I’m not sure what art does. I know that it’s possible to imagine life without it. Anyone’s life would be horribly impoverished without art. Yet, it seems to me that if you really want to help people and improve their lives, the most efficient thing to do is to go right to the real issues, which are economic. And I think for artists to believe that their musical compositions, or their plays, or their poems or novels can have a really potent political effect is probably a bit overly optimistic.
– John Adams, interview for the Classical KUSC streaming broadcast of The Gospel According to the Other Mary performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, June 2013