MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Another Birthday Salute: John Adams at 68


A toast to John Adams, who needs no introduction. Today, as Mr. Adams turns 68, he continues to astonish with his inexhaustible creative drive.

Just last month the St. Lawrence String Quartet unveiled his Second Quartet at Stanford University. At the Grammies the St. Louis Symphony and David Robertson’s recording of City Noir and the Saxophone Concerto nabbed the award for Best Orchestral Performance. And next month brings the world premiere of Scheherazade.2, a “dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra.”

This very weekend, Opera Omaha is presenting a new production of his 2006 opera A Flowering Tree directed by James Darrah and conducted by Christopher Rountree.

Composed by John Adams, “A Flowering Tree” made its debut in 2006 and is still relatively unfamiliar to opera lovers. It has its roots in a 2,000-year-old Tamil Indian folk tale and is decidedly dark…
Although this all might seem narratively challenging to communicate in just a little over two hours, James Darrah delivered a mesmerizing production.

–Kim Carpenter,

The works Mr. Adams has given us since my anthology was published nearly a decade ago show this American master working at a sustained peak of creative power. Here’s to many more years to come!

Filed under: American music, anniversary, John Adams


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