The legendary John Adams, 2022 composer-in-residence and co-curator of this week’s programs, shares the podium with Music Director Peter Oundjian in this can’t-miss concert, beginning with a commissioned work by Timo Andres, an exceptional composer personally selected by Adams. Adams’ own orchestral masterpiece City Noir brims with cinematic lyricism and yearning melodies. “The music should have the slightly disorienting effect of a very crowded boulevard peopled with strange characters,” says Adams, “...the kind who only come out very late on a very hot night.” John Adams’ son Samuel is a formidable composer in his own right, and a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow; his lyrical and haunting Chamber Concerto gives violinist Tessa Lark an opportunity to shine.
Due to circumstances related to Covid, violinist Helen Kim will now perform Samuel Adams’ Chamber Concerto on this program.
- “At his core, [John Adams] is a master musician, a composer who has managed to live up to the standards set by the greats before him yet carve out a fresh, distinctively American and arguably timeless musical niche of his own.” Read more about 2022 composer-in-residence John Adams in this profile
- “During the ‘quiet’ season of 2020–21, [Timo] Andres built an impressive library of music films on YouTube, featuring a deep range of repertoire which he performed, recorded, engineered, directed, and edited from home.” Learn more about composer Timo Andres or explore his extensive music library
- Samuel Adams, on being composer John Adams’ son: “My sister and my mother [Deborah O’Grady] are also artists. We’re a family of artists, and therefore we’re a family of very sensitive people. It’s a delicate dance. One thing I’ve learned about the way John and I provide criticism or praise to one another is that it’s a kind of indirect action. It’s very rare that I tell him, I found this problematic or this excellent in one of his pieces, and very rare that he would do that with me. I find that if I want to get a message across to him, I’ll point him to a piece of music that I think is interesting. Listening or reading suggestions are a kind of gentle way of our articulating our sentiments about each other’s work.” Read more or listen to excerpts from Samuel Adams’ Chamber Concerto
- Composer John Adams: “My ‘city’ can be imagined not just as a geographic place or even as a social nexus, but rather as a source of inexhaustible sensual experience. As a child watching the early days of television I remembered well the program that always ended with the familiar tag line, ‘There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one.’” Read more of Adams’ perspective on City Noir
- “Internationally-acclaimed soloist Timothy McAllister has been hailed as a ‘virtuoso…one of the foremost saxophonists of his generation’ (The New York Times), an ‘exemplary soloist’ (Gramophone Magazine), and ‘a titan of contemporary music and the instrument, in general’ (The Cleveland Plain Dealer).” John Adams’ City Noir was composed for, and dedicated to, McAllister; read more here or hear McAllister and Adams discuss another collaboration, Adams’ 2013 Saxophone Concerto
- Learn about violinist Tessa Lark in this interview and sample from her album Fantasy, or experience this beautiful moment in Moab
- “I’m just honestly seeking out masterworks from all eras and all styles,” Lark said. “It’s pretty common now to hear from musicians of my generation and later that people are over the term ‘genre.’ I look for music that I fall in love with and that has a deep message.” Read more about violinist Tessa Lark in our profile
- “I love the idea that you say, ’OK, this week this is the world that we live in,’” Music Director Peter Oundjian says of the Music of Today series. “Let’s hear the music that is being written by our contemporaries.” Read our full story about Music of Today
- Saxophonist Tim McAllister calls John Adams’ symphonic City Noir “a full unleashing of what the saxophone can be.” Read our story about McAllister and City Noir