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John Adams archive

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

Read How Is The White House Like The Opera House?

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

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

Watch 'Nixon In China': An American Opera Inches Toward Classic At 25

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

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.

Watch Talk Like An Opera Geek: Pioneering An American Sound

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

Conductor and composer Michael Tilson Thomas.

Read Around The Classical Internet: March 30, 2012

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

Composer John Adams.

Read The Best Classical Album of 2012?

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

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

Read 'American Mavericks' In Performance And Conversation Q2

March 23, 2012 – An evening with Michael Tilson Thomas, John Adams, Meredith Monk and Jeremy Denk. Q2

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

Read Around The Classical Internet: March 9, 2012

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

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

Read Talk Like An Opera Geek: Breaking Down Baritones

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

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

Listen John Adams' Memory Space: 'On The Transmigration Of Souls'

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


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

Read Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On

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

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.

Read 'The Death Of Klinghoffer' Returns To Face The Music

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


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

Read Spring for Music: Oregon Symphony WQXR

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

Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel

Read Dudamel At The Movies: Mixed Reactions On The Morning After

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

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

Listen String Quartet Soulmates: Ravel and Adams WGBH

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


Read The 50 Most Important Recordings Of The Decade: A-C

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

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