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Collected Works
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • Number of Discs: 40
  • UPC: 075597932294
  • Item #: 2495139X
  • Genre: Classical Artists
  • Release Date: 7/1/2022
List Price: $199.98
Price: $136.70
You Save: $63.28 (32%)
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Collected Works on CD

This 40-CD Box Set is an unprecedented comprehensive set that includes all of the composer’s recorded works spanning 4 decades through 2020. The release includes two extensive booklets containing new essays and notes by Timo Andres, Julia Bullock, Robert Hurwitz, Nico Muhly, and Jake Wilder-Smith.

While Nonesuch recordings comprise thirty-five of the forty discs in Collected Works, the set also includes recordings from other labels, including: the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s recordings of The Gospel According to the Other Mary and Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, with Yuja Wang, on Deutsche Grammophon; a recording by Christina and Michelle Naughton of Roll Over Beethoven on Warner Classics; and the San Francisco Symphony’s recordings of Absolute Jest and Grand Pianola Music. The Berlin Philharmonic’s recording of Harmonielehre, conducted by Adams, is the final CD in the set, serving as the bookend to the piece’s first recording, by the San Francisco Symphony led by Edo de Waart on Nonesuch that is the first disc of the set.

His music is both lush and austere, grand and precise. To make an analogy to two poets whose work he has set to music, it's Walt Whitman on the one hand and Emily Dickinson on the other. -New York Times

John Adams is one of America's most admired and respected composers. A musician of enormous range and technical command, he has produced works, both operatic and symphonic, that stand out among all contemporary classical music for the depth of their expression, the brilliance of their sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. His music has played a decisive role in turning the tide of musical aesthetics away from the theoretical principles of European modernism toward a more expansive and expressive language, so characteristic of his New World surroundings.

John Adams occupies a unique position in the world of music. Long embraced by the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, instrumental soloists and singers, choreographers and opera directors, his works are among the most performed of all contemporary classical music. Early in his career, Adams was composer-in-residence of the San Francisco Symphony (1982-85), and creator of the orchestra’s highly successful and controversial New and Unusual Music series. Many of his landmark orchestral works were written for and premiered by the San Francisco Symphony, including Harmonium (1981), Grand Pianola Music (1982), Harmonielehre (1985), and Absolute Jest (2012).In 1985, Adams began a collaboration with stage director Peter Sellars that has resulted in more than three decades of groundbreaking operas and oratorios: Nixon in China (1987) and The Death of Klinghoffer (1991), both to libretti by Alice Goodman; El Niño (2000), Doctor Atomic (2005); A Flowering Tree (2006); The Gospel According to the Other Mary (2012); and Girls of the Golden West (2017).Since 2009 Adams has held the position of Creative Chair with the Los Angeles Philharmonic where he has been instrumental in the success of that orchestra’s highly creative Green Umbrella new music series.


  • Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Composition (Nixon in China, 1989)
  • Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Composition (El Dorado, 1998)
  • Grammy Award for Best Classical Album (On the Transmigration of Souls, 2005)
  • Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance (On the Transmigration of Souls, 2005)
  • Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition (On the Transmigration of Souls, 2005)
  • Pulitzer Prize for Music (On the Transmigration of Souls, 2003)