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Cast Attending Wizarding World Hollywood Grand Opening Revealed
Posted by Megs

Pottermore has revealed some of the cast and crew from the Potter films that will be attending a Red Carpet Gala opening for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood on April 5th.  Warwick Davis, Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch, James Phelps and Oliver Phelps along with composer John Williams will attend the Grand Opening event.

The attraction has been five years in the making, and features a stunning recreation of Hogwarts castle as well as Hogsmeade village.

Following in the footsteps of Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan, the Hollywood attraction will bring back some of the fans’ favourite rides, as well as a few new surprises.

The park officially opens on April 7th but is currently doing “soft openings” where fans can visit the park with limited rides and stores open.  Here’s a quick definition of a soft opening for those of you unfamiliar:

A soft opening is usually a less strenuous opening for the ride or attraction. It might not open at park open or might close before park close. It may open and close periodically throughout the day for minor adjustments or to run routine safety checks, although usually these closures are “soft” closures – they don’t clear the queue, they just cycle and empty cycle or stop the ride after everyone’s off for a moment or two. There may be private events, training or staffing requirements, repairs, media, or inspections that require the attraction be closed an entire day or more during this time. Certain effects or features might not be working yet.

Filed Under: Evanna Lynch, James and Oliver Phelps, John Williams, Tom Felton, Universal Studios Hollywood, Warwick Davis, Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Potter Alumni Get Oscar Nominations
Posted by Megs

The nominations for the 2014 Academy Awards have been announced and a few familiar names from the Harry Potter films have been nominated. Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuarón has been nominated for Gravity while composers John Williams and Alexandre Desplat are up for best score.

Best Original Score:

  • “The Book Thief” John Williams
  • “Gravity” Steven Price
  • “Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
  • “Philomena” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman

Best Film Editing:

  • “American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
  • “Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
  • “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  • “12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

Best Director:

  • David O. Russell, American Hustle
  • Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
  • Alexander Payne, Nebraska
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Filed Under: Alfonso Cuaron, John Williams
John Williams 80th Birthday Celebration Concert at Tanglewood
Posted by Megs

Today we have some exciting news to share about one of our favorite composers, John Williams. As we briefly mentioned earlier in the week, John is now 80 years old.  He celebrated this occasion on August 18th John Williams with some of his closest celebrity friends with a memorable concert at Tanglewood, an estate and music venue in Massachusetts. According to the press release we’ve been sent:

Tanglewood had the honor of presenting the only official celebration of John Williams’s 80th birthday attended by the composer himself, with a gala tribute concert on Saturday, August 18 at 8:30 p.m., featuring performances by stars of the music world, along with surprise stage appearances and video messages from luminaries of the world of arts and culture. Steven Spielberg and James Taylor made surprise stage appearances and President Barack Obama, The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, George Lucas, Brian Williams, Seiji Ozawa, and Gustavo Dudamel were featured in video birthday greetings to Mr. Williams throughout the evening.

In what was a spectacular evening of some of Mr. Williams’s most popular works for film and the concert stage, the program featured the Boston Pops Orchestra, cellist Yo-Yo Ma; soprano Jessye Norman; violinist Gil Shaham; clarinetist Anthony McGill; pianist Gabriela Montero; and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, as well as conductors Keith Lockhart, Leonard Slatkin, and Shi-Yeon Sung. James Taylor, accompanied by BSO cellist Owen Young, performed “You’ve Got a Friend.” Maestro Williams (brief bio below), who holds the titles of Boston Pops Laureate Conductor and Tanglewood Artist in Residence, and the audience heard beloved themes from his film scores to E.T., Harry Potter, and Star Wars, Schindler’s List, Memoirs of a Geisha, as well as his Air and Simple Gifts, a work composed by John Williams for the inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama.

Thanks to Tanglewood we have some photos and a video from the event that you can see below.

Filed Under: Exclusive, John Williams
John Williams to Receive Classic Brit Lifetime Achievement Award
Posted by Megs

John Williams is set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for Classical Music at the 2012 Classic Brit Awards! Dickon Stainer, Co-chairman of the Classic Brit awards committee, told BBC: “John Williams has crafted some of the most memorable film scores for over half a century.”

Williams, who is now 80 years old, has won five Oscars, four Golden Globes, seven Baftas and twenty-one Grammy awards. He is also the second most nominated man at the Academy Awards behind Walt Disney, with 47 nominations over the course of his career. Some of his most famous scores include Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Home Alone, Jurassic Park and, of course, Harry Potter.

Nominations for the rest of the awards will be announced on September 6th.  The show will be hosted by Myleene Klass at London’s Royal Albert Hall and will air on ITV1  on 2 October.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Films, John Williams

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