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John Adams: new film documentary on BBC4 TV

(February 2013)

New film documentary on John Adams by Mark Kidel to be screened on BBC4 TV

Mark Kidel's new film documentary of John Adams is telecast for the first time on BBC4 TV on 8 March at 8.00 pm, offering a journey through the musical landscapes of this leading composer. American Master: A Portrait of John Adams is an Ex Nihilo / ARTE France co-production, in association with the BBC. The film is repeated on BBC HD on 15 March at 00:25 am.

The 60-minute film will be also be screened at Barbican Cinema 2 in London on 16 March at 5.00 pm as a prelude to the European premiere of The Gospel According to the Other Mary with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

> Book tickets for the Barbican screening

John Adams is the living composer whose work is most often performed today. Inspired by the raw emotion of jazz, the hypnotic repetition of minimalism and the tonal explorations of the 20th century avant-garde, Adams draws as well from the drama and romanticism of European music, from Beethoven to Debussy, and Wagner to Sibelius. He has written operas that touch on present-day politics, orchestral works of startling beauty and oratorios that re-interpret the central myths of Western spirituality. He lives in California, the perfect setting for a man whose music transcends history, reaching forwards adventurously into the unknown as well as paying homage to the masterpieces of the past.

Mark Kidel tells the story of John Adams’s life and evokes his music’s connection to the American landscape in series of specially shot sequences filmed by the award-winning cinematographer Jon Else. The film is not only a feast for the eyes, but a crystal-clear account of the development of Adams’s music from its beginnings in minimalism through the much wider world of references he draws on today. The film includes extracts from major works including Harmonium, Road Movies, Lollapalooza, and the operas Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer and Doctor Atomic. There are also specially shot rehearsals of his Absolute Jest (which recently received its European premiere at the Barbican) and The Gospel According to the Other Mary (with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic) and a visually stunning account of one of the movements of Adams’s mesmerising string piece Shaker Loops.

Mark Kidel is an award-winning arts documentary film maker working in the UK, France, Germany and the USA. Recent films include Coloring Light: The artist Brian Clarke and Set the Piano Stool on Fire: a film about Alfred Brendel and his pupil Kit Armstrong. His multi-award winning film about Ravi Shankar was recently shown again on BBC4. He has just finished a film in which Martin Amis explores his sense of Englishness and is working on a documentary about Elvis Costello.

John Adams's full evening Passion oratorio, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, receives its stage premiere on 7 March at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles before embarking on an international tour to London, Lucerne, Paris and New York (16-27 March). The premiere production is by Adams's long-time collaborator Peter Sellars, creator of the work's libretto, and performers include the Los Angeles Philharmonic and LA Master Chorale conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

> Weitere Informationen zum Werk: The Gospel According to the Other Mary

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