A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

John Coolidge Adams

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March 6, 1770: A town meeting in Boston delegates the selectmen to petition Acting Governor Hutchinson and the Governor’s Council to remove regular troops from the town. At first opposed, Hutchinson will agree and within a week, all regular troops are removed to Castle Island in Boston Harbor. The soldiers involved in the Boston massacre are indicted and arrested. John Adams agrees to take their case.
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October 24, 1770: Captain Thomas Preston, in command at the Boston Massacre, goes on trial, defended by John Adams and Josiah Quincy, Jr.
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October 30, 1770: On the 35th birthday of John Adams, his client, Captain Thomas Preston, is found not guilty of any wrongdoing in the Boston Massacre.
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May 10, 1776: War of the American Revolution: Congress passes a resolution offered by John Adams and Richard Henry Lee that the colonies take full control of all governmental functions, and that, if they have no effective government, that they create new governments conducive to their situation.
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June 10, 1776: War of the American Revolution: The Continental Congress decides to put off debate on independence until 1 July, giving southern colonies time to receive instructions. In the meantime, they appoint a committee to draft a declaration of independence. The members are John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.
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September 11, 1776: War of the American Revolution: A delegation from the US Congress, consisting of Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge, meets with Admiral Lord Richard Howe on Staten Island. He tells the Congressmen that accommodation can be reached along the lines laid out in the Olive Branch Petition. They inform the Admiral that it is too late for that. As a result, nothing productive comes of the meeting.
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November 27, 1777: War of the American Revolution: The Continental Congress names John Adams to join Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee as a commissioner to France to win a French alliance.
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April 8, 1778: War of the American Revolution: John Adams arrives in Paris replacing Silas Deane in the United States mission.
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August 9, 1780: War of the American Revolution: Benjamin Franklin writes from Paris to the Continental Congress telling them that John Adams is hindering his relationship with the French court.
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September 16, 1780: War of the American Revolution: In Amsterdam, John Adams learns that he has been empowered by Congress to negotiate a loan from the Dutch.
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May 4, 1781: War of the American Revolution: John Adams presents a memorial to Baron van Lynden van Hemmen, President of the States-General of the Netherlands, at the Hague. He calls on the two republics to join together in common purpose, politically and commercially.
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November 23, 1781: War of the American Revolution: In Amsterdam, John Adams learns of the British defeat at Yorktown.
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April 19, 1782: The Estates-General of the Netherlands admits John Adams as minister from the United States, thus beginning the longest friendly diplomatic relations still in existence.
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April 22, 1782: American Minister John Adams is presented to Prince Willem V and his wife Wilhelmina at Huis ten Bosch Palace at The Hague.
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June 11, 1782: John Adams obtains a loan of $2,000,000 from Dutch bankers and establishes American credit in Europe.
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October 8, 1782: A treaty of Amity and Commerce is concluded at The Hague between the Netherlands and the United States, signed by American minister John Adams.
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June 1, 1785: Former revolutionary John Adams presents himself to King George III as the first minister from the United States of America to the Court of St. James. It goes well.
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June 17, 1788: After nine years in Europe in the service of his country, John Adams returns home to Boston. While away he negotiated loans from the Dutch, negotiated and signed the 1783 Treaty of Paris ensuring the independence of the United States, and served as the first US minister to Great Britain. He traveled over 45,000 km in this service, more than any important American of his day.
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March 4, 1797: John Adams replaces George Washington as President of the United States.
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March 13, 1797: US President John Adams learns that the French government has refused to receive the new ambassador to Paris, Charles Pinckney. Pinckney has gone to Amsterdam to wait for instructions.
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May 31, 1797: US President John Adams dispatches three commissioners to Paris to seek a settlement of differences with France.
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October 18, 1797: Three commissioners sent by US President John Adams to France to avoid war, are told by three representatives of Foreign Minister Talleyrand that the US must be prepared to pay a bribe of $250,000 before any discussions can begin.
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March 4, 1798: US President John Adams learns that the three peace envoys he sent to Paris have been snubbed by the French government. All French ports have been closed to neutral ships. All ships carrying anything made in Great Britain are fair game for French capture. As soon as other dispatches are decoded, he will learn that three representatives of Foreign Minister Talleyrand demanded a bribe of $250,000 and a loan of $10,000,000 before negotiations could begin.
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April 3, 1798: US President John Adams releases the full texts of the dispatches he received from France a month ago to the House of Representatives in executive session. The congressmen are aghast at the French actions.
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June 18, 1798: US President John Adams signs the Naturalization Act, the first of the Alien and Sedition Acts. It makes it more difficult to gain US citizenship.
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August 5, 1799: US President John Adams receives a message from French Foreign Minister Talleyrand that any envoy sent by the United States would be received respectfully.
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March 2, 1800: US peace commissioners sent from President John Adams reach Paris.
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June 3, 1800: John Adams becomes the first US President to reside in the District of Columbia when he visits to inspect how construction is proceeding. He will lodge at Tunnicliffe's City Hotel for ten days.
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November 1, 1800: President John Adams and two assistants arrive in Washington. He takes up residence in the uncompleted White House.
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November 2, 1800: On his second day in the White House, John Adams writes to his wife, “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.”
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January 8, 1801: In Washington, before an audience that includes President John Adams and Vice-President Thomas Jefferson, Eli Whitney demonstrates how he can assemble a musket using only a screwdriver. Everyone present is impressed.
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January 20, 1801: A fire breaks out in the Treasury building near the White House in Washington. It is put out by a bucket brigade of citizens, including one John Adams, President of the United States.
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March 4, 1801: Thomas Jefferson replaces John Adams as President of the United States. Eight hours earlier, at 04:00, Adams departed Washington, with two assistants, by public conveyance. The Seventh Congress of the United States convenes with an increase of 22 seats for President Jefferson’s Republicans and a majority in the House of Representatives. Republicans also hold a thin majority in the Senate.
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January 1, 1812: After attempts at reconciliation by their mutual friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush, John Adams writes to Thomas Jefferson for the first time in eleven years. Their correspondence over their waning years will be among the most important in American political history.
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July 4, 1826: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson die on the same day, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Adams in Quincy, Massachusetts at the age of 90, Jefferson at Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia at the age of 83.
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July 17, 1850: A professional photographer named John Adams Whipple attaches a daguerreotype plate to the eyepiece of a 38 cm telescope at Harvard Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He photographs the star Vega, the first star other than the Sun to be photographed.
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February 15, 1947: John Coolidge Adams is born in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, the only child of Carl John Vincent Adams and Elinore Mary Coolidge. Both are semi-professional jazz musicians.
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February 1, 1970: John Adams (22) marries Hawley Currens, a violinist and music teacher, the daughter of a cardiologist, in the Church of the Advent, Boston, Massachusetts. The marriage will last four years.
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March 23, 1973: American Standards for orchestra by John Adams (26) is performed for the first time, at San Francisco Conservatory. Also on the program is the premiere of Adams’ Christian Zeal and Activity for speaker and orchestra. Both are conducted by the composer.
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March 17, 1977: Phrygian Gates and China Gates for piano by John Adams (31) are performed for the first time, in Hellman Hall, San Francisco.
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January 30, 1980: Common Tones in Simple Time for orchestra by John Adams (32) is performed for the first time, in Hellman Hall, San Francisco, conducted by the composer.
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April 15, 1981: Harmonium for chorus and orchestra by John Adams (34) to words of Donne and Dickinson is performed for the first time, in Louise M. Davies Hall, San Francisco.
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February 26, 1982: Grand Pianola Music for orchestra by John Adams (35) is performed for the first time, in San Francisco, the composer conducting.
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December 15, 1984: Wayang V for piano and orchestra by Anthony Davis (33) is performed for the first time, in San Francisco the composer at the keyboard and John Adams (37) conducting.
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March 21, 1985: Harmonielehre for orchestra by John Adams (38) is performed for the first time, in Davies Hall, San Francisco.
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January 31, 1986: The Chairman Dances, an orchestral excerpt from John Adams' (38) opera Nixon in China, is performed for the first time, in Milwaukee directed by Lukas Foss (63).
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April 4, 1986: Tromba lontana for orchestra by John Adams (39) is performed for the first time, in Jones Hall, Houston.
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June 13, 1986: Short Ride in a Fast Machine for orchestra by John Adams (39) is performed for the first time, in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
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October 22, 1987: Nixon in China, an opera by John Adams (40) to words of Goodman, is performed for the first time, in Houston.
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October 29, 1988: Fearful Symmetries by John Adams (41) is performed for the first time, in Avery Fisher Hall, New York, conducted by the composer.
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February 24, 1989: The Wound Dresser for baritone and chamber orchestra by John Adams (42) to words of Whitman is performed for the first time, in St. Paul conducted by the composer.
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October 27, 1989: Iscariot for chamber orchestra by Christopher Rouse (40) is performed for the first time, in Ordway Music Theatre, St. Paul, Minnesota, John Adams (42) conducting.
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November 24, 1989: Eros Piano for piano and orchestra by John Adams (42) is performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London conducted by the composer.
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March 19, 1991: The Death of Klinghoffer, an opera by John Adams (44) to words of Goodman, is performed for the first time, at Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels. The work proves controversial due to its anti-Israel sentiments.
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November 11, 1991: El Dorado for orchestra by John Adams (44) is performed for the first time, in Davies Hall, San Francisco conducted by the composer.
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January 17, 1993: Chamber Symphony for 15 instruments by John Adams (45) is performed for the first time, in The Hague, conducted by the composer.
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January 19, 1994: Violin Concerto by John Adams (46) is performed for the first time, in the Ordway Music Theatre, St. Paul.
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November 19, 1994: John’s Book of Alleged Dances for string quartet and sampler or tape by John Adams (47) is performed for the first time, in the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
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May 13, 1995: I Was Looking At the Ceiling And Then I Saw the Sky, a song play by John Adams (48) to words of Jordan, is performed for the first time, in Zellerbach Playhouse at the University of California, Berkeley the composer conducting. Also premiered is Wake-Up Music for orchestra by Tod Machover (41).
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October 23, 1995: Road Movies for violin and piano by John Adams (48) is performed for the first time, in the Kennedy Center, Washington.
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November 10, 1995: Lollapalooza for orchestra by John Adams (48) is performed for the first time, in Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Great Britain.
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April 13, 1996: Scratchband for amplified ensemble by John Adams (49) is performed for the first time, at Pennsylvania State University conducted by the composer.
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September 12, 1996: Slonimsky’s Earbox for orchestra by John Adams (49) is performed for the first time, in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, England. The work was commissioned by the Halle Orchestra and the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. Also premiered is These Premises are Alarmed for orchestra by Thomas Adès (25), is performed for the first time, in Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.
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October 19, 1996: Gnarly Buttons for clarinet and chamber orchestra by John Adams (49) is performed for the first time, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London conducted by the composer.
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September 25, 1997: Century Rolls, a concerto for piano and orchestra by John Adams (50), is performed for the first time, in Cleveland.
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April 3, 1998: Hallelujah Junction for piano duo by John Adams (51) is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles.
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July 17, 1998: The Nixon Tapes, version I, scenes from Nixon in China for voices and orchestra by John Adams (51) is performed for the first time, in Aspen, Colorado, the composer conducting.
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February 19, 1999: Naive and Sentimental Music, an orchestral essay by John Adams (52), is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles.
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December 15, 2000: El Niño, an oratorio for solo voices, chorus, children’s chorus, and orchestra by John Adams (53) to words of various sources, is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
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October 6, 2001: Guide to Strange Places for orchestra by John Adams (54) is performed for the first time, in the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the composer conducting.
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February 25, 2002: American Berserk for piano by John Adams (55) is performed for the first time, in Carnegie Hall, New York.
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September 19, 2002: On the Transmigration of Souls for chorus, orchestra, and electronics by John Adams (55) is performed for the first time, in Avery Fisher Hall, New York. The texts are from missing persons posters found in New York after the destruction of the World Trade Center. Recorded voices and ambient sounds of the city are employed. It will win the Pulitzer Prize. See 7 April 2003.
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April 7, 2003: John Adams (56) is awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his On the Transmigration of Souls . See 19 September 2002.
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April 30, 2003: My Father Knew Charles Ives for orchestra by John Adams (56) is performed for the first time, in Davies Hall, San Francisco.
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June 23, 2003: Cambridge University confers a doctorate on John Adams (56).
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October 24, 2003: The Dharma at Big Sur for orchestra by John Adams (56) is performed for the first time, at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
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May 21, 2004: Doctor Atomic, Easter Eve 1945 for soprano and orchestra by John Adams (57) is performed for the first time, in Avery Fisher Hall, New York.
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June 2, 2004: John Adams (57) wins the first Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition from Northwestern University. He receives $100,000.
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November 23, 2004: The British Academy of Composers & Songwriters presents a Fellowship of the Academy to John Adams (57) at the Barbican, London.
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October 1, 2005: Doctor Atomic, an opera by John Adams (58) to words organized by Peter Sellars, is performed for the first time, in the San Francisco Opera House. Press and public are ecstatic.
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November 14, 2006: A Flowering Tree, an opera by John Adams (59) to words of Peter Sellars and the composer after an Indian folktale, is performed for the first time, in the Museums Quartier, Vienna directed by the composer.
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August 21, 2007: Doctor Atomic Symphony by John Adams (60) is performed for the first time, in Royal Albert Hall, London, conducted by the composer.
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November 30, 2007: Son of a Chamber Symphony for chamber orchestra by John Adams (60) is performed for the first time, in Dinkelspiel Auditorium of Stanford University.
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January 29, 2009: String Quartet by John Adams (61) is performed for the first time, at the Juilliard School, New York.
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October 8, 2009: City Noir for orchestra by John Adams (62) is performed for the first time, in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
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March 15, 2012: Absolute Jest for string quartet and orchestra by John Adams (65) is performed for the first time, in Davies Symphony Hall, San Francisco.
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May 31, 2012: The Gospel According to the Other Mary, an oratorio by John Adams (65) to words of various authors, is performed for the first time, in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
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October 16, 2012: Tvisöngur for chamber orchestra by Nico Muhly (31) is performed for the first time, in Los Angeles, conducted by John Adams (65).
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March 7, 2013: The Gospel According to the Other Mary, an oratorio for orchestra, soloists, and chorus by John Adams (66) to words of Sellars after the Bible, is staged for the first time, in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. See 31 May 2012.
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March 8, 2013: American Master: A Portrait of John Adams is shown for the first time over the airwaves of BBC4 television.
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August 22, 2013: Saxophone Concerto by John Adams (66) is performed for the first time, in Sydney, Australia, conducted by the composer.
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April 11, 2014: At the Royal Majestic for organ and orchestra by Terry Riley (78) is performed for the first time, in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, conducted by John Adams (67).
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January 18, 2015: Second Quartet for string quartet by John Adams (67) is performed for the first time, in Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University.
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March 26, 2015: Scheherazade.2, a dramatic symphony for violin and orchestra by John Adams (68) is performed for the first time, in Avery Fisher Hall, New York.
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March 23, 2016: Roll Over Beethoven for two pianos by John Adams (69) is performed for the first time, in Greene Space, New York.
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April 1, 2017: Works for piano are performed for the first time, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York:  Rimsky or La Monte Young by Louis Andriessen (77), I Still Play by John Adams (70), and Move by Nico Muhly (35).
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November 21, 2017: Girls of the Golden West, an opera by John Adams (70) to words of Sellars, is performed for the first time, at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco.