LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Composer John Williams will be honoured by Hollywood on Thursday for a glittering career spanning seven decades of classic film scores, including his most famous work on Star Wars and Jaws.
Steven Spielberg will present the 84-year-old Oscar-winner with the American Film Institute (AFI) Award - billed as "America's highest honour for a career in film" - at a gala event at the Dolby Theatre.
He will be the first composer ever to receive the accolade, which in past years has gone to the likes of Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.
"John Williams has written the soundtrack to our lives," said Howard Stringer, chairman of the AFI Board of Trustees.
"Note by note, through chord and chorus, his genius for marrying music with movies has elevated the art form to symphonic levels and inspired generations of audiences to be enriched by the magic of the movies."
Williams has amassed more than 150 film and television credits since 1958, but is best known for his collaborations with Spielberg, including Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977) and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
Williams won Oscars for all of those films, and for Fiddler on the Roof (1971) and Schindler's List (1993).
He has been nominated 50 times, the most for a person still living and second highest total in history, behind Walt Disney.