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John Adams on Writing Scheherazade.2

Posted August 11, 2014

John Adams NY Philharmonic 

"I'm writing what might turn out to be the longest violin concerto in history. I'm actually calling it a Symphony for Violin and Orchestra, and it's called Scheherazade.2," composer John Adams joked to Richard Scheinin in a thoroughly enjoyable interview in today's San Jose Mercury News.

The New York Philharmonic gives the World Premiere March 26–28, with Alan Gilbert conducting and Leila Josefowicz as soloist.

"It was inspired by images of women, largely being oppressed or abused or violated, that I saw in the news," Adams said. "It's just a kind of whimsical idea of a Scheherazade who is empowered, differently empowered than the original. The original had to sort of use her storytelling wiles to escape this -- this horrible story. But this Scheherazade actually -- she gives it back."

Read the whole thing. Adams talks about the unique frustrations of writing for violin and his lifelong connection to jazz. Good stuff.