Berkeley-born composer Samuel Carl Adams. samuelcarladams.com photo

Two titans of American music — and one of their sons — are featured in a pair of upcoming must-hear concerts.

John Adams and Philip Glass are the famed composers, and while each established his career during the minimalist era, each has gone on to forge a unique musical signature in symphonies, operas, chamber music and vocal works.

The events begin Feb. 18 in Berkeley, when the Bay Area’s own St. Lawrence String Quartet performs an all-Adams program — one that includes music by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Berkeley composer as well as his son, composer Samuel Adams.

Samuel Adams, son of Berkeley composer John Adams, will have his “String Quartet in Five Movements” performed Feb. 18 in Berkeley. Courtesy of Samuel Adams

Included are John Adams’ “First Quartet” and “Second Quartet,” and Samuel Adams’ “String Quartet in Five Movements.” All three quartets were written specifically for the St. Lawrence players – violinists Geoff Nuttall and Owen Dalby, violist Lesley Robertson and cellist Christopher Costanza – who have been the ensemble in residence at Stanford University since 1998.

John Adams has composed several works for the St. Lawrence Quartet, and he clearly thinks highly of the group. In his notes for the Second Quartet, which the St. Lawrence premiered in Stanford’s Bing Hall in 2015, he wrote: “What I appreciate about my friends in the St. Lawrence is their willingness to let me literally ‘improvise’ on them as if they were a piano or a drum and I a crazy man beating away with only the roughest outlines of what I want. They will go the distance with me, allow me to try and fail, and they will indulge my seizures of doubt, frustration and indecision, all the while providing intuitions and frequently brilliant suggestions of their own.”

Details: Feb. 18, 3 p.m., Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley campus; $43-$48; 510-642-9988; www.calperformances.org.

PARTYING ON: Philip Glass turned 80 last year, but the celebrations continue. There’s a big one coming at Davies Symphony Hall on Tuesday, featuring one of the iconic composer’s early scores – one that became one of the defining works of the minimalist movement.

“Philip Glass @80: Music with Changing Parts” brings Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble together with the San Francisco Girls Chorus and brass and woodwind students from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Composed in 1970, “Music with Changing Parts” will be conducted by Glass Ensemble music director Michael Riesman. The 90-minute event is …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

      

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John Adams and his son , plus Philip Glass, make for exciting times at Bay Area concert halls

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