• Blends the rhythmic vitality of Minimalism with late-Romantic orchestral harmonies and colors
• Brought contemporary history to opera with his post-modern theatrical works Nixon in China (1987), The Death of Klinghoffer (1991), and Doctor Atomic (2005)
• Tackles urgent social issues with passion and empathy, both in his operas and in such works as I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I Saw the Sky, El Dorado and The Wound-Dresser
• His works are preferred by choreographers, with multiple ballet versions of Fearful Symmetries
• Winner of the Grawemeyer Award in 1995 by Violin Concerto and of the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 by On the Transmigration of Souls
• Series of recordings with the Nonesuch label, including several GRAMMY wins and nominations
• A recent survey places him as the most frequently performed living American composer of orchestral music
Works by John Adams include:
Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986) for orchestra
Violin Concerto (1993)
Son of Chamber Symphony (2007) for chamber orchestra
El Niño (1999-2000) for soprano, mezzo soprano, baritone, three tenors, choir, optional children's choir and orchestra.
The Gospel According to the Other Mary (2011) for orchestra, choir and soloists
John Adams is represented as a conductor by Jane Brown of Harrison Parrott.
Visit the John Adams website at www.earbox.com.
Looking Ahead: This fall, Adams curates Ojai Music Festival’s 75th season—highlights including the Attacca Quartet playing works by Adams, Rhiannon Giddens, and Jessie Montgomery; and Rhiannon Ghiddens performing songs from Adams operas. In November, violinist Leila Josefowicz performs Adams’s Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Susanna Mälkki; and Branford Marsalis performs Adams's Saxophone Concerto with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Jader Bignamini. Marsalis performs the concerto again with the New York Philharmonic on January 6, 2022. Major focus in Zurich with the Tonhalle Orchestra (13 January – 25 March).
"Whenever serious art loses track of its roots in the vernacular, then it begins to atrophy." — John Adams