"The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer is the first full-length book in English devoted to the work of John Adams, among the most frequently performed living American composers in the sphere of classical music. Sometimes called America's "composer laureate, " John Adams has proved to be that rare bird - an enduring, if often controversial, figure in contemporary art music." "Although branded a minimalist early in his career, Adams has composed in many styles and forms, from opera, choral, and orchestral pieces to multimedia stage works and tape and electronic compositions. Here essays by leading music commentators and critics explore the Adams oeuvre with insights pro and con."--BOOK JACKET.