Tag Archives: John Adams

Musical landscapes, Big Sur, and me

Big Sur - Aug06

I’ve posted a new entry on the Pittsburgh Symphony blog, “Music, stories, and the world around us.” It’s in response to this weekend’s concerts, which featured The Dharma at Big Sur conducted by the composer, John Adams.

Adams has said he wrote the piece to reflect his feelings on coming to Big Sur for the first time, an East Coast native encountering the Pacific Ocean for the first time. The music definitely conveys a sense of wonder and awe.

I visited Big Sur just once in my years living in San Francisco, and my feeling was not like Adams’s. I had been living in the Bay Area for a while, so part of the difference would be that the newness had worn away.

But my memories of Big Sur aren’t even of the coast, cliffs, and ocean. They’re of dark forest and massive trees — a side of Big Sur that is less flashy but no less full of wonder.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see the part of Big Sur that included the stream and chairs above. They add a bit of whimsy and magic to the splendor, and I would have liked that.

(Photo credit: Big Sur – Aug06, originally uploaded by Waldo647.)

Encore! More of my conversation with John Adams

The three remaining segments of my interview with Pulitzer-prize winning composer John Adams are online at the Pittsburgh Symphony website.

Part 4: John describes the feeling of releasing a book in the current market, how he came to write the book Hallelujah Junction, and why he wrote a book like this.

Part 5: John talks about the creation and premiere of The Dharma at Big Sur, how he revises and improves certain works, and why not every piece is worth revising.

Part 6: John talks about Pittsburgh, Heinz Hall, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

How technology is changing classical music — part 3 of my conversation with the composer John Adams

The third part of my interview with John Adams, the PSO’s Conductor of the Year, is available on the PSO blogs.

In this segment, John discusses how new technology has affected the way music is made, music itself, and the business of classical music. Read part 3 here.

I’m posting this interview over several days, in anticipation of two special concerts that he will be conducting with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on January 16 and 17.

If you’d like to hear John Adams conduct the PSO in performing his works, I have a limited number of vouchers for free tickets. Please contact me for details.

Lamenting the lexicon of musical invective — part 2 of John Adams interview

The second part of my interview with John Adams, the PSO’s Conductor of the Year, is available on the PSO blogs. In this segment, John talks about blogging and history, not being recognized, and what it’s like to sit in the audience when his works are performed. Read part 2 here.

I’m posting this interview over several days, in anticipation of two special concerts that he will be conducting with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on January 16 and 17.

Interested in attending one of the concerts? I have a limited number of vouchers for free tickets. Please contact me and I’ll set you up.

Interview with John Adams, part 1

In November, I had the chance to interview John Adams, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor of the Year. John shared his thoughts on contemporary and classical music, audiences, writing his autobiography, Pittsburgh, the PSO and Heinz Hall, and more.

I’ll be posting this interview over several days over at the PSO blogs, in anticipation of two special concerts that John Adams will be conducting with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on January 16 and 17.

The first part of the interview is here.

Cynthia Closkey and John Adams

Pittsburgh Symphony Insider with John Adams — talk to one of America’s most admired and respected composers

Saturday morning, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will host a Talkshoe interview with John Adams, PSO Composer of the Year.

Listen to and participate in a FREE live podcast with PSO Composer
of the Year John Adams! Ask questions of this Pulitzer Prize-winning
composer and get insights into the concerts he will conduct of his own
works on January 16th & 17th at Heinz Hall, including Doctor Atomic Symphony, On the Transmigration of Souls and excerpts from Nixon in China.

Visit www.talkshoe.com
this Saturday, November 15th at 11:00 am. Simply click on the live
podcast posted by Pittsburgh Symphony Insider and then click “Join In”!

News in the “how I am a very lucky person” category: I’ll be interviewing Adams tomorrow morning for the PSO Blog. He published a memoir this fall, Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life, and I’ll be asking him about that as well as about life as a composer in the Internet Age.