A captivating passion for current dark times.

Het evangelie volgens John Adams

John Adams, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Groot Omroepkoor

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John Adams has proven in his past work that he is not one to shun big themes. Famous for being the composer who added depth to the minimal music of Steve Reich and Philip Glass by allowing romantic gestures and modern techniques, he has dealt with political issues such as terrorism, 9/11, the atomic bomb and the Los Angeles riots. Now Adams is taking the challenge to delve into the greatest story of Western history. He created a modern passion, centring not on Jesus, but on Mary Magdalene. Through her eyes we witness the suffering of the world and the compassion of man. A poignant and captivating modern passion for our current dark times.


John Adams
Peter Sellars
Markus Stenz
choral direction
Edward Caswell
mezzo soprano
Kelley O’Connor
Tamara Mumford
Zach Borichevsky
counter tenor
Dan Bubeck
Brian Cummings
Nathan Medley
Radio Filharmonisch Orkest
Groot Omroepkoor
Holland Festival
NTR ZaterdagMatinee

John Adams ... may be the most vital and eloquent composer in America.

The New Yorker


The American composer John Adams (1947) grew up in the vibrant music culture of New England. His father taught him to play the clarinet. He was a member of various local orchestras and later continued his studies with Felix Viscuglia, the clarinet player of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. At the age of ten he also began composing. From 1965 he studied composition with Leon Kirchner, Roger Sessions, Earl Kim and David Del Tredici at Harvard University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1971 and his master’s in 1972. During his studies he directed the Bach Society Orchestra and was reserve clarinettist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra as well as the Boston Opera Company. From 1972 to 1984 he lectured at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he also worked at the electronic studio and conducted the New Music Ensemble. With Shaker Loops (1978) Adams found his own musical language, strongly rooted in American minimalism. His most famous works include the two operas Nixon in China (1985-1987) and The Death of Klinghoffer (1991), which he created in collaboration with the poet Alice Goodman and director Peter Sellars. Adams received many awards for his work, including the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Chamber Symphony in 1994, and the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Music for On the transmigration of souls, which he wrote for the commemoration of the 9/11 attacks on New York's World Trade Center. That same year, Adams replaced Pierre Boulez as composer in residence at Carnegie Hall. With his essays Adams regularly contributes to the New York Times Book Review. In 2008 his much praised volume on American musical life Hallelujah Junction was published. In May 2013 the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra will premiere the staged version of Adams’oratorio The Gospel According to the other Mary (2011).


The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (RFO) was founded in 1945 by Albert van Raalte. Over the years, the orchestra has been led by Bernard Haitink, Jean Fournet, Willem van Otterloo, Hans Vonk, Edo de Waart and Jaap van Zweden. Van Zweeden has been succeeded in the 2012-2013 season by Markus Stenz. The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra (RFO) works with numerous renowned guest conductors, including Stokowski, Kondrashin, Dorati, Muti, Masur, Jansons and Gergiev. James Gaffigan is the regular guest conductor until mid-2015. The orchestra has performed the (Dutch) premieres of works by Adès, Berio, Boulez, Adams, Franssens, Koolmees, Padding, Francesconi, Janácek, De Raaff, Ustvolskaya and Rijnvos, among others. The RFO also occasionally performs abroad, for example during the Festival Musica in Strasbourg in 2008, the Sun Festival in Singapore in 2009, and in 2010 on concert tours to Great Britain, Germany and Austria. In 2011, the RFO made a successful debut at the BBC Proms under Jaap van Zweden’s direction.

The RFO works for the Netherlands Public Broadcasting Authority and is a major presence in the ZaterdagMatinee and Sunday morning concert series in Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, as well as in the Friday series ‘De Vrijdag van Vredenburg’ in Utrecht; these concerts are broadcast live on Radio 4. The RFO has built up an impressive discography, including, amongst much more, the complete symphonies of Mahler conducted by Edo de Waart, a unique CD box of Wagner’s works, a Bruckner cycle conducted by Jaap van Zweden and the complete orchestral works of Rachmaninov. The orchestra also regularly draws attention with its CDs of contemporary music, receiving praise for its interpretations of works by Jonathan Harvey, Klas Torstensson, Jan van Vlijmen and others.


The Netherlands Radio Choir was founded in 1945 and falls under the NetherlandsBroadcastingMusicCenter. The choir consists of 74 professionally trained singers and performs in various line-ups, accompanied by an orchestra and also a cappella, and has a very broad repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the present. As of the 2008-2009 season, the Brazilian Celso Antunes is chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir. Since September 2011, Michael Gläser is the regular guest conductor. Celso Antunes’s predecessors were Kenneth Montgomery, Robin Gritton, Martin Wright and Simon Halsey. The Netherlands Radio Choir has recently worked with Marcus Creed, James Wood, Kaspars Putnins, Sigvards Klava and Stefan Parkman, among others. With specialists like Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Frans Brüggen, Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman and Jos van Veldhoven, the choir takes on music from the baroque and classical period. The most important partners of the Netherlands Radio Choir are the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic. The Radio Choir has also worked for years with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Almost all concerts take place within two Netherlands Public Broadcasting series: the Friday concerts, known as ‘De Vrijdag van Vredenburg’, in Utrecht and the Saturday Matinees in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. These concerts can be heard live on Radio 4 and are also frequently broadcast on television. In addition, the Netherlands Radio Choir regularly takes part in Holland Festival productions and in the concerts of the NTR public service broadcasters in the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, as well as working several times per season with other orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Berliner Philharmoniker. The choir has participated in many CD recordings of music by Mahler, Shostakovich and Stockhausen and others.

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