Following in the tradition of the long line of composers who wrote distinguished music for the concert hall and for film, John Williams (b. 1932) occupies a singular position on the contemporary American scene. As the composer of landmark scores for an ever-growing number of phenomenally successful movies, he can count the audience for his music in multi-millions.
Williams composed the score for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, a film adaptation of the first in a series of Harry Potter novels by J. K. Rowling. Chris Columbus directed the film, which was released on November 16, 2001. Williams composed the music last spring and summer at Tanglewood and recorded it in London between August 28 and September 12, 2001. He also wrote original music for the film's two trailers.
Contrary to his usual practice, Williams read the book on which the film was based and said he "loved it." Williams has also composed a nine-movement Children's Suite based upon themes from the score, each of which highlights a different section of the orchestra in the manner of Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra; this suite was also recorded at the September sessions at London's Air Lyndhurst recording studios. The soundtrack album, featuring over 70 minutes of the 142 minutes of music Williams composed for the film and a few selections from the concert suite, was released on October 30, 2001.