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Ansel Adams: America (2009)

Ansel Adams: America, composed by Chris and Dave Brubeck, is a symphonic tribute saluting one of America’s most cherished artists. The 22-minute, one-movement piece, fully integrates sweeping melodies with 102 striking images of or by Ansel.

Few people realize that Ansel Adams trained to be a classical musician, a fact which greatly influenced the work. It has consistently played to full houses, and has succeeded in its mission to bring new and larger audiences to orchestra concerts. For more information, see: anseladamsamerica.com

Ansel Adams: America has been performed to critical and popular acclaim by orchestras across the country. The Stockton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Peter Jaffe, gave the world premiere and led a commissioning consortium of orchestras including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, Monterey Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Temple University Orchestra, and Abilene Philharmonic Orchestra. Ansel Adams: America has also been performed by the San Diego Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Yakima Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, North State Symphony, Sinfonia Gulf Coast, the Akron Symphony and more. See a full list of performances here.

For purchase or rental information visit the Contact page.


  • 3 Flutes (Flute 3 doubles on Piccolo)
  • 2 Oboes (Oboe 2 doubles on English Horn or a separate English Horn Part is provided)
  • 2 Clarinets (Bb)
  • Bass Clarinet (Bb)
  • 2 Bassoons
  • Optional Contra Bassoon
  • 4 Horns (F)
  • 3 Trumpets (C)
  • 3 Trombones
  • Tuba
  • Timpani
  • Percussion 1- Tubular Bells, Xylophone, Marimba, Glockenspiel, Suspended Cymbal, Snare Drum
  • Percussion 2- Tambourine, Bass Drum, Tenor Drum, Tam Tam, Timbales, Maracas (non-plastic), Popper Noisemaker, Suspended Cymbal (one lower, one higher pitched), Crash Cymbals, Triangle
  • Percussion 3- Guiro (non synthetic) Bell Tree, Snare Drum,Suspended Cymbal
  • Harp
  • Piano (strong orchestral pianist, no improvisational skills needed)
  • Violins I & II
  • Violas
  • Cellos
  • Double Basses

Program Notes

Download Full Notes

Reviews / Comments

"As majestic images of Half Dome and Horsetail Falls fade in and out on a giant screen, the music builds and then melts to mirror the majesty of a church or echoes the Southwestern style as a mission takes the screen. When the final moonlit mountain went dark, the music stopped and the full house erupted. The effect is both inspiring and humbling." — J.T. Long, Sacramento Press

"Monterey Symphony Breaks Ticket sales Record. .. The three-concert set resulted in the highest-grossing ticket sales event in the 64 years the Monterey Symphony has presented concerts." — The Californian.com

"They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I think a phrase of music is worth a thousand pictures really. In our program called "Pictures of Music" the highlight of the evening will be the new piece written by Dave Brubeck and his son Chris Brubeck. This is a celebration of Americana through the photography of Ansel Adams. Ansel Adams was able to capture this almost archetypical image we have of the idyllic America. Dave Brubeck is known for his rhythmic play and his really inventive approach to music." - Marin Alsop, Music Director, Baltimore Symphony

Purchase Temple University's Grammy-nominated recording of "Ansel Adams: America" here: