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John Luther Adams Named Composer in Residence for 2016 Big Ears Festival in Knoxville

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Dec 10, 2015 02:21 PM EST

It's that time of year again and the 2016 Big Ears fest in Knoxville, Tennessee is upon us. A lineup has been announced for the festival, which takes place March 31 to April 2. On that list are John Luther Adams, Philip Glass, Vijay Iyer, Yo La Tengo and more.  The festival is for the neo-classical and the avant-garde. As is customary with the festival, a Composer in Residence is given the most time over the course of 3 days. This year's is none other than the Pulitzer-prize winner John Luther Adams.

Mr. Adams is most noted for his Grammy-winning composition Become Ocean, which also took home the 2014 Pulitzer. The composition featured the Seattle Symphony Orchestra as its band for the record.

The piece is so moving that it inspired Taylor Swift to donate upwards of $50,000 to the Seattle company because of their work on the disc. The money has truly been put to keeping the ensemble going and it came as a surprise, to say the least.

Also on the bill is a much-anticipated collaboration between the iconic contemporary composer Philip Glass and art icon Laurie Anderson.

Festival founder and curator Ashley Capps told Rolling Stone of the collaboration:

"It's a performance that will most likely only take place at Big Ears during 2016. They've only done it once before, in Italy this past summer. Laurie was so excited about it. She was just like, 'We've gotta do this at Big Ears.' Not that I would want to say no, but how could you say no?"

Featured on the program also, is Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith, Classicalite darling's eighth blackbird with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and the National's Bryce Dessner, Marc Ribot, Kamasi Washington and a laundry list of other major names in the game.

Below is a list of all the performer attending but be sure to preview Philip Glass before you get to taking notes.

Big Ears 2016 Lineup

John Luther Adams: Composer-in-Residence
Laurie Anderson & Philip Glass
Andrew Bird
Anthony Braxton
Knoxville Symphony Orchestra with guest conductor Steven Schick performing the Music of John Luther Adams, Bryce Dessner and Philip Glass with guest cellist Maya Beiser
Yo La Tengo
Sunn 0)))
Nicolas Jaar (DJ)
The Necks
The Gloaming
Outside the Dream Syndicate (Tony Conrad with Faust)
Maya Beiser
Vijay Iyer & Wadada Leo Smith
Eighth Blackbird with Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Bryce Dessner
Bonnie "Prince" Billy
Bedroom Community 10th Anniversary: Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, Sam Amidon & Valgeir Sigurðsson
Kamasi Washington
Marc Ribot
Kiasmos (ólafur Arnalds & Janus Rasmussen)
Shabazz Palaces
Bryce Dessner
Angel Olsen
Andy Stott
Phantom Orchard
Wolf Eyes
Faust
Bombino
Joe Henry
Tony Conrad
Xylouris White
Lambchop
Zeena Parkins & Tony Buck
Olivia Chaney
Mamiffer
Nief-Norf
Mary Halvorson
Hieroglyphic Being
Circuit Des Yeux
Ikue Mori
Chris Abrahams
Molly Nilsson

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TagsBig Ears Festival, Philip Glass, Vijay Iyer, John Luther Adams