John Coolidge Adams

Composer, conductor, and creative thinker - John Adams occupies a unique position in the world of music. His works stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. Works spanning more than three decades are among the most performed of all contemporary classical music, among them Nixon in China, Harmonielehre, Doctor Atomic, Shaker Loops, El Niño, Short Ride in a Fast Machine and The Dharma at Big Sur.

His stage works, all in collaboration with director Peter Sellars, have transformed the genre of contemporary music theater. Of Adams' best- known opera, the New Yorker magazine wrote “Not since 'Porgy and Bess' has an American opera won such universal acclaim as 'Nixon in China'.”
Nonesuch Records has recorded all of Adams' music over the past three decades, with numerous Grammy awards among them. A new recording of the complete Doctor Atomic, with Adams conducting the BBC Symphony, was released in July 2018, timed to coincide with the Santa Fe Opera's new production.

As conductor, Adams leads the world's major orchestras in repertoire that from Beethoven and Mozart to Stravinsky, Ives, Carter, Zappa, Glass and Ellington. Conducting engagements in recent and coming seasons include the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, the Cleveland Orchestra Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Wiener Symphoniker and BBC Symphony. He leads Rome's Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in his oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary in October 2018.

A new piano concerto called Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? will be premiere by Yuja Wang in March of 2019 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel. The same month the Dutch National Opera will present the European premiere of Adams 2017 opera about the California Gold Rush, Girls of the Golden West.

Born and raised in New England, Adams learned the clarinet from his father and played in marching bands and community orchestras during his formative years. He began composing at age ten and his first orchestral pieces were performed while just a teenager.

Adams has received honorary doctorates from Yale, Harvard, Northwestern, Cambridge and The Juilliard School. A provocative writer, he is author of the highly acclaimed autobiography 'Hallelujah Junction' and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review.

Adams is Creative Chair of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The official John Adams website is www.earbox.com.

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
Click here to learn more about OPERA America granting programs.
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2012
The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Showcase 2011
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2005
The Opera Fund: Repertoire Development2004
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1989
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1988
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1987
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1987
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1987
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1987
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1987
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1986
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1985

Click company name to view productions details.
Metropolitan OperaEl Niño4/23/2024 - 5/17/2024
IN SeriesI Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky4/14/2023 - 4/30/2023
San Francisco OperaAntony and Cleopatra9/10/2022 - 10/5/2022
Santa Fe OperaDoctor Atomic7/14/2018 - 8/16/2018
San Francisco OperaGirls of the Golden West11/21/2017 - 12/10/2017
Houston Grand OperaNixon in China1/20/2017 - 1/28/2017
San Diego Opera AssociationNixon in China3/14/2015 - 3/22/2015
Opera OmahaA Flowering Tree2/13/2015 - 2/15/2015
Metropolitan OperaThe Death of Klinghoffer10/10/2014 - 11/14/2014
Long Beach OperaI Was Looking at the Ceiling, and Then I Saw the Sky8/23/2014 - 8/23/2014
Long Beach OperaThe Death of Klinghoffer3/3/2014 - 3/22/2014
San Francisco OperaNixon in China6/6/2012 - 7/7/2012
Lyric Opera of Kansas CityNixon in China3/3/2012 - 3/18/2012
Eugene OperaNixon in China3/3/2012 - 3/18/2012
Cincinnati OperaA Flowering Tree6/30/2011 - 7/2/2011
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisThe Death of Klinghoffer6/25/2011 - 6/25/2011
Canadian Opera CompanyNixon in China2/2/2011 - 2/26/2011
Metropolitan OperaNixon in China2/2/2011 - 2/2/2011
Vancouver OperaNixon in China3/3/2010 - 3/20/2010
Long Beach OperaNixon in China3/3/2010 - 3/28/2010
Metropolitan OperaDoctor Atomic10/1/2008 - 11/12/2008
Opera ColoradoNixon in China6/6/2008 - 6/15/2008
Chicago Opera TheaterA Flowering Tree5/5/2008 - 5/25/2008
Lyric Opera of ChicagoDoctor Atomic1/1/2008 - 12/18/2007
Cincinnati OperaNixon in China7/12/2007 - 7/12/2007
Chicago Opera TheaterNixon in China5/5/2006 - 5/27/2006
Portland OperaNixon in China3/1/2006 - 4/1/2006
San Francisco OperaDoctor Atomic10/1/2005 - 10/21/2005
Minnesota OperaNixon in China5/1/2005 - 5/22/2005
Curtis Institute of MusicThe Death of Klinghoffer2/1/2005 - 2/18/2005
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisNixon in China6/1/2004 - 6/26/2004
Opera BostonNixon in China3/1/2004 - 3/14/2004
State Opera of South AustraliaEl Niño3/3/2002 - 3/6/2002
San Francisco OperaThe Death of Klinghoffer11/1/1992 - 11/23/1992
State Opera of South AustraliaNixon in China2/1/1992 - 2/29/1992

Artist Information

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