Performance Monday, May 10, 2010 | 6 PM

Ensemble ACJW

Featuring musicians of The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education

Zankel Hall
Sharp, tart music that packs a rhythmic punch: There's a 20th-century classic by Stravinsky, and newer works by John Adams and Louis Andriessen. The Adams piece is a sequel to his Chamber Symphony, called Son of Chamber Symphony in affectionate B-movie style, while Andriessen’s De Staat remains a raucous, visceral landmark of modern music.


  • Ensemble ACJW
    John Adams, Conductor
  • Jeremy Denk, Piano


  • JOHN ADAMS Son of Chamber Symphony
  • STRAVINSKY Concerto for Piano and Winds


  • John Adams

    One of America's most admired and respected composers, John Adams is a musician of enormous range and technical command. His many operatic and symphonic works stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, their sonic brilliance, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. Born and raised in New England and educated at Harvard, Mr. Adams moved to California in 1971, where he taught for 10 years at the San Francisco Conservatory and was composer-in-residence at the San Francisco Symphony.

    Mr. Adams's works are among the most successful of our time. Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, and Doctor Atomic-all created in collaboration with stage director Peter Sellars-draw their subjects from archetypical themes in contemporary history. On the Transmigration of Souls, written for the New York Philharmonic to mark the first anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks, received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, and won a rare "triple crown" of Grammy Awards: Best Classical Recording, Best Orchestral Performance, and Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

    Mr. Adams is also active as a conductor and as an innovative programmer. He instituted the New and Unusual Music series at the San Francisco Symphony, served as creative chair for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. While holding the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall, Mr. Adams established the In Your Ear festival. His 2009-2010 season includes appearances at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival and engagements with the London Sinfonietta, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. Mr. Adams is currently the Creative Chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and is the artistic mind behind that orchestra's West Coast / Left Coast festival.

    Mr. Adams has been awarded honorary degrees and proclamations by Cambridge University, Harvard University, Yale School of Music, Phi Beta Kappa, the National Endowment for the Arts, l'Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur, and Northwestern University (where he was awarded an honorary doctorate and the first Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition).

    Nonesuch Records released Mr. Adams's Harmonielehre in 1985, and all of his works since then have first appeared on that label. A 10-CD set, The John Adams Earbox, documents his recorded music through 2000. The most recent release features the Doctor Atomic Symphony with David Robertson conducting the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

    Mr. Adams's much praised autobiography Hallelujah Junction (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) was named one of the "most notable books" of 2008 by the New York Times and was the winner of the 2009 Northern California Book Award for creative nonfiction. The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer (Amadeus Press, 2006) is the first in-depth anthology of texts dealing with more than 30 years of Mr. Adams's creative life.

    Visit for more information. The music of John Adams is published by Boosey & Hawkes and by Associated Music Publishers.

    Ensemble ACJW

    Ensemble ACJW is the performing arm of The Academy-a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. Ensemble ACJW performs at Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and other venues in New York City and New York State, including an annual residency at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. The ensemble comes together in different sizes, having the opportunity to play intimate chamber music as well as larger conducted chamber orchestra works.

    The Academy is a two-year fellowship program for the finest young professional musicians designed to develop the artistic values and skills necessary for careers that combine musical excellence with education, community engagement, advocacy, and leadership. The program provides ongoing professional development and opportunities to perform and teach in concert halls, public schools, college campuses, and throughout local communities. The program reflects the belief that today's artists require both the ability to perform at the highest level and the capacity to give back to the community, inspiring the next generation of quality musicians and music lovers.

    The Academy was launched in January 2007. The fellows in the program were selected because of their extraordinary level of musicianship, deep commitment to education and community engagement, and leadership qualities. Fellows are graduates of leading music schools, including The Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, Mannes College The New School for Music, New England Conservatory, and Yale School of Music. Please visit for ensemble bios and more information about the program.
    More Info

  • Jeremy Denk

    American pianist Jeremy Denk has steadily built a reputation as one of today's most compelling and persuasive artists with an unusually broad repertoire.

    Mr. Denk has appeared as soloist with many major orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Philharmonia (London), New World Symphony, Dallas Symphony, and Houston Symphony. He appears often in recital in New York, Washington, Boston, and Philadelphia.

    Mr. Denk maintains working relationships with a number of living composers and has participated in many premieres, including Jake Heggie's concerto Cut Time, Libby Larsen's Collage: Boogie, Kevin Puts's Alternating Current, and Ned Rorem's The Unquestioned Answer. In 2002, he recorded Tobias Picker's Second Piano Concerto with the Moscow Philharmonic. He also worked closely with composer Leon Kirchner on many of his recent compositions. This season, Mr. Denk performs works by György Ligeti, Elliott Carter, Morton Feldman, Thomas Adès, and Charles Ives.

    Mr. Denk is an avid chamber musician. He has collaborated with many of the world's finest string quartets, has appeared at the Italian and American Spoleto festivals, the Santa Fe and Seattle chamber music festivals, and at the Verbier Festival. He has spent several summers at the Marlboro Music School and Festival in Vermont and has been part of "Musicians from Marlboro" national tours.

    The artist's widely read blog, Think Denk, has been praised by colleagues and the music press alike. In the blog, Mr. Denk writes about touring, practicing, and otherwise unrelated experiences, as well as delving into fairly detailed musical analyses and essays.

    After graduating from Oberlin College and Conservatory in piano and chemistry, Mr. Denk earned a master's degree in music from Indiana University as a pupil of György Sebők, and a doctorate in piano performance from The Juilliard School, where he worked with Herbert Stessin. Visit for more information.
    More Info

The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education—is made possible by a leadership gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Major funding has also been provided by Mercedes and Sid Bass, The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, Martha and Bob Lipp, Mr. and Mrs. Lester S. Morse Jr., Judith and Burton Resnick, Susan and Elihu Rose, and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, with additional support from Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari, Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Susan and Ed Forst, Mrs. Nancy A. Marks, Edward John Noble Foundation, The William Petschek Family, and Suki Sandler.

The Academy School Partnerships benefitting NYC public school students are made possible, in part, by Bank of America.

The Academy and Ensemble ACJW are made possible, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Recovery Act, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
Louis Andriessen is holder of the 2009-2010 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall.