The Winter Olympics offered an opportunity to explain, in more depth than I’ve ever seen, just how Leo Arnaud’s “Bugler’s Dream” wound up as the renowned brass fanfare so closely associated with the Olympic Games. Along the way I get to discuss John Williams’ own contributions to the Games and report on Dimitri Tiomkin’s surprising salute in this year’s Closing Ceremonies.
I was honored to be asked by conductor Leonard Slatkin to consult on, and then participate in, a six-night festival of film music with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. On Jan. 24 I led a discussion of the McCarthy era and its impact on Hollywood; the next night, Slatkin and I were joined by composer John Williams and director Stanley Donen; and on Jan. 31 I talked about the restoration of Metropolis with producer John Goberman. Part of the fun for me was not only writing the program notes but helping design a multi-page timeline of great moments in film-music history. Here is an overview of the festival.