John Adams Leads LA Phil New Music Group in L.A. Now: New Angeleno Composers Tonight

LA Phil Creative Chair John Adams and the LA Phil New Music Group showcase the imaginative breadth of the next generation of Los Angeles creators with L.A. Now: New Angeleno Composers at Walt Disney Concert Hall, tonight, December 3, at 8 pm.

The program opens with Adams leading the New Music Group in Sean Friar's Little Green Pop, winner of a 2009 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. The program continues with Adams and the New Music Group in the LA Phil-commissioned world premiere of experimental artist/singer Julia Holter's Memory Drew Her Portrait, featuring Holter as vocalist. Following is Andrew McIntosh's Etude IV from Symmetry Etudes with clarinetists James Sullivan and Brian Walsh, and violinist Mark Menzies. The evening concludes with Adams leading the New Music Group in Andrew Norman's LA Phil-commissioned Try. All the composers will be present at the concert, which is the second LA Phil Green Umbrella performance of the 2013/14 season.

Remaining concerts for the 2013/14 Green Umbrella series are: Conductor/composer Brad Lubman leading the New Music Group in a program featuring the West Coast premiere of Michel van der Aa's Grawemeyer Award-winning Up-close (Jan. 28, 2014); a Minimalist Jukebox Festival concert featuring the Calder Quartet performing Steve Reich's Different Trains and John Adams conducting world premieres from Missy Mazzoli and Mark Grey (April 8, 2014); and Jeffrey Milarsky leading the New Music Group in Harrison Birtwistle's Three Settings of Celan, Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques featuring Ralph von Raat, and Lindberg's Joy (May 6, 2014).

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. Over the past 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. Adams is an active conductor, appearing with the world's major orchestras in programs combining his own works with a wide variety of repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Mozart to Ives, Carter, Zappa, Glass and Ellington. In the 2013/14 season, Adams appears with the Houston Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New World Symphony orchestras, as well as the Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid. Adams is currently Creative Chair with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Los Angeles-based musician Julia Holter began self-recording songs in college while studying formal music composition. Last season, she opened for Sigur Rós, and her latest album Loud City Song (2013) on Domino Records was named "Best New Music" by Pitchfork. Since the release of her previous two albums Tragedy (2011) and Ekstasis (2012), she has performed at venues and festivals throughout Europe, North America, Lebanon, and Australia. Holter grew up in Los Angeles, studied music at Hamilton High Music Academy, and piano at the after-school program at Colburn School.

James Sullivan explores the versatility of the clarinet, bass clarinet, and contrabass clarinet in an expansive scope of styles and repertoire. Based in the Los Angeles area, he honed his microtonal skills studying maqam while playing for a decade with classical Arabic ensemble Kan Zaman. He premiered and recorded Ben Johnston's Parable and has performed as a guest for Harry Partch's Oedipus with the Partch Ensemble, where he became intimate friends with the Chromelodeon.

Brian Walsh is a musician who is interested in sound and communication, regardless of genre, and specializes in performance on the clarinet and bass clarinet. Walsh frequently performs with such diverse groups as Wild up Modern Music Collective, gnarwhallaby, The New Century Players, and The California E.A.R. Unit and he is a member of Creative Underground Los Angeles. He also leads Walsh Set Trio, a jazz ensemble focusing on the performance of his own compositions. In November, Walsh, as a member of the contemporary music ensemble gnarwhallaby, gave the premiere of Nicholas Deyoe's Lullaby 4 at Carnegie Hall.

Residing in the United States since 1991, Mark Menzies has established an important, world-wide reputation as a violist and violinist. He has been described in a Los Angeles Times review, as an "extraordinary musician" and a "riveting violinist." Menzies is currently viola and violin professor at the California Institute of the Arts where he also coordinates their chamber orchestra, new music ensembles and conducting studies. Over the last six seasons, he has designed and performed a significant role in CalArts New Century Players' concerts at redcat, CalArt's downtown theater.

More On: John Adams, Walt Disney, Morton Gould, James Sullivan, Andrew Norman, Phil Green, Harrison Birtwistle,

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by Peter Danish