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John Adams Returns for Fall Music Residency

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November 1, 2005 | by Judy Moore

Renowned American composer John Adams, inaugural winner of the School of Music’s Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition, will return to the Evanston campus for his second residency this fall.

During his three-day visit, the public will have a chance to observe Adams working with a student group while he rehearses his work “Chamber Symphony” with the University’s Contemporary Music Ensemble from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 8) at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

The Northwestern University community is invited to the non-ticketed event. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Lobby doors will open at 11:30 a.m.

During his fall residency, Adams also will analyze and critique music student compositions during a private master class, meet with students, and serve as a guest lecturer during a class on Minimalism, and through the International Studies Program, a class on terrorism.

Adams’ third Evanston campus residency is scheduled for the week of Jan. 16. During his winter 2006 visit -- and as part of his Nemmers Prize -- the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will present four performances of Adams’ 1999 work “Naïve and Sentimental Music” Jan. 19 through 24 at Symphony Center in Chicago. The grand symphony reflects how deeply Adams has been affected by the California landscape as a visual and sensual inspiration since he arrived there in the early 1970s.

In honor of Adams and the Nemmers Prize, Northwestern’s Music Library will present an exhibition that will run from January through May 2006 featuring manuscripts by American composers.

During his spring and final Northwestern residency (the week of May 15, 2006), the Chicago Opera Theatre will open Adams’ 1987 opera “Nixon in China” from May 17 through 27.  Based on former U.S. President Richard Nixon’s visit to China in 1971, the opera transforms actual events into a profound examination of the political and cultural differences between the East and the West.

The Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition is a biennial award honoring classical music composers of outstanding achievement who have significantly affected the field of composition and who continue to be productive.

The School of Music is currently accepting nominations for its 2006 Michael Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition. Nominations for the 2006 prize will be accepted until Feb. 1, 2006, with the announcement of the winner scheduled for late spring.

Self-nominations will not be accepted. Former or present members of the Northwestern faculty or employees of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are not eligible.

All nominations should be sent to: Secretary to the Selection Committee, Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition, Office of the Dean, School of Music, Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill., 60208.

For more information about the Nov. 8 John Adams open rehearsal, call Pick-Staiger at (847) 491-5441.

Topics: Campus Life