August 18, 2015

Michael Tilson Thomas and San Francisco Symphony release John Adams recording

The San Fran­cisco Sym­phony per­forms John Adams’ Absolute Jest, led by Music Direc­tor Michael Tilson Thomas, and Grand Pianola Music, led by Adams, on its lat­est album release.

Writ­ten three decades apart, both works were com­posed specif­i­cally for the San Fran­cisco Sym­phony by Adams, who has been one of the orchestra’s most impor­tant artis­tic part­ners. The St. Lawrence String Quar­tet, pianists Marc-André Hamelin and Orli Sha­ham, and vocal group Syn­ergy Vocals join MTT and the orchestra.

The San Fran­cisco Sym­phony has had the tremen­dous good for­tune of col­lab­o­rat­ing with John Adams over many decades,” says MTT. “Absolute Jest is one of my favorite John Adams pieces and the play­ing of the St. Lawrence String Quar­tet and the orches­tra is an absolute delight.”

The release will be avail­able as a hybrid SACD com­pat­i­ble with con­ven­tional CD play­ers, and as a dig­i­tal down­load — includ­ing as high-resolution 24-bit down­loads — and on all major stream­ing services.

The New World Sym­phony has per­formed both of these works. John Adams him­self con­ducted Grand Pianola Music at the New Music con­cert of Decem­ber 11, 1999. He repeated the same con­cert, guest con­duct­ing at our con­cert for the Amer­i­can Mav­er­icks Fes­ti­val in San Fran­cisco at Davies Sym­phony Hall, on June 21, 2000. Syn­ergy was in that per­for­mance as well.

Absolute Jest was per­formed in our New Music con­cert of Decem­ber 1, 2012, for the Sounds of the Times Series. Adams was again on the podium, and St. Lawrence String Quar­tet were the guest artists for the piece.

Addi­tion­ally, Orli Sha­ham has per­formed with NWS on a num­ber of occa­sions, and Marc-André Hamelin par­tic­i­pated in our John Cage Fes­ti­val in 2013.

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