8) John Adams: City Noir | Top 10 – Modern Classical Music

In this series of articles, I offer a top 10 list of my favorite works of modern classical music, focusing on orchestral pieces composed during the last 25 years.


I have been following the career of composer John Adams for fifteen years. My first discovery was his minimalist works. The first piece that really hooked me was Shakers Loops, which in my opinion is one of the few success stories of the minimalist genre.

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Lou Harrison – Symphony No.3

Lou Harrison

Lou Harrison – Photo by Eva Soltes © 2002

I hope that this article you will help you discover a relatively modern work that has fascinated me for some time. Composed in 1982, the Third Symphony of American composer Lou Harrison (1917–2003) is quite an interesting work. I can’t even count how many times I have listened to this piece (although iTunes has in fact done the counting for me, and it is 18 times so far!). I personally fell in love with this work on first hearing. I am betting it will be the same for you.

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