The work of John Williams looms large in my music library and in my life, but his composition “The Chairman’s Waltz” is one of those songs I actually first connected with because of a routine on the competition show, “So You Think You Can Dance.”
The waltz was originally part of John Williams’s score for the 2005 movie, “Memoirs of a Geisha,” and it features performances by Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.
In 2007, choreographer Wade Robson used the music for this haunting, evocative dance in which hip-hop dancer Hok portrayed a hummingbird dazzled by a blooming flower (his partner, Jaimie.)
I was dazzled enough to seek out the “Memoirs of a Geisha” soundtrack. And later I was delighted to find a songbook of piano solos from the score, which includes an accessible and satisfying arrangement of “The Chairman’s Waltz.” The songbook is out of print but readily available used (and in ebook format). And if the waltz is all you’re looking for, you can find that sheet music as a digital download.
Where to find it: "The Chairman's Waltz" sheet music digital download available for purchase
Songbook: Memoirs of a Geisha Piano Solo Songbook
Publisher: Hal Leonard
Status (2019): In Print (eBook), Out of Print (paperback)