(Amadeus). The John Adams Reader: Essential Writings on an American Composer gathers a colorful and wide-ranging selection of pieces from leading musical commentators and critics. Included are revealing interviews with the composer as well as eloquent essays by Ingram Marshall, Michael Steinberg, Alex Ross, Sarah Cahill, Alan Rich, and many others. Editor Thomas May has grouped this collection into four sections: profiles of the artist (including a fascinating memory piece from Ingram Marshall on Adams's early San Francisco years), detailed essays on the major works, interviews with some leading collaborators and interpreters, and critical reception. This reader should be of use both as an introduction for the general reader to a preeminently significant American artist and as a reference for the more serious student or scholar.