One of America's most performed and admired composers, John Adams (Nixon in China, Doctor Atomic) helped shape the landscape of contemporary classical music.
His new memoir reveals the inner workings of his creative process and illuminates the recent history of music-making.
John Adams is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer with strong roots in minimalism. His best-known works include Harmonielehre (1985), On the Transmigration of Souls (2002), a choral piece commemorating the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2003), and Shaker Loops, a minimalist four-movement work for strings.
His well-known operas include "Nixon in China" (1987), which recounts Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to China, and "Doctor Atomic" (2005), which covers Robert Oppenheimer, the Manhattan Project, and the building of the first atomic bomb.
Deborah Borda, now President and Chief Executive Officer, joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association as Executive Director after serving over eight seasons in the same capacity at the New York Philharmonic.
Music composed to accompany a play. The practice dates back to ritualistic Greek drama, and it is thus connected to the use of music in other kinds of ritual. Sometimes limited to the role of introduction or interlude (setting a mood or a historical period, for example), it may also accompany spoken dialogue (seemelodrama). Film and television music is sometimes considered incidental music.
I'm a huge fan, loved his book, have about everything he's released, etc. I wish, however, someone had asked him to explain the distinction he seems to make between the artistic significance of pop culture and what he describes as his separate culture of serious art. There is certainly a great mass of daft, senseless -- even wretched output in pop culture, but I think there is likely a similar -- if not higher --percentage of serious art with equal failings. He intimates that high art is somehow more intellectual, contains more fascinating ideas, or something, but I can't understand that. Although literati typically have better vocabularies than gliterati, it seems to me their art -- the work that is meaningful and valuable to us -- talks about the same thing: the full experience of being a human being.
He comes off as a divisive elitist when he says something along the lines of "They want to know what we're thinking," referring to non-intellectuals vs. intellectuals. There is not a dividing line, as he seems to suggest, between these two groups.