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What a wonderful book! Entertaining, touching and revealing. Like Berlioz's memoirs, it gives us a glimpse into the life and times of a great composer. Not to be missed. (Emanuel Ax)
John Adams's memoir is elegant, hilarious, humble, sophisticated, touching, and enormously enlightening about a whole era. It is a remarkable demystification of what it means to be a composer. Adams is a philosopher/craftsman, attempting to reflect and render the truth as he observes and feels it, in all its complexity and its simplicity. His book is a testimony that is equally emotional and intellectual, refreshing and comprehensible to anyone who has ever built or created something with care and attention, whether it be a piece of music, a table, a business, or a family. (Derek Bermel)
Hallelujah Junction is one of the best and most important composer autobiographies next to those of Berlioz and Wagner. A fascinating picture of John Adams the man unfolds with the same directness, precision, and passion as his music. What impresses me most is the sense of absolute honesty in the narrative: a quality exceedingly rare in composers' writings about themselves and their work. (Esa-Pekka Salonen, Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic)
John Adams's memoir is exuberant, opinionated, and vastly informative. Like a renegade tour guide, he takes us on several trips at once. In recounting his own story, he shows us the inner workings of his own creative process and simultaneously illuminates the recent history of music-making. His learned, witty, self-mocking voice is both subjective and objective, telling us all about him and all about the music around us. Amazingly, you can almost hear it. (John Lithgow)
Charming and illuminating . . . Hallelujah Junction stands with books by Hector Berlioz and Louis Armstrong among the most readably incisive autobiographies of major musical figures. (David Hajdu, The New York Times Book Review)
Thoughtful, amusing, analytical . . . Hallelujah Junction offers the voice of America straight from the horse's mouth, and to read something so intelligent, reasoned and caring sure feels good these days. (Los Angeles Times)
In the classical-music world, Adams is seen as a sort of late-career Picasso: a star, a standby, a one-man manufactory of brilliant, audience-friendly work. Hallelujah Junction doesn't overturn these perceptions, but it adds a surprising hue of restlessness and uncertainty to the portrait. One of America's most accessible living composers turns out to be one of the hardest to pin down. (Slate)
John Adams was born in Massachusetts in 1947. He is the composer of such acclaimed works as Harmonielehre, Nixon in China, Naive and Sentimental Music, El Niño, and On the Transmigration of Souls, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. He lives in Berkeley, California.