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John Adams conducts LSO in London and Paris

(November 2016)

AdamsLSODec2016LambertOrkis.jpg John Adams conducts El Niño and Scheherazade.2 with the London Symphony Orchestra in London and Paris, while a new paperback edition of his autobiography is released by Faber & Faber.

The London Symphony Orchestra focuses on the music of John Adams in December, with two programmes each at the Barbican in London and the Philharmonie in Paris, and a further concert at the Opéra de Dijon, all under the baton of the composer. The London concerts are part of the Barbican's season-long celebration of Adams's 70th birthday in February, within its The Sounds that Changed America strand. The performances at the Paris Philharmonie are highlights in a John Adams weekend 10/11 Dec including five concerts.

Adams's Nativity oratorio El Niño receives concert performances in London (4 December) and Paris (11 December), with soloists Joélle Harvey, Jennifer Johnson Cano and Davóne Tines and the London Symphony Chorus. The full-evening work widens the focus of the traditional nativity story, extending from the familiar Gospels to the Gnostic texts, and offering a distinctively feminine perspective and Hispanic flavour. In the run-up to the Christmas season the work is also performed in the NTR ZaterdagMatinee series in Amsterdam (10 December) with Netherlands Radio forces under Markus Stenz and at the Walt Disney Hall (16/18 December) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Grant Gershon.

The second LSO programme features Adams's Scheherazade.2, with Leila Josefowicz as soloist. The work, premiered last year, was written for Josefowicz who has performed it over 30 times in 9 countries to date, as well as featuring on the recently released Nonesuch disc. Adams describes how "the impetus for the piece was an exhibition at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris detailing the history of the ‘Arabian Nights’ and of Scheherazade and how this story has evolved over the centuries... I was suddenly struck by the idea of a ‘dramatic symphony’ in which the principal character role is taken by the solo violin — and she would be Scheherazade." The concerts in London (8 December), Dijon (French premiere, 9 December) and Paris (10 December) also include Bartók's Hungarian Sketches and Stravinsky's Orpheus.

> Barbican 
> Paris Philharmonie 
> Opéra de Dijon 
> Adams at 70 

Faber & Faber has recently published a paperback edition of John Adams's Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life, following the book's original hardback edition in 2008. Part memoir and part description of the creative process, Hallelujah Junction is an absorbing journey through the musical landscape of John Adams, centred around the three highly controversial operas based on social and political issues he has written in the past 25 years - Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer and Doctor Atomic.

> Buy the book from our Online Shop 

>  Further information on Work: El Niño

Photo: John Adams conducts National Symphony Orchestra Washington (Lambert Orkis).

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