The John Adams Reader and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $27.95
  • Save: $7.93 (28%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The John Adams Reader: Es... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: One page has folds. Small tear on dust jacket.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer Hardcover – June 1, 2006


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$20.02
$15.33 $8.59

Frequently Bought Together

The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer + Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life
Price for both: $34.25

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 455 pages
  • Publisher: Amadeus Press (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1574671324
  • ISBN-13: 978-1574671322
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Apart from playing trombone in the school band and the usual radio pap, I discovered music in a serious way at a relatively late age - when I was around 12. That was around the time I went crazy over an abandoned piano and thought I could learn to play all the Beethoven sonatas in a year or so "if I applied myself." At least I didn't lack for foolhardy ideas about how music actually works. A year or so later I began my first attempt to compose a symphony -- to "prepare the way" for the opera on "King Lear" for which posterity had destined me -- when I discovered with horror that my main theme in E major had been stolen by Anton Bruckner. But I've been trying to make up for lost time ever since, and music is a passion inseparably bound to my love of theater, fiction, poetry, film, and the other arts.

After starting my writing career as a freelancer for "The Washington Post" under Tim Page, I was lured to resettle on the West Coast when I was hired as part of the first team of music editors at Amazon.com. Nowadays I'm a full-time freelance writer focusing on music. My interests are voracious, from early music to Nico Muhly, and I have a serious passion for exploring how contemporary composers are transforming the legacy of "classical music" (imploring indulgence for the quotation marks: it's just that I've found they're the most efficient way to deal with that burden of a misnomer).

These days I write for the online newspaper crosscut.com, Listen magazine, and Gramophone; I also regularly contribute to the program books of some of the leading institutions in the music world. Since 2009 I've served as the English writer and program editor for the Lucerne Festival; I also translate German for the Lucerne Festival and other institutions.

Please visit my blog at www.memeteria.com or follow me on Twitter @memeteria.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 4 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on July 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
John Adams is probably the most performed living American composer of classical music. And in this book, really a tribute to Mr. Adams, some sixty writers have written on some aspect of John Adams life. The essays are broken down into four major categories: Portraits of the Artist, The Musical Works, Collaborators and Interpreters, and Critical Reception. The book is biographical in part, talking of Mr. Adams early years and his decision to spend his life writing music. Other aspects of the book discuss most of his major works from looking at the content and then critically.

The writers of these essays are a who's who of the classical music world. They include performers (Emanuel Ax, Sarah Cahill), critics (Justin Davidson, Rupert Christiansen), composers (Ingram Marshall, David Schiff), critics (Renaud Machart, Alan Rich), directors (Robert Spano, Peter Spano), professors (Richard Taruskin, Arthur C. Danto), and of course Thomas May who basically put this whole book together.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
The John Adams Reader presents an anthology of writings by a wide variety of authors about one of the most frequently performed American composers in the realm of classical music. Friends and collaborators of John Adams, including director Peter Sellers, conductor Robert Spano, performers Emanuel Ax and Dawn Upshaw, and friend Ingram Marshall, as well as extensive interviews with John Adams himself, allow for a thorough tour of his personality, his musical works, collaborators and interpreters, his critical reception, controversies about his work and his political views, and much more. As accessible to lay readers as it is to advanced music students and practitioners, The John Adams Reader is a "must-read" portrait for anyone striving to better understand both the artist and his musical art, presenting the compiled wit and charm of expert musicians.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Philip Pogson on April 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a measure of John Adam's success as a composer of art music, for want of a better term, that such a work as this has been published at all. Adams is barely 60 years old, still active, and arguably at his most influential, but hardly the stuff of the popular press. But Thomas May has done us a service. This is a serious book about a serious artist, consisting of dozens of articles and interviews by a range of contributors published over many years. Inevitably, some ground is covered more than once: for example, the composer's journey from an East Coast student of a student of Schoenberg, to a West Coast minimalist icon. Although Adam's music itself is often described as positive in its outlook in comparison to his post-serialist European peers, Adams has never stood back from tackling big philosophical matters such as China-Western relations or the labyrinth that is Middle Eastern politics. This is reflected in the extensive debate documented in this book in regard to the Adam's opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, which is a fictionalised account of the Palestian hijack of a cruise ship. There are controversial productions of the opera canon that create a furore, but few modern operas post World War II that generated such debate that the productions themselves were withdrawn. Much of the writing is very good, including Thomas May's own contributions, which speaks well of the capacity of a society to reflect on the contribution of an artist whose chosen art form is arcane to the great majority of the population. My only quibble is with the choice made to publish a comprehensive rather than a more selected set of articles which means the book will no doubt serve a purpose as a reference resource rather than a shorter publication readers might dig into on a more casual basis.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arlette M. on December 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Am a fan of John Adams. Read it first on the kindle. Prefer holding an actual book in my hands, if I like it. The reason for buying the book and adding it to my library.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?