Release (2007/04/27)

John Adams conducts ACO in “An Adams Apple:
John Adams at 60″
at Carnegie Hall, April 27

An All-Adams Program and Birthday Celebration featuring Leila Josefowicz, violin and Eric Owens, bass-baritone

John AdamsOn Friday, April 27th at 8:00pm Carnegie Hall presents American Composers Orchestra at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage performing An Adams Apple: John Adams at 60. For its final Carnegie Hall concert of the season ACO will celebrate John Adams’ 60th birthday and its own 30th Anniversary season and 2006-07 season composer-performer focus with an appropriately festive concert — John Adams himself will conduct My Father Knew Charles Ives, The Wound-Dresser with  bass-baritone Eric Owens and the Violin Concerto with soloist Leila Josefowicz in her only New York City appearance this season.  The three compositions delve into three different periods of Adams’ work to give a wonderful ear-picture of this most distinguished and versatile American composer.

ACO will present Adams with its Distinguished Composer Award. Adams will be the guest of honor at a benefit after-party immediately following the concert.

My Father Knew Charles Ives
“But for a few years and only a little distance to the north,” writes Adams, “[My father and Charles Ives] might well have met…I imagine them exchanging a wry comment in front of the town post office, or, rake in hand, lending each other some help after the first October frost.” Adams describes My Father Knew Charles Ives, composed in 2003, as “a musical autobiography, an homage and encomium to a composer whose influence on me has been huge.” In it, Adams paints a vivid musical picture of his personal roots as a native of rural New England, as well as his poetic roots as a son of the same quintessentially American soul as Charles Ives.

The Wound-Dresser
“I recall the experience sweet and sad,” sings the baritone voice, in Adams’ setting of Walt Whitman’s The Wound-Dresser.  Adams sets an adaptation of the Whitman text laying bare the narrator’s experiences of being a nurse during the Civil War.  The music evokes a landscape of injury, courage and the unresolved memories of the battlefield.  The meditative and intensely moving work was written in 1988-89 and is a favorite of performers and audiences alike.

Eric Owens, bass-baritone
Eric Owens, bass-baritoneBass-baritone Eric Owens’appearances have included performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and Detroit Symphony among others. He has worked with today’s leading conductors including Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Christoph von Dohnanyi, John Nelson, and Robert Spano. Mr. Owens is a winner of a 1999 ARIA award, the Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition. A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Owens studied voice at Temple University and the Curtis Institute of Music. In addition to his performing career, he serves on the Board of Trustees of The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, and Astral Artistic Services.

Violin Concerto
According to Adams: “As if to compensate for years of neglecting the ‘singing line,’ the Violin Concerto (1993) emerged as an almost implacably melodic piece — an example of ‘hypermelody.’ The violin spins one long phrase after another without stop for nearly the full thirty-five minutes of the piece.” Among the many contemporary violin virtuosi who have mastered this piece, Leila Josefowicz “made the piece a personal calling card for years, ” and, once again under Adams’s baton, will perform it with ACO.  The Violin Concerto earned Adams the 1995 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

Leila Josefowicz, violin
Leile JosefowiczViolinist Leila Josefowicz has appeared with many of the world’s most eminent conductors and prestigious orchestras, including the Minnesota, Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Toronto, Vancouver, St. Louis, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Baltimore, New World and National symphonies, among others. A regular, close collaborator with leading composers of the day such as John Adams and Oliver Knussen, she is a strong advocate of new music – a characteristic which is reflected in her diverse programs and her enthusiasm for premiering new works. Ms. Josefowicz is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1994, and a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where she studied with Jaime Laredo and Jascha Brodsky.

John Adams, composer/conductor
John AdamsComposer/conductor John Adams was born and raised in New England and began composing at the age of ten. After earning two degrees from Harvard University, he moved to Northern California in 1971 and has lived in the San Francisco Bay area ever since. In 2002 Adams composed On the Transmigration of Souls for the New York Philharmonic, a work written in commemoration of the first anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, and received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Music. As a guest conductor and as director of music festivals in the US and Europe he has appeared with orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the London Symphony. As Artist in Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, he regularly appears with that orchestra as conductor in concerts in London’s Barbican and at the annual Albert Hall Proms concerts. Adams currently holds the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer Chair at Carnegie Hall, concluding his tenure in June 2007.  In addition to the many musical projects underway, Adams is also at work on a book of observations about the American musical scene.

Tickets & Info
ACO performs “An Adams Apple: John Adams at Sixty” at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on Friday, April 27, 2007 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $16 – $43, and may be purchased through CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, by visiting Carnegie Hall’s website, or at the Carnegie Hall box office, 57th Street at 7th Ave.

Benefit tickets — which include the concert and after-party at the stylish Felissimo Townhouse — are $275 and $500.

Major support of American Composers Orchestra is provided by ACO Inner Circle, American Symphony Orchestra League, Amphion Foundation, Arlington Associates, ASCAP, ASCAP Foundation, Bay and Paul Foundations, BMI, BMI Foundation, NY City Council Member Gale A. Brewer, Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Citigroup Foundation, Edward T. Cone Foundation, Consolidated Edison, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Fidelity Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Greenwall Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, Victor Herbert Foundation, Jephson Educational Trust, Jerome Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund, John and Evelyn Kossak Foundation, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Neil Family Fund, The New York Community Trust, The New York State Music Fund established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Rodgers Family Foundation, Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Susan and Ford Schumann Foundation, Emma A. Sheafer Charitable Trust, the Virgil Thomson Foundation, Paul Underwood Charitable Trust, The Sonata and Watchdog Charitable Trusts, The Isak and Rose Weinman Foundation and The Helen F. Whitaker Fund. ACO programs are also made possible with public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.