John Adams (American minimalist composer)

~ Person


John Coolidge Adams (born February 15, 1947) is an American composer of classical music and opera, with strong roots in minimalism.

His works include Harmonielehre (1985), Short Ride in a Fast Machine (1986), 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 (1978), a minimalist four-movement work for strings.

His 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.

The Death of Klinghoffer is an opera for which he wrote the music, based on the hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro by the Palestine Liberation Front in 1985, and the hijackers' murder of wheelchair-bound 69-year-old Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer. The opera has drawn controversy, including allegations by some (including Klinghoffer's two daughters) that the opera is antisemitic and glorifies terrorism. The work's creators and others have disputed these criticisms.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1975 Ensemble Pieces Christopher Hobbs / John Adams / Gavin Bryars 1
1985 Harmonielehre John Adams 2
1986 Shaker Loops / Phrygian Gates John Adams 1
1987 Harmonium (San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Chorus feat. conductor: Edo de Waart) John Adams 1
1987 Shaker Loops / Light Over Water John Adams 1
1988 Nixon in China John Adams 1
1989 Fearful Symmetries / The Wound-Dresser John Adams 1
1990 The Chairman Dances John Adams 1
1990 Minimalist Adams, Glass, Reich, Heath; London Chamber Orchestra, Christopher Warren-Green 4
1991 John Adams Conducts American Elegies Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Dawn Upshaw, Paul Crossley, John Adams 2
1992 The Death of Klinghoffer John Adams 1
1993 Carter: Night Fantasies / Adams: Phrygian Gates Elliott Carter, John Adams; Ursula Oppens 1
1993 Hoodoo Zephyr John Adams 4 1
1994 Harmonielehre / The Chairman Dances / Tromba Lontana / Short Ride in a Fast Machine John Adams; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle 5 1
1994 Chamber Symphony / Grand Pianola Music (London Sinfonietta feat. conductor: John Adams) John Adams 1
1996 The Desert Music / Shaker Loops Steve Reich / John Adams 1
1996 El Dorado John Adams 1
1996 Century Rolls John Adams 1
1996 Harmonium / The Bells (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus) John Adams / Sergei Rachmaninoff 1
1997 East of Eden / Rebel Without a Cause Leonard Rosenman; London Sinfonietta, John Adams 1
1998 Gnarly Buttons / John's Book of Alleged Dances John Adams; Kronos Quartet 1
1998 Piano Music of John Adams and Terry Riley John Adams, Terry Riley; Gloria Cheng-Cochran 1
1998 I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky John Adams 1
2000 Maximum Minimalists Steve Reich, John Adams, Terry Riley & Philip Glass 1
2000 Fearful Symmetries / Chamber Symphony / Four Songs / Christian Zeal and Activity John Adams; Orchestre philharmonique de Montpellier L.-R., René Bosc 1
2000 Harmonium / The Klinghoffer Choruses John Adams 1
2001 El Niño (Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin feat. conductor: Kent Nagano) John Adams 1
2002 Naive and Sentimental Music John Adams; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Esa-Pekka Salonen 1
2004 On the Transmigration of Souls John Adams; New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel 1
2004 Shaker Loops / The Wound-Dresser / Short Ride in a Fast Machine John Adams; Nathan Gunn, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop 1
2004 I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky John Adams 1
2004 Road Movies John Adams 5 1
2005 Grand Pianola / Eight Lines / Vermont Counterpoint John Adams / Steve Reich 1
2006 Adams: Violin Concerto / Corigliano: Red Violin "Chaconne" John Adams, John Corigliano; Chloë Hanslip, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin 1
2006 The Dharma at Big Sur / My Father Knew Charles Ives John Adams 1
2007 Complete Piano Music John Adams; Ralph van Raat 1
2008 String Poetic Jennifer Higdon, Lou Harrison, John Adams, Carl Ruggles; Jennifer Koh, Reiko Uchida 1
2008 A Flowering Tree John Adams 1
2008 Grand Pianola Music / Shaker Loops / Short Ride in a Fast Machine (London Chamber Orchestra feat. conductor: Simon Rattle) John Adams 1
2009 Doctor Atomic Symphony John Adams; Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, David Robertson 1
2010 American Counterpoint John Adams, Conlon Nancarrow, John Cage 1
2011 Son of Chamber Symphony / String Quartet John Adams; International Contemporary Ensemble, John Adams, St. Lawrence String Quartet 1
2011 Portrait (Angèle Dubeau & Le Pieta) John Adams 1
2012 Harmonielehre, Short Ride in a Fast Machine John Adams; Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony 1
2013 Fellow Traveller: the complete quartet works of John Adams John Adams; Attacca Quartet 1
2013 Harmonielehre / Doctor Atomic Symphony / Short Ride in a Fast Machine John Adams; Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Peter Oundjian 1
2014 The Gospel According to the Other Mary John Adams; Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Gustavo Dudamel 1
2015 Absolute Jest / Grand Pianola Music John Adams 1
2016 Visions Adams, Bach, Messiaen; Christina and Michelle Naughton 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1987 Music From 'Nixon in China' (Orchestra of St. Luke's feat. conductor: Edo de Waart) John Adams 1
1996 Violin Concerto / Shaker Loops (London Symphony Orchestra / Orchestra of St. Luke's) John Adams 1
1999 The John Adams Earbox John Adams 1
2002 BBC Music, Volume 11, Number 2: John Adams and Louis Andriessen John Adams / Louis Andriessen 1
2008 Hallelujah Junction: A Nonesuch Retrospective John Adams 1
Shaker Loops / Phrygian Gates / Chamber Symphony John Adams 1
Violin Concertos John Adams / Philip Glass 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2009 Nixon in China John Adams; Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop. Robert Orth, Maria Kanyova, Thomas Hammons, Tracy Dahl, Chen-Ye Yuan 1
2011 Music for a Time of War Charles Ives, John Adams, Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams; Oregon Symphony, Carlos Kalmar, Sanford Sylvan 1

Album + Soundtrack

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2010 I Am Love John Adams 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
City Noir John Adams & David Robertson 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2006 Shaker Loops / Variations for Winds, Strings & Keyboards (San Francisco Symphony feat. Edo de Waart) John Adams / Steve Reich 1

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