John Adams is probably the most performed living American composer of classical music. And in this book, really a tribute to Mr. Adams, some sixty writers have written on some aspect of John Adams life. The essays are broken down into four major categories: Portraits of the Artist, The Musical Works, Collaborators and Interpreters, and Critical Reception. The book is biographical in part, talking of Mr. Adams early years and his decision to spend his life writing music. Other aspects of the book discuss most of his major works from looking at the content and then critically.
The writers of these essays are a who's who of the classical music world. They include performers (Emanuel Ax, Sarah Cahill), critics (Justin Davidson, Rupert Christiansen), composers (Ingram Marshall, David Schiff), critics (Renaud Machart, Alan Rich), directors (Robert Spano, Peter Spano), professors (Richard Taruskin, Arthur C. Danto), and of course Thomas May who basically put this whole book together.