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John Adams's City Noir and Unsuk Chin's Šu sound Dudamel's LA welcome

John Adams launches his role as Creative Chair of the Los Angeles Philharmonic with the world premiere of City Noir, written for Gustavo Dudamel’s inaugural concert on Friday, October 8.

City Noir is Adams’s largest and most ambitious orchestral work to date, fortified with six horns, two harps, five percussionists and one jazz drummer, in addition to the usual string and wind forces. The 35-minute piece is divided into three movements: I. The City and its Double, II. The Song is for you, and III. Boulevard Night. See a score sample (8mb).

Says Adams, “As its title suggests, City Noir is a symphony inspired by the peculiar ambience and mood of Los Angeles ‘noir’ films, especially those produced in the late forties and early fifties. My music is an homage not necessarily to the film music of that period but rather to the overall aesthetic of the era. This symphony becomes the third in a triptych of orchestral works that have as their theme the California experience, its landscape and its culture. The two previous are The Dharma at Big Sur (also commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic) and El Dorado (commissioned by the San Francisco Symphony).”

The opening night gala concludes with Dudamel conducting Mahler’s First Symphony. The concert will be broadcast live on KUSC-FM (www.kusc.org) and telecast throughout the United States via PBS Great Performances on Wednesday, October 21, at 8 p.m., with subsequent telecasts throughout Europe, South America, and Asia.

For Maestro Dudamel’s second night on the podium as Music Director, he has chosen to conduct the U.S. premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Sheng Concerto, Šu (October 9–11).
Read a Q&A with Chin about the piece.
See a score sample (7mb).
Listen to an excerpt from the world premiere with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.

City Noir will return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic program (following the October 8 premiere) as part of the West Coast, Left Coast festival, November 27–29 at Walt Disney Concert Hall, with further performances on the orchestra’s U.S. tour. Commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra in association with Cité de la Musique-Salle Pleyel, The Eduard van Beinum Foundation at the request of the ZaterdagMatinee, the Dutch Radio Concert Series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, City Noir will enjoy several future performances around the world.

John Adams continues as Creative Chair throughout the next few Los Angeles Philharmonic seasons, serving as Festival Director for West Coast, Left Coast (a three-week multi-disciplinary festival in celebration of California’s distinct musical culture), and overseeing the Green Umbrella series. As part of West Coast, Left Coast, Adams will conduct Leila Josefowicz and the Philharmonic in his own The Dharma at Big Sur on December 4 and 5.

Later this season the Los Angeles Philharmonic will present Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos (April 24–25, 2010) as well as his forthcoming work for soprano, hyper-accordion and piano, performed by Dawn Upshaw and Emanuel Ax (March 23, 2010); Qigang Chen’s The Five Elements (March 13, 2010); the U.S. premiere of Louis Andriessen’s opera, La Commedia (April 13, 2010); and works by Bartók, Bernstein, Ginastera, Maxwell Davies, Prokofieff, Rachmaninoff, Respighi [Ricordi Milan], Stravinsky, and Strauss.

To see a full list of Boosey & Hawkes performances in Los Angeles this season, please visit http://www.boosey.com/performances.

Photo credit: Mathew Imaging

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