at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. The piece is the third of four compositions Williams has written for the Olympics, following 1984's Olympic Fanfare and Theme and 1988's Olympic Spirit, and preceding 2002's Call of the Champions.[1]

Style and composition[edit]

Summon the Heroes is scored for a full orchestra and lasts just over six minutes in duration. Music journalist Jon Burlingame described the piece as having "antiphonal brass choirs" and added that it was "longer and more complex" than Williams' previous Olympic compositions.[1] Christian Clemmensen of Filmtracks has also noted "Roman and Greek-like historical appeal" in the brass writing that the work "featured with nobility."[2]


In reviewing Summon the Heroes on the 2002 album American Journey (featuring an eponymous composition and the 2002 Olympic theme Call of the Champions, among other Williams' pieces), film music critic James Southall highly praised the work, saying that it "...manages to offer in six minutes the kind of development and depth that simply isn't possible in the shorter tracks that have come before." Southall added, "For my money it's Williams's best concert piece, and maybe his best piece period."[3] Christian Clemmensen of Filmtracks also praised the work for having more world appeal than Williams' other Olympic compositions.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Burlingame, Jon (February 21, 2014). "Film Composers Achieve Olympic Victory: Tiomkin music to be featured in Sochi closing ceremony". The Film Music Society. Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Clemmensen, Christian (January 14, 2002). "American Journey (John Williams)". Retrieved February 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ Southall, James (2002). "American Journey Review". Movie Wave. Retrieved February 27, 2015.