John Adams is the composer of some of the most successful operas in recent memory—Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, and Doctor Atomic.
The week before Doctor Atomic opens at the Metropolitan Opera, composer John Adams reflects on the relationship between words and music in a conversation with Ara Guzelimian, dean of the Juilliard School. Throughout his career, Adams has drawn on literary sources ranging from the Bible to Jack Kerouac; Doctor Atomic incorporates Baudelaire, the Bhagavad Gita and declassified documents from the Manhattan Project. His new memoir is Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life.
John Adams' Short Ride in a Fast Machine performned by the New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble, led by Jeffrey Means.
Sepp Grotenhuis & Gerard Bouwhuis (Pianos), Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra / Edo de Waart
Ernst Kovacic (violin)
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra / Edo de Waart
One of America's most admired and frequently performed composers, John Adams also regularly conducts his work with the world's finest orchestras and ensembles. In A Precise Process, Adams leads a rehearsal of his acclaimed 1978 chamber piece, Shaker Loops, and shares his insights into the creative processes and demands of composition and performance.
John Adams's first opera Nixon In China, produced by Peter Sellars, with libretto by Alice Goodman, about the visit of Richard Nixon to China in 1972, where he met with Mao Zedong and other Chinese officials.