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Two New Symphonies from John Adams

(October 2007)

John Adams Son of Chamber Symphony and Doctor Atomic Symphony in U.S.

On November 30 Alan Pierson will conduct Alarm Will Sound in the world premiere of John Adams's Son of Chamber Symphony, a twenty-three minute work for fifteen musicians, presented by Stanford Lively Arts at Dinkelspiel Auditorium. This piece, co-commissioned by Stanford Lively Arts along with the San Francisco Ballet and Carnegie Hall Corporation, is a follow-up to Adams's iconic Chamber Symphony (1992). 
 
Says Alan Pierson, "It definitely revisits the world of the first Chamber Symphony. It's a little funkier, maybe, but it's still quite soloistically driven . . . John doesn't write a lot of music for chamber ensemble and most of his earlier music depends on the massed sonority of the orchestra." Following the world premiere at Stanford Lively Arts, Alarm Will Sound will bring Son of Chamber Symphony to Carnegie's Zankel Hall for its East Coast premiere three months later on February 28. A choreographic version of Son of Chamber Symphony by Mark Morris will premiere in spring of 2008 as part of the San Francisco Ballet’s New Works Festival, made possible in part by The Swanson Foundation in honor of San Francisco Ballet's 75th Anniversary.
 
Another new symphony from John Adams will be heard on February 7 and 8, when David Robertson, to whom the piece is dedicated, conducts the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra in the U.S. premiere performances of Doctor Atomic Symphony at Powell Hall. Adams selected musical highlights from his opera and, rather than just creating a suite, opted to weave the material into a four-movement symphony -- The Laboratory, The Bedroom, Panic, and Trinity -- orchestrating vocal lines and composing new linking material as necessary. 
  
Jointly commissioned by Carnegie Hall Corporation, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and BBC Radio 3 for the BBC Proms, Doctor Atomic Symphony received its world premiere under the baton of John Adams on August 21, 2007, at the Royal Albert Hall with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The Independent (UK) says: "The humanity of both pieces – symphony and opera – is to be found in the music reflecting the private world of Oppenheimer and his wife Kitty, a world essentially torn apart by the terrible implications of his discovery" and calls Doctor Atomic Symphony "powerfully eloquent in the grandeur of its gestures." New York audiences will hear the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra perform the New York premiere at Carnegie Hall on February 16.
 


> Further information on Work: Son of Chamber Symphony

Photo: © Christine Alicino

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