Talk:John Adams (composer)

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Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. This article is a B, but only barely, in my opinion. The biographical details are sparse, and the article is structured very poorly. My full review is on the comments page; questions and comments can be left here or on my talk page. Magic♪piano 22:05, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

JSTOR links were dead and have been removed[edit]

The JSTOR links in the article (in the "Musical style" section) were dead and have been removed. Since they were also unlabeled, there is no citation that can be given now at those points. JSTOR has changed its site and URLS, so the only way to retrieve this information and these links would be to contact JSTOR and give them the old links and ask for updated URLs. I will let the original author of the section involved do that. Here is the last iteration of the article that contains the (outdated) JSTOR links: ~~ Softlavender (talk) 22:53, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


having his comment about being blacklisted should not be in the lead, but in a section on his personal life. it gives it undue weight to be there, regardless of its relevancy. also, is he off the list with the new admin?. and his autobiography is not further reading, but is one of his works, and should go there. i am not going to make changes, as this seems to be a mature article, and i am still new to what i would call higher level editing.Mercurywoodrose (talk) 05:07, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Good point: I've moved the "blacklisted" comment. I don't know about any follow up. You may be right about his autobiography too; he is, however, considered a "composer" rather than a "writer" and the list of works should probably reflect this fact. The autobiography might have been shadow written, anyway, so not actually "his" work. --Jubilee♫clipman 15:34, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Actually he seems to do a good bit of writing. His extensive blog at has a great deal of good stuff, very well written. Kind of a mix of humor and serious stuff, almost all irreverent. Opus131 (talk) 22:25, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Disambiguation at top of page[edit]

There needs to be a disambiguation link for John Adams vs. John Luther Adams, certainly, but the problem with the way it stands now is that they are BOTH often considered post-minimalist composers. How would we phrase a replacement? Leoniceno (talk) 21:48, 10 December 2009 (UTC) I changed the topnote, I think it works pretty well. Leoniceno (talk) 04:57, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Move work to new section?[edit]

I propose that we move "The Gospel According to the Other Mary" from the "Chorus" section to "Opera," as it's a sequel to "El Nino" and involves soloists and orchestra in addition to chorus. (talk) 08:15, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Klinghoffer section[edit]

The section in the main article regarding controversy over The Death of Klinghoffer is way too long, especially since it just repeats much of the dedicated DoK article, and since Adams didn't even write the libretto. It's also lopsidedly negative, probably because the DoK article is under higher scrutiny. I tried to clean it up, leaving brief arguments from both sides of the debate, but that change was reverted wholesale. Before getting into an edit war, I'd like to get other editors' opinions about what should remain here. I obviously favor keeping just a introductory mention with a link to the main article here, and leaving the bulk of the information where it belongs, in the Death of Klinghoffer article. —Torc. (Talk.) 22:52, 3 June 2015 (UTC)

  • I'll take a look over the next few days, with an eye towards seeing if I can streamline it at all without deleting substance of note. As widely famous as Adams is for his work, a major component of his RS coverage is for the Klinhoffer opera, and the controversy relating to it, so it is important not to give that short shrift here.see some of these 71,000 google hits ... and even his recent news google hits related to it exceed 1,000. So, we don't want to give coverage of what he is likely most famous for short shrift in his own bio. But perhaps there is a way to streamline it, without hacking out the substance. Epeefleche (talk) 23:06, 3 June 2015 (UTC)
The substance is all duplicated anyway, so nothing would be "hacked" away. There's a Rothstein quote in the opening section that's irrelevant to the controversy, a whole paragraph about the first amendment that is essentially a strawman -- whether there's a first amendment "right" to perform the work has never been seriously questioned. There's six quotes critical of the work -- most adding nothing new or informative -- and one supporting it. We could add offsetting positive quotes, but the section is already bloated and redundant, and it all belongs on the DoK page anyway. The Ghits count really isn't that remarkable either: "John Adams" Nixon gets 450k, "John Adams" Chairman gets 383k, "John Adams" composer gets 396k, and "John Adams" short ride gets 96k. Saying he's "likely most famous" for Klinghoffer is patently false. There's simply no reason to give it the undue weight on his main page that it has. I'll take another shot, this time with multiple edits, so it's easier to debate individual items. —Torc. (Talk.) 19:47, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
You wrote "Before getting into an edit war, I'd like to get other editors' opinions." Upon receipt of a contrary opinion, disagreeing with yours, you went back to hacking away at the section. That's the sort of edit warring you had indicated you wanted to avoid. Please stop. When you ask for an opinion, and it disagrees with your position, that is not license to start hacking away again.
Furthermore, your rationale is rife with OR and POV. New York Times critic Edward Rothstein is certainly a notable person here, yet you delete his quote on the basis of your POV-ridden IDONTLIKEIT view that what he wrote in the New York Times is irrelevant. Sorry -- but the view of the NY Time critic that it is relevant is weightier than the view of a wp editor who disagrees with the critic's view. If you want to add quotes supportive of the opera, by notable people, do it. If they exist. If they don't exist -- well, NPOV does not mean we need an equal number of quotes, if that does not reflect the real world.
And oh -- of course the "John Adams"/composer search doesn't show his fame for this opera vis-a-vis his fame for other works in RSs. It is all-encompassing. For example, on the wp disambig page, etc, it will mention he is a composer, without mentioning any opera. So?
And you make a similar, of course unintenional, mistake in your search on John Adams and chairman. Try his name and the piece he wrote. John Adams and The Chairman Dances. You get 23K. Clearly less notable. I assume that your presenting the above misleading numbers was simply a mistake on your part. And not an effort to mislead. But either is bad, as it can mislead readers. Epeefleche (talk) 22:05, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
As you don't have consensus for your hacking (after having sought it on this page!), I would urge you to revert yourself, and not engage in edit warring.Epeefleche (talk) 22:05, 4 June 2015 (UTC)
I believe my edits present both sides equally and improved the section overall. There is no OR in it, and everything is sourced and on topic. And yes, I do have license to continue working on the article while waiting for other input. I didn't just revert your revert, which would be edit warring, I completely rewrote and improved the section piece by piece, making it easier for anybody to discuss specific edits. I removed two Rothstein quotes, not because I didn't like them, but because they were off-topic: one simply criticized Adams' music, which isn't relevant in a section dedicated to debate whether the opera is antisemitic; the other was about the TV adaptation, in reference to how the movie differed from the opera. If there are specific edits I made that you have a problem with, please feel free to raise them, but the section was a wreck before and is definitely improved now. But please lay off the false accusations of OR and POV. —Torc. (Talk.) 21:36, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Excuse me. You asked for comment before beginning an "edit war". Comment disagreed with you. You then anyway started an edit war. In conflict with the comment you received. And your above "analysis" suffers from the indicated flaws. And an obviously misleading google search "result". How is all of this a reflection of your good faith? Which is an assumption, but one you can rebut by your behavior. Once again, please exhibit good faith by self-reverting. Epeefleche (talk) 02:55, 9 June 2015 (UTC)
I will not, and have not exhibited bad faith. When I said I wanted to avoid an edit war, it was based on your wholesale revert, which was in bad form (see Help:Reverting. You had no reason to assume my initial edit, or any subsequent edit was in bad faith. In fact, my second edits took your advice into consideration -- I still think the section is too long and redundant with the main DoK article. If you think I have done anything inappropriate, please feel free to report through the official channels. I would also suggest that if you read WP:EW you'd understand that I have not been engaging in such. I still invite you to point out specific edits you disagree with, but expecting me to revert everything is just absurd. —Torc. (Talk.) 01:21, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
You have exhibited manifest bad faith. Step 1 - say that rather than edit war, you seek input. Step 2 - upon input that disagrees with you, you immediately flatly ignore it and go ahead and immediately edit war. It's all clear from the above and the article edit history. You certainly failed to be your word. Further -- see the above discussion where you misrepresent google searches. This looks quite bad. Especially, together. I again urge you to self-revert. Epeefleche (talk) 04:16, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
No. If you have a problem with the content of a specific edit I made, let's discuss it, but I'm done debating whether my edits were in good faith with you. —Torc. (Talk.) 17:43, 10 June 2015 (UTC)


How can Fearful Symmetries not have its own article? Given its use by multiple dance companies for major works, it's certainly notable enough. GreaseballNYC (talk) 02:14, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

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