Jurassic Park cover

Jurassic Park


A soundtrack 65 million years in the making! Experience the classic film while Pacific Symphony performs John Williams’ thrilling score live. Masterfully directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel by Michael Crichton, “Jurassic Park” transports you to a secluded island where scientists have succeeded in reviving the age of dinosaurs. in a brand new, immersive theme park, the likes of which have never been seen before.
Renowned paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are part of an exclusive group invited to the island for a sneak preview of the park’s wonders. When things go terribly wrong, they must fight for their lives against unimaginable dangers in a desperate attempt to escape from a world gone mad…a world in which dinosaurs once again rule the earth.
Experience this ground-breaking blockbuster as never before: projected in HD onto the big screen above the orchestra while Pacific Symphony performs Williams’ magnificent score live to film. Welcome… to Jurassic Park!
To learn more about John Williams, please click here
To learn more about Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor, please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.

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Jurassic Park

Orange County's Pacific Symphony




The performance begins at 8 p.m.








Live Action Dinosaurs


Full Motion Dinosaurs


Dinosaur Supervisor


Special Dinosaur Effects


Music by


Film Edited by


Production Designer


Director of Photography


Based on the Novel by


Screenplay by


Produced by


Directed by



Tonight’s program is a presentation of the complete film Jurassic Park with a live performance of the film’s entire score, including music played by the orchestra during the end credits. Out of respect for the musicians and your fellow audience members, please remain seated until the conclusion of the credits.

Jurassic Park is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved.

This concert is generously sponsored by Diane and Rodney Sawyer and Capital Group.

Jurassic Park First Trailer


A Note From The Composer

In his highly successful book, Jurassic Park, author Michael Crichton enabled us to imagine what the return of the great vertebrates of 150 million years ago might be like. In his thrilling 1993 film adaption, Steven Spielberg brought these fascinating and terrifying creatures to life, and in doing so, captivated movie audiences around the world.

I must say I greatly enjoyed the challenge of trying to tell the film's story musically. And while we can luxuriate this evening in the magnificent sound produced by the Pacific Symphony as they perform the entire score live to the picture, it's nevertheless tempting to imagine what the trumpeting of these great beasts of the distant past might have been like...

I know I speak for everyone connected with the making of Jurassic Park in saying that we're greatly honored by this event... and I hope that tonight's audience will have some measure of the joy we experienced while making the film more than twenty years ago.

John Williams

It’s a film that made history: based on a 1990 novel by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park broke box office records and confirmed that Crichton’s literary specialty—thrillers based on some of the most important scientific ideas of our times—could keep moviegoers on the edge of their seats.

A tale combining genetic science with corporate greed, Jurassic Park centers on the development of a dinosaur theme park. But at this park, the dinosaurs are real… and they’re hungry. It’s a narrative premise tailor-made for director Steven Spielberg, who developed it with a superb cast including Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough—renowned as a naturalist as well as an actor.

Released in 1993, Jurassic Park initiated one of the most successful film franchises in cinematic history. The fourth film in the series, Jurassic World, was released in 2015, and the fifth entry—Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom—is scheduled to reach theaters in 2018.

Spielberg bought the rights for Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park before it even hit the presses, retaining Crichton to adapt it as a movie. He chose John Williams to do what Williams does like nobody else: compose a film score with epic sweep and dramatic tension.

At first, matching a futuristic thriller by writer Michael Crichton with music by the statesmanlike composer John Williams might have seemed like an odd idea; Williams, after all, is often called a traditionalist, while Crichton was something of a futurist, reflecting on the present while looking ahead toward potentially dire consequences. While Williams’ movie scores meld elements of classical musical styles of the past and present, Crichton used his knowledge of science to immerse himself in what-if scenarios, and answered with pulse-pounding speculative fictions.

But in watching Jurassic Park, we find that the alliance of Spielberg, Crichton and Williams—like the brilliantly CGI-enhanced settings in Hawaii and elsewhere—seems perfectly natural. Crichton’s skill in combining technical ideas and emotive storytelling is the reason why we are gripped by the complications of evolution, fossilized DNA and cloning; Williams’ music is why, as we watch a dinosaur in pursuit, we seem to feel its hot breath and the shaking ground.

John Williams is—should it go without saying?— the composer of many of the most popular and recognizable film scores of Hollywood’s modern era: Jaws, the Star Wars franchise, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and of course the Indiana Jones franchise. No other composer approaches his dominance in the movie industry.

His impressive productivity brings to mind the career of J.S. Bach, who also affiliated with a dominant cultural force of the time (in his case the church) and turned out inspired compositions with breathtaking speed. And like Bach’s, Williams’ career has become the stuff of cultural mythology, though in Williams’ case this distinction came during his lifetime, rather than later.

Williams’ creative partnership with Steven Spielberg began 19 years before Jurassic Park, first with The Sugarland Express, which was followed by the terrifying score for Jaws, which became the prototypical summer blockbuster.

The score for Jaws became famous with just two repeated bass notes—the spine-tingling theme that Williams wrote to suggest the presence of a dangerous shark that was rarely seen. It became the sound of nightmare fantasy for millions of viewers, and still rings in our ears as the essence of terror.

Born in Queens, N.Y., Williams moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1948. There he attended UCLA and studied composition privately with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco—like Williams, a composer who balanced a respect for tradition and a gift for melody with more modern influences. After service in the Air Force he returned to New York to attend The Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Rosina Lhevinne.

He also worked as a jazz pianist in clubs. Returning to Los Angeles, he began his career in the film industry, working with such composers as Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman and Franz Waxman. He went on to write music for many television programs in the 1960s, winning two Emmy Awards.

In January 1980, Williams was appointed the 19th conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra since its founding in 1885, succeeding the revered Arthur Fiedler. He assumed the title of Boston Pops laureate conductor following his retirement in December 1993, and currently holds the title of artist-in-residence at Tanglewood.

Williams’ breadth of experience on and off the podium seems to have made him comfortable (and skillful) in a huge range of compositional techniques. This versatility is one of the reasons that a 2011 profile of Williams in The Wall Street Journal could be headlined “The Last Movie Maestro.”

But he also has a natural gift for musical narrative, and this talent is surely the main reason why his affiliation with Spielberg has reached legendary status. Both men take sheer joy in storytelling—Spielberg with a camera, Williams with an orchestra.

Movies are hardly Williams’ only link to popular culture; he also composed the well-known NBC News theme “The Mission,” introducing the network’s evening news program; as listeners of a certain age can recall, this theme replaced a passage from the scherzo movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which had long introduced the network’s nightly broadcasts with newscasters Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.

Williams also composed “Liberty Fanfare” for the rededication of the Statue of Liberty; “We’re Lookin’ Good!” for the Special Olympics in celebration of the 1987 International Summer Games; and themes for the 1984, 1988 and 1996 Summer Olympic games. His Seven for Luck, for soprano and orchestra, is a seven-piece song cycle based on the texts of former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. Williams conducted its premiere with the Boston Symphony and soprano Cynthia Haymon.

Michael Crichton was only 66 when he died almost nine years ago. But thanks to his intellectual vigor and the sheer abundance of his ideas, he is still a living presence in American culture. No other artist of any kind did more to demonstrate the potential impact of seemingly distant scientific concepts on everyday life.

Crichton was famous for being brilliant, prolific and tall (six feet, nine inches). As an undergraduate at Harvard he already displayed a questing, fearless intellect that allowed him to see connections between seemingly disparate ideas and to challenge his professors.

Though he showed early ability in writing, publishing a travel-related column in The New York Times at age 14, he switched his major at Harvard from English to biological anthropology, graduating summa cum laude and entering Harvard Medical School, where he tossed off novels under a pen name in his spare time.

With almost more smarts than he knew what to do with—he’d also received a major fellowship and visited Cambridge as a visiting lecturer in anthropology by the time he was 23—Crichton became recognized and celebrated as a visionary writer with the publication of his breakthrough novel, The Andromeda Strain. He was 27 and the year was 1969, when the Apollo 11 mission first brought human beings to the moon.

In The Andromeda Strain, Crichton asks: What if a dormant microorganism comes back from space with an astronaut? In Jurassic Park, he asks: Why not bring extinct animals back to life using preserved DNA? What’s the worst that could happen? In dozens of books and movies, Crichton addressed techno-geeky concerns like these in white-knuckle thrillers that made remote possibilities seem real. His books have sold more than 200 million copies around the world.

Michael Clive is a cultural reporter living in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. He is program annotator for Pacific Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and editor-in- chief for The Santa Fe Opera.

To learn more about John Williams, please click here.

To learn more about Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor, please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, please click here.