John Adams accepts 18th Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward

Jun 01, 2021,06:05 AM

John Adams accepts 18th Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward

Saxon manufactory honours life’s work of exceptional American artist

On May 30, 2021 the composer, conductor and creative pathfinder John Adams
received the 18th Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward. The award ceremony took
place in the course of a Dresden Music Festival concert streamed live around the
world from New York. The Award, endowed with 25,000 Euros and accompanied by
a trophy made by two students from the Glashütte Original watchmaking school,
was presented to John Adams in recognition of his wide-ranging lifetime activities.

John Adams can look back on a considerable body of work ranging from chamber music to
opera and orchestral composition. A signature feature of his work is the fusion of classical
music traditions and contemporary directions. The German watchmaker and the Dresden
Music Festival also honoured the American composer for his exceptional cultural and
social commitment and the humanistic character of his themes.

John Adams, deeply moved, commented: "Dresden has a great history in the arts and
crafts and particularly in music. The names of von Weber, Wagner and Richard Strauss
are inextricably tied to the city’s legendary past, a fact that I’ve been aware of for as long
as I can remember. To be the recipient of this year’s Glashütte Original
MusicFestivalAward is therefore a very special honour for me. Because of the current
pandemic, the pleasure of my first visit to Dresden and to accept the award in person will
regretfully not happen, but I am determined to make that trip as soon as possible in the
near future, perhaps even to perform and hear my music there. This generous award will
help to continue the work to which my wife and I have dedicated ourselves over recent
years, including funding music lessons in American prisons, awarding grants for classical
music education in economically and racially stressed communities, and commissioning
and performing of new works by young composers."

Jan Vogler, Director of the Dresden Music Festival, noted: “John Adams has inspired
generations of composers, musicians and listeners with his music. We are very pleased to
honour one of the great composers of our time, who also has many fans in Germany, with
this year’s Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward.”
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“In combining elements of classical music, jazz and pop, John Adams has created a new
musical genre, to which people all over the world have welcomed with great enthusiasm.
As a watch manufactory that is rich in tradition and innovative at once, we know how
important it is to offer new interpretations of traditional craftsmanship and classic design,
and to keep looking ahead,” added Roland von Keith, Managing Director and CEO of
Glashütte Original.

The award ceremony took place in the course of a Dresden Music Festival concert,
streamed live around the world from New York. The orchestral collective The Knights
performed under the direction of Eric Jacobsen, with soloists Gil Shaham (violin) and Timo
Andres (piano).

18th annual Glashütte Original MusicFestivalAward
With the award to John Adams, Glashütte Original and the Dresden Music Festival pay
tribute together for the 18th time to an exceptional figure in the world of music who has
rendered outstanding service in teaching classical music and supporting up-and-coming
young musicians. Each year, two students from the watchmaker’s own “Alfred Helwig"
watchmaking school make the award trophy, whose design combines traditional
craftsmanship with modern materials. The Flying Tourbillon symbolizes the virtuosity of the
watchmakers and is considered one of the greatest achievements in the high art of

John Adams follows previous winners of the award, among them Joshua Bell, Joyce
DiDonato, Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, fado singer Mariza, conductor
Andris Nelsons and cellist Steven Isserlis. Glashütte Original has been a committed
supporter and partner of the Dresden Music Festival since 2004.

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