What's in a name? For a period in college, my favorite composer [in the world, omg] was this guy named John Adams. Though he's super famous, probably one of the most performed American composers, people outside of music were inevitably confused, thinking that one of the early presidents also wrote music. [As if I would favorite music from so long ago!]
Will the real John Adams please stand up?
At some point, I heard of this other John Adams--who uses his middle name, Luther, to help us distinguish who is who. And that's how it was in my head for many years. John Adams and The Other John Adams.
My how the tables have turned. [Insert image of the usually serene John Luther Adams with arms crossed, laughing maniacally.] These days in Chicago, in my head and probably in yours, John Luther Adams is first and the other John Adams is--well--other.
We heard a fair amount of his music last year, and this year we get to hear a lot of it: currently at the CSO, in January by eighth blackbird, then by ICE in February.
[...ICE in February?! In Chicago?!]