Composer Adams leads New World Symphony, awaits word on new piece

Posted on: March 31, 2011

In Thursday’s (3/31) Miami Herald, Sean Piccoli writes, “John Adams has just finished writing another symphony. At least, he thinks it’s finished. Last Friday, he went for a second opinion. The composer, who lives in Berkeley, drove across the Golden Gate Bridge to hand deliver the manuscript of Absolute Jest to his friend, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, who will premiere the work next March during the San Francisco Symphony’s centennial. ‘We’ll see what he says,’ Adams ventures during a conversation conducted between his house and Tilson Thomas’ office. There is less mystery around this weekend’s collaboration. Adams returns to Miami Beach on Saturday to conduct the New World Symphony, his first visit to the orchestra’s new South Beach campus. … In Miami Beach, the composer will lead the New World musicians in a performance of his 2009 symphony City Noir. He has been thinking about how to adapt the music, written for a large orchestra, to intimate surroundings. … Adams’ methods may be classical, but his aesthetic is restlessly contemporary, which is not to say pop. His subject matter in seminal works—from Nixon [in China] and Transmigration to Doctor Atomic (2005) and The Death of Klinghoffer (1991), an opera about the bloody Achille Lauro hijacking—falls somewhere between history and news cycle.”

Posted March 31, 2011