John Williams’ ‘Schindler’s List’ voted No. 1 in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame

1 September 2020, 09:16

John Williams’ ‘Schindler’s List’ voted No. 1 in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame
John Williams’ ‘Schindler’s List’ voted No. 1 in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame. Picture: Getty

As well as composing the nation’s very favourite film theme, the legendary movie composer was the most voted-for composer, and had the most pieces of music featured in the chart.

We have revealed the nation’s favourite film music in The Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame in partnership with Radio Times.

And John Williams’ music for Schindler’s List has been voted No. 1, after thousands of Classic FM listeners and RadioTimes readers cast their votes.

Schindler’s List hit the silver screen nearly 27 years ago, and this year it knocks Howard Shore’s score for The Lord of the Rings off the top spot in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame.

John Williams told Classic FM, “I’d like to express my gratitude to the listeners of Classic FM for selecting my music from Schindler’s List for this high honour. It was a privilege to be involved in the making of this film, and it’s very gratifying to know that so many people around the world continue to embrace it after nearly 30 years.”

Click here to view Top 100 of The Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame 2020 >

John Williams’ ‘Schindler’s List’ voted No. 1 in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame
John Williams’ ‘Schindler’s List’ voted No. 1 in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame. Picture: Classic FM

As well as taking the No. 1 film score, John Williams has again been voted the nation’s favourite composer of film music, with five entries in the top twenty alone, including Schindler’s List, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.

John Williams told Classic FM, “I’d like to express my gratitude to the listeners of Classic FM for selecting my music from Schindler’s List for this high honour. It was a privilege to be involved in the making of this film, and it’s very gratifying to know that so many people around the world continue to embrace it after nearly 30 years.”

Read more: John Williams says conducting the Vienna Philharmonic was “one of the greatest honours of my life” >

The Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame 2020 also revealed a surge in popularity for film music composed by Ennio Morricone, who died in June at the age of 91, with three entries in the top 20. Morricone’s five entries show the breadth of his work outside of the Westerns he is best known for, with The Mission, Cinema Paradiso and Once Upon A Time in America appearing alongside The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon A Time in the West.

Other popular film composers include John Barry and Hans Zimmer with eight entries each in the top 100. Barry wrote the scores for Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves, which reach numbers four and five in the chart respectively, his highest placing in the chart. Hans Zimmer took third position with the score for the legendary film Gladiator, which was released 20 years ago this year.

Oscar winning Hildur Guðnadóttir, who won an Academy Award for the best original score for Joker, becoming only the fourth woman to win in the category, reached number 79 in the chart, and Debbie Wiseman, Classic FM’s composer in residence placed at 65 with the biographical film Wilde.

Read more: ‘Joker’ composer Hildur Guðnadóttir is first woman to win ‘Best Score’ at Golden Globes >

Andrew Collins, presenter of Saturday Night at the Movies and Film Editor at Radio Times, said: “It's been a while since we polled the discerning listeners of Classic FM and readers of Radio Times about their favourite film themes and what we learn about their choices is that the greatest hits remain immovably and unimprovably great!

“Nobody would deny the near permanence of John Barry or the late Ennio Morricone or the trailblazing Vangelis in any Top 10. Lord of the Rings, a true masterwork of narrative scope and innate personality will always give the other fabulous scores something to aim for.”

Collins continued: “I am personally sad not to see my own choice Interstellar in the Top 10 but Hans Zimmer at No. 3 with Gladiator makes another mighty showing. Are we not entertained?

“As for John Williams... we have found your favourite film theme and it's as moving and mournful as any winner. Williams doubted he could pull it off. He was wrong. My advice, as ever, is to explore the lower scores. There’s a lot of invention and innovation down there. I’m humming ‘S.T.A.Y.’ from Interstellar just to reset the musical universe.”

Click here to listen again to The Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame in partnership with Radio Times countdown on Global Player, or listen to The Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame playlist here.