Composer, conductor, and creative thinker — John Adams occupies a unique position in the world of American music. His works stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes.
Among Mr. Adams’s works are several of the most performed contemporary classical pieces today: Harmonielehre, Shaker Loops, Chamber Symphony, Doctor Atomic Symphony, Short Ride in a Fast Machine, and his Violin Concerto. His stage works, in collaboration with director Peter Sellars, include Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, El Niño, Doctor Atomic, A Flowering Tree, and the Passion oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary.
Mr. Adams’s most recent opera, Girls of the Golden West, set during the 1850s California Gold Rush, was premiered by the San Francisco Opera in 2017. His new piano concerto, Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, is being premiered in March 2019 with Yuja Wang as soloist.
Winner of the 1993 Grawemeyer Award for his Violin Concerto and the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for On the Transmigration of Souls, co-commissioned and premiered by the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Adams has received honorary doctorates from Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, and Cambridge universities and The Juilliard School. Since 2009 he has held the position of creative chair with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. A provocative writer, he is author of the acclaimed autobiography Hallelujah Junction and is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review.
As a conductor of his own works and a wide variety of repertoire, Mr. Adams has appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the London, Vienna, Seattle, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and Toronto symphony orchestras.