Music from Indiana Jones 5 was presented as part of annual Maestro of Music concert at Hollywood Bowl.

The program from the evening

Since making his Hollywood Bowl debut in 1978, composer, conductor and pianist John Williams has become an annual, beloved regular at the concert venue. Now a Labor Day weekend staple, the Maestro of the Movies concerts highlight Mr. William’s cinematic orchestral works. For Labor Day 2022, the stars align and the concert was dedicated to celebrating his 90th birthday as well as the 100th anniversary of the Hollywood Bowl as cultural venue.

This year, in addition to performing some of his most beloved scores, the weekend’s shows served to debut to the public Helena’s Theme from the upcoming, and as-yet-untitled fifth movie in the Indiana Jones franchise. Mr. Williams pronounced Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character’s name as “helleena” so that should be pretty definitive. He described her as a combination of “adventuress and femme fatale.” The movie itself is scheduled to hit the big screen in the US on June 30, 2023. Helena’s Theme was played as a surprise after he conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone.

While in the past, Mr. Williams has conducted the entire show, in the past few years, he has shared conducting duties with David Newman, himself a legendary Hollywood composer. Mr. Williams had a deep professional and personal relationship with Newman’s father, Alfred Newman, who took the then 22-year-old pianist under his wing during his time as music director of 20th Century Fox Studios. The younger Mr. Newman conducts the first half of the show which include not only songs composed by Mr. Williams, but a few scores by others whom Mr. Williams enjoys himself.

A staple of these concerts are the video clips played on big screens accompanied by live music from the orchestra. Another tradition — and one exclusive to the Hollywood Bowl according to Mr. Williams — is that members of the audience bring light sabers. With a sold-out crowd of 17,900 people, when the first strains of Star Wars music begin, the entire amphitheater is illuminated with thousands of light sabers of all colors and all types – from the $10 knockoffs, to the high-grade ones from Disney Parks or SaberForge. Whether it’s part of the official program, or it appear in one of Mr. William’s traditional three encores, The Imperial March sees thousands of lightsabers (mostly) keeping time to the music. And, at the end of the last encore, Mr. Newman has taken to walking on stage carrying a lightsaber himself as well as one for Mr. Williams so they can salute the audience. Because of this, it was only fitting that the Hollywood Bowl created limited edition merchandise featuring the iconic shell of the Bowl as light streaking from a lightsaber. Needless to say, a number of articles were sold out before the concert had ended.


Wyatt D. Odd
Wyatt D. Odd