Composer, conductor, and creative thinker—John Adams occupies a unique position in the world of American music. His works, both operatic and symphonic, stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes.
Works spanning more than three decades have entered the repertoire and are among the most performed of all contemporary classical music, among them Harmonielehre, Shaker Loops, his Violin Concerto and Chamber Symphony, Doctor Atomic Symphony and Short Ride in a Fast Machine. His stage works, all in collaboration with director Peter Sellars include Nixon in China (1987) and The Death of Klinghoffer (1991), El Niño (2000); Doctor Atomic (2005); A Flowering Tree (2006); and the Passion oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary (2012). Among Adams’ recent works are City Noir, written for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Absolute Jest for string quartet and orchestra, based on fragments of late Beethoven quartets, commissioned for the San Francisco Symphony’s 100th anniversary.
Adams has received honorary doctorates from Harvard, Northwestern University, Cambridge University, and the Juilliard School. A provocative writer, he is author of the highly acclaimed autobiography Hallelujah Junction and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review.
As a conductor, Adams appears with the world’s major orchestras in programs combining his own works with a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Mozart to Ives, Carter, Zappa, Glass, and Ellington. Recent and forthcoming activities include the BBC Proms, a two-week residency with the London Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with the Seattle Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, and concerts in Australia with orchestras in Sydney and Melbourne. He is currently Creative Chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Recent recordings include the Grammy-nominated Harmonielhere conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas and the Nonesuch DVD of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Nixon in China conducted by the composer.
The Cabrillo Festival has presented 17 works by John Adams, including six premieres. This season the Festival will present the West Coast premiere of his Saxophone Concerto on Saturday, August 9, featuring soloist Tim McAllister and conductor Marin Alsop.
Visit John Adams’ website.