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Concert Honors the 70th Birthday of American Composer John Adams


Music Director David Robertson conducts the St. Louis Symphony in a concert performance of John Adams’s critically acclaimed oratorio, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, on Friday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. The program features mezzo-sopranos Kelley O’Connor as Mary Magdalene and Michaela Martens as Martha, with tenor Jay Hunter Morris as Lazarus. The cast also includes countertenors Daniel Bubeck, Brian Cummings, and Nathan Medley, and the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, directed by Amy Kaiser.

The evening will include a pre-concert talk, starting at 6:30 PM in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with composer John Adams and St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Carnegie Hall’s Director of Artistic Planning.

John Adams’s The Gospel According to the Other Mary tells the story of Mary Magdalene, placing the Biblical story in contemporary times, using elements of recent history and contemporary verse. The libretto, compiled by Peter Sellars, is based on the New Testament stories of Lazarus and Jesus’s Passion and is combined with contemporary poems and texts by Dorothy Day, Louise Erdrich, Primo Levi, Rosario Castellanos, June Jordan, Hildegard von Bingen, and Rubén Darío. Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic played the world premiere of the oratorio in 2012 at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Kelley O’Connor originating the title role both then and in the world stage premiere the following year, alongside countertenors Bubeck, Cummings, and Medley, all of whom join Ms. O’Connor reprising their roles in the Carnegie Hall concert.

With this concert presentation, Carnegie Hall is pleased to join the worldwide celebration of John Adams’s 70th birthday. The seminal composer has had a longstanding relationship with Carnegie Hall extending over more than three decades. During this time, more than 40 of Adams’s works, including important premieres, have been presented by his champions, including the St. Louis Symphony which was the first to perform his music at the Hall in 1984. John Adams was among the first to be appointed as holder of Carnegie Hall’s Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair and, in this role, he played an integral part in developing artistic initiatives tied to the 2003 launch of Zankel Hall. Adams’s contribution to the development of music is also highlighted on March 30 in Zankel Hall, when his work, Shaker Loops, is featured in the first installment of Three Generations, a four-concert series conceived and curated by Steve Reich, Carnegie Hall’s current Debs Composer’s Chair.

About the Artists
American maestro David Robertson is one of today’s most sought-after conductors. Mr. Robertson is celebrated worldwide as a champion of contemporary composers, an ingenious and adventurous programmer, and a masterful communicator whose passionate and compelling advocacy for the art form is widely recognized. A consummate and deeply collaborative musician, Grammy-award winner David Robertson is hailed for his intensely committed and exacting music making. With an extensive orchestral and operatic repertoire that spans from the classical to the avant-garde, he has forged close relationships with major orchestras around the world through his exhilarating music-making and stimulating ideas. This marks Maestro Robertson’s twelfth season as Music Director of the storied 137-year-old St. Louis Symphony. He also serves as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Australia.

As Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony, Mr. Robertson has solidified the orchestra’s standing as one of the nation’s most enduring and innovative. His established relationships with artists and composers is deeply rooted, and is evidenced by the STL Symphony’s strong relationship with composer John Adams. Their 2014 release of City Noir (Nonesuch Records)—comprising works by Adams performed by the STL Symphony with David Robertson—won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance. Adams’s violin symphony, Scheherazade.2, performed by Leila Josefowicz with David Robertson leading the STL Symphony, was recently released on Nonesuch.

Highlights of Mr. Robertson’s 2016–2017 season with the STL Symphony include a Carnegie Hall performance of Adams’s The Gospel According to the Other Mary as part of a celebration of the composer’s 70th birthday. David Robertson and the symphony will be holding a season-long celebration of Adams, highlighted by Ms. Josefowicz’s performance of the composer’s Violin Concerto at Powell Hall. This performance will also be recorded by Nonesuch, and combined with Scheherazade.2 will offer two of Adams’s most significant works for solo violin and orchestra, scheduled for release in 2017.

Founded in 1880, the St. Louis Symphony is the second-oldest orchestra in the United States and is widely considered one of the world’s finest. In September 2005, internationally acclaimed conductor David Robertson became the twelfth Music Director and second American-born conductor in the orchestra’s history. In its 137th season, the STL Symphony continues to strive for artistic excellence, fiscal responsibility, and community connection. In addition to its regular concert performances at Powell Hall, the symphony is an integral part of the St. Louis community, presenting free education and community programs throughout the region each year. In the 2016–2017 season, David Robertson and the symphony made a three-city concert tour of Spain (Valencia, Madrid, and Oviedo), the orchestra’s first visit to Spain since 1998.

Program Information
Friday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
David Robertson, Music Director and Conductor
Kelley O’Connor, Mezzo-Soprano (Mary Magdalene)
Michaela Martens, Mezzo-Soprano (Martha)
Jay Hunter Morris, Tenor (Lazarus)
Daniel Bubeck, Countertenor
Brian Cummings, Countertenor
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
St. Louis Symphony Chorus
Amy Kaiser, Director

JOHN ADAMS The Gospel According to the Other Mary

Pre-concert talk starts at 6:30 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with composer John Adams and St. Louis Symphony Music Director David Robertson in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information
Tickets, priced $25–$116, are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website,

For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit Artists, programs, and prices are subject to change.

Photos at top of release by © Scott Ferguson

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