The F. John Adams collection is organized into the following ten series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Papers
  3. Programs
  4. Subject files
  5. Teaching materials
  6. Photographs
  7. Scrapbooks
  8. Audio/Video materials
  9. Framed items
  10. Musical Scores and Publications

The Correspondence is organized into three subseries: general correspondence; correspondence to/from Nadia Boulanger; and recommendations. The general correspondence spans the years 1982-2010 and includes mostly job related and performance related correspondence. The Nadia Boulanger correspondence is primarily letters written to Boulanger by F. John Adams. There is a reference letter from Boulanger for F. John Adams and a memorandum from Boulanger to students. These materials span the years 1970-1974. The letters of recommendation for Adams primarily date from 1996-1997.

The Papers series consists of papers written by F. John Adams for music
courses he took at Harvard in 1967-1968. A detailed list can be found on the Container list page. The Programs series consists of five miscellaneous concert programs, one of which is a concert performed by the NEC Chamber Singers conducted by Adams in November 2000.

The Subject files in the Adams collection mostly relate to Adams’ tenures as conductor of the New Bedford Symphony and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. These materials approximately span the years 1985-2000 and include annual reports, concert reviews, personnel files, programs/drafts, correspondence, student concert review letters etc. Also included but stored separately because of size is a citation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives congratulating the New Bedford Symphony on its 80th anniversary. There are also a few other subject files including biographical materials, materials relating to the Leverett Song (probably a song Adams composed for the Leverett House at Harvard), and a miscellaneous folder. The biographical materials include a biographical sketch and copies of Adams’ Curriculum Vitae. There is also a certificate of promotion for Adams from 7th grade to 8th grade along with a note from his teacher.

The Teaching Materials series contains one folder of teaching exercises used by Nadia Boulanger as well as three booklets used by Adams entitled “Basic Functional Harmony,” “Solfege, Canadian Rhythm Drillls,” and “Teacher Manual for Melodic Dictation.”  

The Photographs series consists of several photos. There are two photos of Robert Levin, a group photo (possibly the Harvard Glee Club), and three head shots of F. John Adams. There are six digital photos that were printed– one, a solo photo of Adams conducting, and the second of Adams conducting a small vocal ensemble (perhaps the NEC Chamber Singers). The four other digital photos that have been printed are identified as “Lars Jorrens,” “Peter and Kit Jorrens,” “Marc Jorrens and Kassie Vo,”and “The Jorrens Sanctuary in Acton.”  Finally, there is one other photo of F. John Adams with Peter Schweich (taken July 2009).

The Scrapbook contains materials from the summers when Adams studied with Nadia Boulanger at the Fontainebleau Music School. The scrapbook documents Adams’ relationship with Boulanger through several years of correspondence from her. The scrapbook also contains photos, memorabilia, and other correspondence. This scrapbook, originally a leather three-ring binder, has been re-housed, maintaining its original order, for preservation purposes. The Audio/video materials consist of 1 audio cassette tape featuring music by Jeffrey Brody; and 2 VHS tapes labeled “F. John Adams. Demo Tape SECAM” and “F. John Adams. Demo Tape PAL.”

The Framed items include images of Toscanini, Robert Levin, Michael Tilson Thomas and Nadia Boulanger. A more detailed description is given in the container list.

The Musical scores and publications owned by F. John Adams as part of this collection are listed individually in the Container list page.

2011-09-26


WITHOUT CRAFTSMANSHIP, INSPIRATION IS A MERE REED SHAKEN IN THE WIND. JOHANNES BRAHMS