March 12, 2012
photo Timothy Andres
On every sports channel and talk show, February’s game was playing off the name of Jeremy Lin, surprise star of the Knick’s basketball team. LINspired by this flurry of wordsmithing, I found myself punning on the name of LACO’s 2012 Sound Investment commissioned composer/pianist Timothy Andres. Known to his friends as Timo – pronunciation TIM-oh – Andres’ Old Keys premieres at the Alex & Royce Hall on March 24 & 25.
In the past 8 months, Brooklyn-based Andres has made two trips to Los Angeles to share his creative process with the Sound Investment members who band together to commission a new work each season. But when he returns to LA for the world premiere, he’ll do a whole lot more than just talk. He’ll put the final touches to Old Keys in rehearsals with the full orchestra (TIMposer/TIMposition), take his place at the keyboard for the world premiere – I believe this is the first piano concerto he has written for himself (a TIMcerto?)– and he’s the soloist for his re-composition of the Mozart “Coronation” Concerto, receiving its West Coast premiere on the same program. And, as if that weren’t enough, he is set to perform his solo piano piece, deliciously titled Sorbet, on LACO’s Westside Connections exploration of music and the culinary arts at The Broad Stage on March 22 . TIMpressive indeed – l hope he has a pack of 5-hour Energy at the ready.
Mozart famously did not write down the left-hand part of his “Coronation” Concerto, rather improvising as he led from the piano. In his re-composition of the Mozart Concerto, Andres provides his own interpretation for the left hand, putting a decidedly 21-century stamp on the master’s great work. “Where other people have seen missing notes in Mozart’s “Coronation” Concerto, Timothy Andres saw opportunity,” explains musicologist Christine Gengaro. Read her program notes. I think that Mozart would applaud!
But the fun doesn’t end there. wild Up, a modern music collective led by out-of-the-box thinker Christopher Rountree, features three Andres compositions on Craft, the ensemble’s concerts at Beyond Baroque in Venice, March 23/24. (I got my first taste of wild Up in January at Pasadena’s Armory – the musical qualities were superb and the audience was young, hip, engaged and appreciative!) One of the Andres’ works on the wild Up program, Are your fingers long enough, apparently shares some thematic content with his Old Keys for LACO. With their March 24 matinee beautifully timed for 3pm and LACO’s Alex concert only starting at 8, it’s possible to catch all five Andres pieces on one day. Now that’s TIMmersion!
Sidebar: Also featured on the wild Up program is Gran Turismo by Andrew Norman, another fast-rising young American composer based in Brooklyn. Norman, who graduated from USC Thornton School of Music, begins his tenure as LACO composer-in-residence in July and has received the Orchestra’s Sound Investment commission for the 2013 season. This is the perfect opportunity to check out a live performance of his music and join Sound Investment 2013 so that you can follow the creation of his composition for LACO from the very beginning. I’ll leave the wordplay on “Andrew” or “Norman” to you!