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John Adams

John Adams
Deborah O'Grady

John Adams artist page: interviews, features and/or performances archived at NPR Music

Concerts

Conductor Carlos Kalmar leads the Oregon Symphony in music inspired by war.

May 12, 2011 Hear the orchestra perform works possessed with the turbulent spirit of war.

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August 1, 2008 The celebrated composer conducts his own works on his 60th birthday, sampled cow sounds and all.

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March 31, 2008 Hear the hymn-like Christian Zeal and Activity, performed with "sonic found objects."

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March 25, 2008 Leila Josefowicz performs the award-winning concerto in concert with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

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May 19, 2006 PT drifts off the beaten path of the standard repertoire with three compelling piano performances.

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August 9, 2005 The St. Louis Symphony celebrates U.S. music, with pieces by Aaron Copland and John Adams.

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May 16, 2005 Hailed as a "Copland for the 21st century," John Adams writes music inspired by the American West.

Studio Sessions

The St Lawrence String Quartet contrasts music by Ravel and Adams at the WGBH studio.

June 30, 2010 Hear the St. Lawrence Quartet play music by Maurice Ravel and John Adams in the WGBH studio.

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Interviews & Profiles

The Gospel According to the Other Mary

March 23, 2014 Adams speaks with NPR's Arun Rath about a large-scale work inspired by the women in Jesus' life.

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David Robertson, a passionate champion of new music, conducts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra on tour in Berlin.

August 13, 2013 St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson decodes America's orchestral anxieties.

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Cover art of John Adams' piece written for the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

September 10, 2011 Adams' Pulitzer-winning piece was composed for the first anniversary of Sept. 11.

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Brian Mulligan as Leon Klinghoffer and Nancy Maultsby as  Marilyn Klinghoffer in the 2011 Opera Theatre of Saint Louis production of The  Death of Klinghoffer.

June 17, 2011 Opera Theater of St. Louis is tackling the controversial opera 'The Death of Klinghoffer.'

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mao and nixon (300)

February 17, 2009 The foxtrot Adams wrote as a warm-up for his opera Nixon in China has become a classic.

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January 6, 2009 Once dubbed the "Midwife to Postmodernism," Freeman was the force behind many modern masterworks.

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October 4, 2008 In a new autobiography, the American composer reveals the history behind his distinctive sound.

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January 5, 2007 This 20th-anniversary program highlights great performances and moments of poignancy and levity.

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October 7, 2005 The anticipated third opera from John Adams, "Doctor Atomic," premiered Oct. 1 in San Francisco.

Discover Songs

animal collective sq

November 16, 2009 We begin our 50 most important recordings of the decade with composer John Adams.

mao and nixon (300)

February 17, 2009 The foxtrot Adams wrote as a warm-up for his opera Nixon in China has become a classic.

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September 11, 2005 Hear an excerpt from composer John Adams' "On the Transmigration of Souls."

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December 27, 2004 Below are the 20 most mentioned songs from both listeners and reviewers with randomly selected c...

News

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, whose recording of music by John Adams made our Top 10 of 2012.

December 7, 2012 What you want to know this week, from our ten must-hear albums to Brubeck's take on classical.

The original production of John Adams' Nixon in China (at Houston Grand Opera) celebrates the 25-year mark.

October 22, 2012 John Adams' first opera premiered 25 years ago today at Houston Grand Opera. Watch an excerpt.

Conductor and composer Michael Tilson Thomas.

March 30, 2012 Yiddish- and English-speaking mavericks, students too cool for middle school and much more.

A stunning look "inside the music" — images that turn instruments' interiors into architectural wonderlands.

March 9, 2012 Getting inside music, weighing 'Klinghoffer,' stealing in Spain and much more.

Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel

January 10, 2011 The L.A. Philharmonic's uneven debut cinecast proved that the orchestra is still the star.

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May 22, 2009 Hear five musical expressions of uncommon power and beauty, reminding listeners of what we've lost.

January 6, 2009 Once dubbed the "Midwife to Postmodernism," Freeman was the force behind many modern masterworks.

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February 14, 2005 NPR’s Performance Today presents a wrap-up of this year's classical music winners.

Reviews

Composer John Adams.

March 27, 2012 Hear an excerpt from a brilliant new recording of music by one of today's most essential composers.

More Stories

The Attacca String Quartet's latest album celebrates John Adams.

April 7, 2013 NPR Classical's Tom Huizenga spins an eclectic set of new classical releases.

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December 22, 2008 Author Tom Moon offers an alternative list of winter music for those sick of holiday songs.

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With the presidential election set for Tuesday, we take a look at operas that tackle today's toughest political issues.

November 1, 2012 Watch excerpts from contemporary operas that grapple with today's top political issues head-on.

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September 25, 2007 The versatile singer stretches boundaries, enriching the landscape of contemporary music.

Clockwise from upper left: Acid Pauli, Kendrick Lamar, Samuel Yirga, Kelan Philip Cohran, Waxahatchee, Pallbearer, Matthew Dear

November 27, 2012 The All Songs hosts can't hear it all, so they caught up on great 2012 records with NPR colleagues.

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John Adams' Nixon in China, produced at the Metropolitan Opera in January 2011. Left to right: Janis Kelly as Pat Nixon, Teresa S. Herold as the Second Secretary to Mao, James Maddalena as Richard Nixon, Ginger Costa Jackson as the First Secretary to Mao, Russell Braun as Chou En-lai.

May 9, 2012 From rugged individualism to visionary technologies, American opera forges a distinct repertoire.

Composer Meredith Monk being interviewed during the 'American Mavericks' event at The Greene Space, New York City, on March 26, 2012.

March 23, 2012 An evening with Michael Tilson Thomas, John Adams, Meredith Monk and Jeremy Denk.

Don't let a bounty of baritones leave you bewildered.

December 14, 2011 Hear what happens when the natural male speaking voice turns to song in this baritone bonanza.

This little girl in Washington, DC survived the August 23, 2011 earthquake just fine.

August 24, 2011 A lighthearted look at some musical rumblings.

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July 1, 2008 WNYC host John Schaefer picks five summer road songs, suitable for escaping urban life.

NPR Artist Directory

Chopin

Frederic Chopin

Hear Chopin's music in performance and perspective.

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favorite artist

Gillian Welch

Gillian Welch

Enjoy archival interviews and performances from the folk revivalist.

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Spoon

Spoon

Music, live concerts and interviews with the pop-rock band.

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Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Hear and watch exclusive performances from the guitar-playing Mexican duo.

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Bon Iver

Bon Iver

Hear concerts and interviews with the atmospheric art-folk singer.

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Charles Mingus

Charles Mingus

Hear performances and profiles of the jazz innovator's work.

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Emerson String Quartet

Emerson String Quartet

Hear essential recordings and performances from the lauded quartet.

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

NPR Music explores the life and voice of the passionate Qawwali singer.

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Wye Oak

Wye Oak

Exclusive performances from the pop duo from Baltimore.

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M.I.A.

M.I.A.

Music and news from the Sri Lanka-born hip-hop artist and producer.

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Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire

Hear concerts and interviews with the grandiose art-rock band.

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favorite artist

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Purchase Featured Music

John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary

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  • Album: John Adams: The Gospel According to the Other Mary
  • Artist: Gustavo Dudamel
  • Label: Deutsche Grammophon
  • Released: 2014
 

Early Music (Lachrymae Antiquae)

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  • Album: Early Music (Lachrymae Antiquae)
  • Artist: The Kronos Quartet
  • Label: Elektra/Asylum
 

John Adams: Nixon in China

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  • Album: John Adams: Nixon in China
  • Artist: Various
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 1988
 

Hallelujah Junction: A Nonesuch Retrospective

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  • Album: Hallelujah Junction: A Nonesuch Retrospective
  • Artist: John Adams
 

John Adams: On the Transmigration of Souls

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  • Album: John Adams: On the Transmigration of Souls
  • Artist: New York Philharmonic
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 2004
 

Sings Vernon Duke

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  • Album: Sings Vernon Duke
  • Artist: Dawn Upshaw
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 1999
 

Voices of Light

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  • Album: Voices of Light
  • Artist: Dawn Upshaw
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 2004
 

John Adams: El Nino

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  • Album: John Adams: El Nino
  • Artist: Dawn Upshaw
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 2001
 

Golijov: Oceana

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  • Album: Golijov: Oceana
  • Artist: Dawn Upshaw
  • Label: DG
  • Released: 2007
 

Merriweather Post Pavillion

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  • Album: Merriweather Post Pavillion
  • Artist: Animal Collective
  • Label: Domino
  • Released: 2009
 

Hindemith: Requiem "For Those We Love"

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  • Album: Hindemith: Requiem "For Those We Love"
  • Artist: Various
  • Label: Orfeo
  • Released: 2009
 

John Adams: Fearful Symmetries; Wound Dresser

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  • Album: John Adams: Fearful Symmetries; Wound Dresser
  • Artist: Various
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Released: 1989
 

John Adams: The Chairman Dances

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  • Album: John Adams: The Chairman Dances
  • Artist: Edo de Waart
  • Label: Nonesuch
 

Very Best of Deep Purple [EMI Single Disc]

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  • Album: Very Best of Deep Purple [EMI Single Disc]
  • Artist: Deep Purple
  • Label: EMD Int'l
  • Released: 1998
 

Earbox: A 10-CD Retrospective

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  • Album: Earbox: A 10-CD Retrospective
  • Artist: John Adams
  • Label: Elektra
  • Released: 1999