Personalities | John Adams | Contemporary | Classical

b. 1947
American composer

Adams has played a significant role in introducing contemporary music to American audiences, working as adviser to a number of organizations, including the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Although his basic compositional style relies on minimalist processes, his music sets itself apart from the style in its ability to generate dramatic momentum and narrative tension. Both those features are essential in opera, which has been a major strand of Adams’s work since the mid-1980s: his full-length works in the genre, Nixon in China (1985–87), The Death of Klinghoffer (1989–91) and Doctor Atomic (2004–05), have been supplemented by the opera-oratorios El niño (‘The Christ-Child’, 2000) and The Gospel According to the Other Mary (2012).

Recommended Recording:
Nixon in China, soloists, St Luke’s Chorus & Orchestra (cond) Edo de Waart (Nonesuch)

Introduction | Contemporary | Classical
Personalities | Thomas Adès | Contemporary | Classical


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