F. JOHN ADAMS: THE WHRB INTERVIEW

ADAMS WHRB INTERVIEW.jpg

In September 2011, several months after the death of former Harvard Glee Club conductor, F. John Adams AB ’66, WHRB, Harvard’s student-run radio station, broadcast a three-hour “orgy” of some of the best performances of Glee Club and other Harvard Choruses during F. John's tenure as conductor of the three choruses (1970-78) together with extended clips of interviews of F. John from the same period. 

With help from Harvard Glee Club Foundation Director Adam Finkel AB ’79, we have made much of this broadcast available online as part of its new and greatly expanded website.

F. John led the Glee Club in some of its most productive and multi-faceted years of singing and touring as well as founding the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and helping to revise the Radcliffe Choral Society. He placed an emphasis on Renaissance sacred polyphony, producing several albums and founding the Harvard Festival of Men’s Choruses in 1977 to showcase this and other repertoire. With the Glee Club, he cultivated a dark, legato sound with emotional gravity from the softest to the loudest passages; this sound is in evidence in several of the tracks now available on the Foundation website.

F. John left us far too soon, both in 1978 when he left Harvard for other teaching and conducting assignments and when he passed away in 2011 at age 66. This collection, which includes commentary from Adams in which he explains his interpretation of several of the pieces heard (notably Josquin’s “Ave Maria” and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion), is a link to a unique period in the Glee Club’s rich history.

Click on the icon below to listen to the broadcast.

Posted on October 10, 2017