Filmmaker Steven Spielberg surprised the audience -- and, from the looks of it, quite a few of the musicians -- at Benaroya Hall Wednesday night when he appeared for a Seattle Symphony concert with conductor John Williams.

Share story

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg surprised the audience — and, from the looks of it, quite a few of the musicians — at Benaroya Hall Wednesday night when he appeared for a Seattle Symphony concert with conductor John Williams.

Williams, of course, is the composer for many of Spielberg’s films, including “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Jaws,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Here’s a video posted by Seattle Symphony on its Facebook page of the moment when Williams announces Spielberg’s appearance:

Most Read Entertainment Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

The appearance had been in the works for a couple of months — though even within Seattle Symphony, few knew that it was happening, said symphony spokeswoman Shiva Shafii.

Spielberg and Williams had appeared together before at symphony concerts in other cities including Atlanta and Phoenix. But in those cities, people knew Spielberg was coming, Shafii said.

Spielberg had initially been unavailable to come to Seattle for the Williams concert, but about two months ago, the Symphony got a phone call that he would be available.

The Symphony decided to keep the appearance a secret from the audience and even from many of those working at the Symphony. “An added element of surprise — who doesn’t love that when they come to a show,” Shafii said.

The Williams concert, a Seattle Symphony subscriber exclusive, sold out shortly after tickets became available, Shafii said.

Here’s a Seattle Symphony video with Spielberg talking about Williams’ music:

And here’s Williams conducting “Rey’s Theme” from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: