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Byron Adams (born 1955) is an American composer, conductor, and musicologist.
Adams is a composer of tonal music with a strong stylistic profile who employs individual adaptations of traditional techniques. His music has been performed at the 26th Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music, Bargemusic, the Da Camera Society of Los Angeles, and the Conservatoire Américain in Fontainebleau, France (where he taught in the summer of 1992), as well as by such ensembles as Cantus, the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. As a musicologist, Adams specializes in British music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His essays have appeared in journals such as The Musical Quarterly and Music & Letters. In 2007, he was appointed scholar-in-residence for the Bard Music Festival, and edited Edward Elgar and His World (Princeton, 2007). In 2013, Adams was appointed one of the series editors for Music in Britain 1600–2000 published by The Boydell Press. He is a professor in the music department of the University of California, Riverside.
Honors and offices
In 1977 Adams won the Grand Prize of the Delius Festival Composition Competition; in 1984, he was awarded the Raymond Hubbell-ASCAP award for his compositions. In 2007, Adams was a visiting fellow for the Institute of Musical Research, School of Advanced Studies of the University of London.
Books and essays
- "'Thor's Hammer': Sibelius and the British Music Critics", in the volume Sibelius and His World, ed. Daniel M. Grimley (Princeton University Press, 2011), 125–157.
- "Musical Cenotaph: Howell's Hymnus paradisi and Sites of Mourning", in the volume The Music of Herbert Howells (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press), 285–308.
- "Scripture, Church and culture: biblical texts in the works of Ralph Vaughan Williams", Vaughan Williams Studies, ed. Alain Frogley, Cambridge University Press, 1996:99–117.
- "No Armpits, Please, We're British: Whitman and English Music, 1884–1936", in the volume Walt Whitman and Modern Music, ed. Lawrence Kramer, Garland Press, 2000: 25–42.
- Vaughan Williams Essays, ed. Byron Adams and Robin Wells, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2003. 280 pp.
- "Elgar's later oratorios: Roman Catholicism, decadence and the Wagnerian dialectic of shame and grace" in The Cambridge Companion to Elgar, ed. Daniel M. Grimley and Julian Rushton (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 81–105.
- Edward Elgar and His World, ed. Byron Adams (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), 426 pp.
- Michael Kennedy, The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, fifth edition (Oxford; Oxford University Press, 2007), 6.
- Strimple, Nick (2002). Choral Music in the 20th Century. 254, 349
- International Who's Who in Music, 11th, 12th, 13th editions