John Williams on scoring The Fabelmans

(CREDIT: Shutterstock)

For Steven Spielberg and five-time Academy-Award winner, John Williams, The Fabelmans is their 28th film together, and their last collaboration as director and composer.

In June 2022, the 90-year-old Williams announced he will be retiring from writing film scores with the fifth Indiana Jones film, to be directed by James Mangold and produced by Spielberg.

“Composing the score for The Fabelmans was a particular joy for me, given the personal nature of the film and its depiction of characters who seem to be so closely associated with Steven Spielberg’s own childhood and family,” Williams says.

He adds, “Over many years, I knew and greatly admired Steven’s parents, and I was always very impressed by his mother Leah’s musical talent. This is a truly special film, so lovingly directed by Steven and featuring a touching and very personal screenplay by Steven and the always-brilliant Tony Kushner. I’m honored to have played a small part in the making of this film.”

Among the many contributions that Williams made to the film is a melodic theme that comes toward the end of the film and plays over the credits. “It is one of the most beautiful things I think he’s ever written for one of my films,” says Spielberg. “This was a wonderful way for Johnny to finish up his career as a film composer.”

He pauses. “Although don’t be surprised if I pull him out of retirement someday, on the next thing I do.”

The piano pieces in the film were selected by Spielberg himself and recorded for the soundtrack by Joanne Pearce Martin, principal pianist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  “Every single piece of classical music played on the piano was among my mom’s favorite classical pieces that she always played on her piano,” Spielberg says.


The Fabelmans is directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Spielberg and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America; Caroline, or Change), who has earned Oscar nominations for his screenplays for Spielberg’s Lincoln and Munich.

The film is produced by three-time Oscar nominee Kristie Macosko Krieger p.g.a. (West Side StoryThe Post), Steven Spielberg p.g.a. and Tony Kushner p.g.a. The executive producers are Carla Raij (co-producer West Side Story, unit production manager The Irishman) and Josh McLaglen (Free Guy, Logan).

“The scene where Sammy’s cutting together the camping trip movies that he took, and the revelations that had come from that moment, that’s Bach’s Adagio, which my mom loved to play on the piano, and I packed the entire scene into that piece of music.”

The Fabelmans opens exclusively in theaters on November 11.

Follow us on our new Instagram Page!