Top of page

Composer and Conductor John Adams in Residence at the Library

Share this post:

Distinguished American composer and conductor John Adams (b. 1947) will be in residence at the Library of Congress from May 22-25, 2013. Made possible by the Dina Koston and Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music, Adams has worked with Concerts from the Library of Congress to develop a unique series of programs that both honor his artistic achievements and celebrate the Library’s long and storied history of commissioning and fostering the development of new music with global impact.

John Adams by Margaretta Mitchell

A versatile composer whose output includes operatic, symphonic and chamber works, Adams has over three decades of works to his credit, much of which has become contemporary repertoire. Many of his works engage and provoke dialogues about some of the most significant issues faced by the twentieth- and twenty-first-century global community. His musical response to the first anniversary of 9/11, On the Transmigration of Souls (2002), was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Music.

The four concerts that comprise the residency offer a wonderful survey of Adams’ instrumental music, with some of the most exciting and vibrant performers of new music available. The residency also showcases Adams’ commitment to encouraging emerging composers.

At his recommendation, the Library commissioned American composer Timothy Andres (b. 1985) to compose a new work for the Attacca Quartet, Early to Rise (2013). Adams also selected La forma dello spazio, by young Canadian composer Zosha di Castri, to be featured in a performance he conducts with the International Contemporary Ensemble, along with works by Schoenberg and Stravinsky.

Also performing are violinist Jennifer Koh with pianist Reiko Uchida, and The U.S. Army Blues in a special tribute to the swing bands that played at Adams’ grandfather’s New Hampshire dance hall.

Adams previously spent time at the Library for a public conversation about his autobiography Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life  (Picador, 2009). The webcast of that talk is available here. His Road Movies for violin and piano (1995) was a Library of Congress McKim Fund Commission and will be performed by Jennifer Koh during the residency.

For complete program listings and information on how to obtain free tickets, visit or call 7-5502.

Event Listings:
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 – 8:00pm (Coolidge Auditorium)
Attacca Quartet
BEETHOVEN Quartet in G major, op. 18, no. 2
ADAMS Selections from John’s Book of Alleged Dances
ANDRES Early to Rise (World Premiere-Dina Koston and Roger Shapiro Fund for New Music Commission)
ADAMS String Quartet

Thursday, May 23, 2013 – 8:00pm (Atlas Performing Arts Center)
Jennifer Koh, violin and Reiko Uchida, piano
SALONEN Lachen verlernt
SCHUBERT Sonata in A major, D. 574, op. 162
BARTÓK Sonata for solo violin, Sz. 117
ADAMS Road Movies (McKim Fund Commission)

Friday, May 24, 2013 – 6:15pm (Whittall Pavilion)
A Conversation with John Adams and Claire Chase
(No tickets required)

Friday, May 24, 2013 – 8:00pm (Coolidge Auditorium)
International Contemporary Ensemble
John Adams, conductor
STRAVINSKY Suite–Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale)
ADAMS Son of Chamber Symphony
DI CASTRI La forma dello spazio
SCHOENBERG Chamber Symphony no. 1, op. 9, for fifteen solo instruments

Saturday, May 25, 2013 – 8:00pm (Atlas Performing Arts Center)
The U.S. Army Blues
Hits of the Swing Era

Free admission, tickets required. Click here for box office information.

If an event is sold out in advance, space-available passes will be distributed beginning 2 hours prior to the event. Unclaimed reserved seats will be allocated to space-available pass holders sequentially beginning at 15 minutes prior to the event.


Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.