John Adams, Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Phil, Green Umbrella Series, New Music Group
LA Phil Creative Chair John Adams leads the LA Phil New Music Group in the first Green Umbrella series concert of the 2012/13 season, Tuesday, October 16, at 8 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The concert features the works of two of today's hottest young composers, Nico Muhly and Daníel Bjarnason, both active in the Reykjavik, Iceland music scene and part of Bedroom Community, an Icelandic record label/collective formed in 2006.
The evening begins with Muhly's arrangement of Two Motets by William Byrd. Following is the West Coast premiere of Muhly's Seeing is Believing, a concerto for electric violin featuring British soloist Thomas Gould in his LA Phil debut. Next is Muhly's arrangement of the traditional Icelandic Tvísöngur. The program continues with two Bjarnason pieces – the LA Phil-commissioned world premiere of Over Light Earth, and the U.S. premiere of Bow to String. Though the music was written in Reykjavík, Bjarnason found his inspiration for Over Light Earth after viewing paintings by Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock at the Museum of Contemporary Art, just across the street from Walt Disney Concert Hall. Bow to String, originally for over-dubbed cellos, is presented in a new ensemble arrangement with Icelandic cellist Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir.
Remaining concerts for the 2012/13 Green Umbrella series are: LA Phil Resident Conductor Lionel Bringuier leading the LA Phil New Music Group in a program celebrating the 100th anniversary of composer Witold Lutos?awski's birth (Dec. 4, 2012); Pablo Heras-Casado leading the New Music Group and a cast of soloists in the West Coast premiere of Peter Eötvös' opera Angels in America, based on Tony Kushner's play (Jan. 15, 2013); Gustavo Dudamel and John Adams splitting the conductor role in a program featuring an LA Phil-commissioned world premiere by Unsuk Chin (Feb. 26, 2013); and Alan Pierson leading the New Music Group in a program that explores Brooklyn's experimental scene with a presentation of works by Brooklyn-based composers – Matt Marks, Samuel Adams and Tyondai Braxton (April 16, 2013).
Composer, conductor, and creative thinker – John Adams occupies a unique position in the world of American music. His works, both operatic and symphonic, stand out among contemporary classical compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and the profoundly humanist nature of their themes. For more than 25 years, Adams' music has played a decisive role in turning the tide of contemporary musical aesthetics away from academic modernism and toward a more expansive, expressive language, entirely characteristic of his New World surroundings. He is currently the Creative Chair for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.