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Virtual—John Luther Adams in conversation with Alex Ross

February 3 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Registration required

The Great Northern Festival

“Reigning musical ambassador of the natural world” (The New York Times) John Luther Adams joins The New Yorker’s music critic Alex Ross (The Rest is Noise) for a conversation on environmentalism, JLA’s illuminating memoir Silences So Deep, experiences in deep winter, and Ten Thousand Birds, to be performed by Alarm Will Sound at Minneapolis Institute of Art on the final day of the festival.

About John Luther Adams

For John Luther Adams, music is a lifelong search for home—an invitation to slow down, pay attention, and remember our place within the larger community of life on Earth.

Living for almost 40 years in northern Alaska, JLA discovered a unique musical world grounded in space, stillness, and elemental forces. In the 1970s and into the 80s, he worked full time as an environmental activist. But the time came when he felt compelled to dedicate himself entirely to music. He made this choice with the belief that, ultimately, music can do more than politics to change the world. Since that time, he has become one of the most widely admired composers in the world, receiving the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy Award, and many other honors.

In works such as Become Ocean, In the White Silence, and Canticles of the Holy Wind, Adams brings the sense of wonder that we feel outdoors into the concert hall. And in outdoor works such as Inuksuit and Sila: The Breath of the World, he employs music as a way to reclaim our connections with place, wherever we may be.

A deep concern for the state of the earth and the future of humanity drives Adams to continue composing. As he puts it: “If we can imagine a culture and a society in which we each feel more deeply responsible for our own place in the world, then we just may be able to bring that culture and that society into being.”

Since leaving Alaska, JLA and his wife Cynthia have made their home in the deserts of Mexico, Chile, and the southwestern United States.

About Alex Ross

Alex Ross has been the music critic of The New Yorker since 1996. He is the author of the books The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, Listen to This, and Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music.


February 3
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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