John Williams conducting a birthday surprise for Gustavo Dudamel is too much for our hearts

6 August 2021, 11:41

John Williams conducting a birthday surprise for Gustavo Dudamel is too much for our hearts
John Williams conducting a birthday surprise for Gustavo Dudamel is too much for our hearts. Picture: YouTube / LA Phil

By Sian Moore

A very special musical birthday wish, from one world-class maestro to another.

Forget a fun card or candle-bedecked cake, we want John Williams to arrange our next birthday celebration.

Because, in a heartwarming gesture, the maestro gave fellow conductor Gustavo Dudamel a birthday surprise the best way he knew how: with a triumphant orchestral rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.

The moment came after a Los Angeles Philharmonic concert in 2019, when Williams was invited on stage by the Venezuelan virtuoso.

Clearly, the orchestra was already in on the Jaws composer’s secret plan, and no sooner had he lifted his baton, did the players erupt into a magnificent take on the traditional melody.

Read more: Look at this wonderful footage of Steven Spielberg and John Williams composing music for E.T. together

In typical JW style, the performance has all the extravagance and grandness one would expect from the movie master.

Dudamel rushes back on stage when he realises what is happening, and is greeted with a bouquet of flowers.

When the performance finishes, the two beaming legends of music embrace as rapturous applause from the audience fills the concert hall.

Now that will be a difficult birthday surprise to trump...