Jure Jerebic Music
I felt it was necessary to sit down and write something about one of the most significant experiences of my life. Growing up in the late 1980’s and 90’s, John Williams’ music was one of the first pieces of film music I have ever heard, especially films like Jurassic Park, Home Alone and many more have been a big part of my youth and have stayed with me for my whole life. It wasn’t until a few years ago when I started composing music that I realised how much of an impact his music’s had on me. Since then, importance of his contributions to the popular culture and musical quality added to the significance of my personal musical growth and efforts to better myself as a composer. As he is currently already 87 years old, I have never thought I would get the opportunity to see him in person. When the original opportunity to see him conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018 came along, I immediately became a member of the Musikverein in Vienna, and got a third row ticket to see him. Unfortunately, he fell ill upon his arrival in London, where he was also scheduled to perform with his lifelong collaborators, the London Symphony Orchestra; so the Vienna concerts were cancelled. I took the trip to Vienna nevertheless and the words of him being brought back later were already spreading across the Musikverein.
It was now, in the beginning of 2020, that we received the once in a lifetime opportunity to see him conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which would be his first continental European performance ever. I have never heard his music performed by an orchestra in person before, so I had flown over to Vienna with open mind and curiosity regarding the sound at the Musikverein - I simply didn’t know what to expect. After all, my seat was about 6 meters away from John, sixth row in the front.
What happened was that my understanding of music, its sound, orchestras, conducting and emotional impact that music can have have completely changed. I have been a musician for almost 20 years at the time of the concert but I have never heard a sound and an emotional impact of music like this in my life. The orchestra played without amplification (as it’s common at Musikverein’s Golden Hall), and as a result the music, played by the musicians, went straight to the listener. The range of dynamics, emotional impact and the raw force of percussion and brass that can push you into your seat was unprecedented and something I’ve never experienced before. John’s music is incredibly dynamic and having him conduct one of the best orchestras in the world, delivered a truly one of a kind concert.
The only way to describe it all would be life changing - as a composer, as well as fan of his music. The whole weekend still feels like a dream, and at this point I still cannot listen to any music, and it will take a few days to snap back out of it and start writing again.
Thank you John, for the effort of travelling to Vienna to conduct at the Musikverein, and it would be amazing to get a chance to see you again some time in the future.