John Adams and St. Louis Symphony Postpone Premiere of Doctor Atomic Symphony

Classic Arts News   John Adams and St. Louis Symphony Postpone Premiere of Doctor Atomic Symphony
The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has announced that the world premiere of John Adams's Doctor Atomic Symphony, scheduled for this coming March, has been postponed for a season.

The new work — an orchestral score adapted by Adams from his 2005 opera Doctor Atomic and co-commissioned by the St. Louis Symphony, Carnegie Hall and the BBC — was to have received its first performances under SLSO music director David Robertson on March 16, 17 and 18 in St. Louis, followed by a New York premiere on March 31 at Carnegie Hall.

Unfortunately, the piece is not yet finished. "I realized while working in earnest on composing the Doctor Atomic Symphony," said Adams in a statement released today, "that the process of developing a symphony based on music drawn from the opera Doctor Atomic was creatively a much more time-consuming project than originally anticipated, and it would not be ready for the scheduled premiere."

Robertson added, "When we commission, we do so based on a commitment to the composer. Having worked with many composers in my career, I'm most interested in ensuring that they have the time needed to produce work that realizes their creative vision — and a great work from John Adams is certainly worth the wait." According to the orchestra's statement, the premiere will be rescheduled for the 2007-08 season.

At the St. Louis concerts on March 16 and 18 and the Carnegie performance on March 31, Robertson and the SLSO will instead perform Adams's Harmonielehre; replacing the new score on March 17 in St. Louis will be Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6.

The remainder of the program for all four performances is unchanged: the Adagio movement from Mahler's uncompleted Symphony No. 10 and Britten's orchestral song cycle Les Illuminations, featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw.

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