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Dutch Composer Louis Andriessen Highlighted In Carnegie Hall Residency


Nine Programs Include the New York Premiere of Andriessen's Newest Opera,
La Commedia, Performed in Concert Version in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

Featured Performers Include John Adams, American Composers Orchestra,
Asko | Schoenberg and Reinbert de Leeuw, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Iva Bittová,
Greetje Bijma, Maurice chestnut, Ensemble ACJW, Evan Parker, Ernst Reijseger,
Dawn Upshaw, and Cristina Zavalloni

Louis Andriessen, one of Europe's most eminent and influential composers, commences his Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair residency at Carnegie Hall in April. The series of concerts, which spans all three of the performance spaces at Carnegie Hall-Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Zankel Hall, and Weill RecitAl Hall-features numerous premieres of new works by the Dutch composer, as well as music by composers that Andriessen has mentored and a series of intimate late-night concerts devoted to improvisation-a key influence on Andriessen. The month-long residency, which runs from Friday, April 9 to Monday, May 10, features performances by musicians who have been longtime champions of Andriessen's music, including Asko | Schoenberg, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Reinbert de Leeuw, and John Adams, as well as friends and newfound muses such as Greetje Bijma, Martijn Padding, and Cristina Zavalloni. All will join together to celebrate the music of Louis Andriessen, widely regarded as the leading composer working in the Netherlands today and a highly influential figure in the international new music scene.

For more information on Louis Andriessen, including a video interview with the composer, visit Sound Insights at

Spring 2010 Carnegie Hall Presentations Featuring Music by Louis Andriessen:

April 9: Louis & The Young Americans
American Composers Orchestra kicks off the Andriessen residency on Friday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. with Jeffrey Milarsky conducting a concert entitled Louis & The Young Americans featuring the New York premiere of Andriessen's Symphony for Open Strings as well as three world premieres by young American composers Andriessen has taught: Missy Mazzoli, Michael Fiday, and John Korsrud. Andriessen, who studied with Luciano Berio in the early 1960s, was highly influenced by American jazz and minimalism, as well as Stravinsky. An instructor at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague since the 1970s, Andriessen has taught a number of notable composers, and his music has been extremely influential on an entire generation of American performers.

Mazzoli's These Worlds in Us was originally composed in 2006 and was selected for the Minnesota Orchestra Composers Institute and Readings that same year. The Carnegie Hall performance will be the world premiere of a re-orchestrated version. In 2002 Mazzoli received a Fulbright Grant and traveled to the Netherlands, where she studied with Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague. Fiday's Gonzo Variations - Hunter S. Thompson in memoriam, will be a full-spectrum portrayal of the journalist and author, taking into account the contradictions inherent in this fabled American iconoclast and embedding musical elements into the work that reflect the times that affected and shaped the man. Fiday studied composition at the University of Colorado and the University of Pennsylvania, before working with Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam under the auspices of a Fulbright Grant. Korsrud, a composer and trumpeter, hails from Vancouver, British Columbia, and his new work, Come to the Dark Side, will be informed by his interest in experimental music and jazz. He studied composition with Andriessen at the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Netherlands from 1995 to 1997.

April 14-17: Three Naughty Boys and Three Crazy Girls
For three nights in Weill RecitAl Hall-April 14 through 17-Louis Andriessen has programmed three special late-night concerts of musical improvisation entitled Three Naughty Boys and Three Crazy Girls. The double-bill concerts will feature a wide variety of adventurous artists known for breaking musical boundaries. Says Andriessen: "I think if you are a good improviser, you surprise your listeners, and that could mean for the public that you are a little bit crazy; you go in that direction, instead of the direction they would expect. That's the definition of what I like in improvisation: a little bit naughty and a little bit crazy."

On Wednesday, April 14 at 9:30 p.m. the series begins with a double bill featuring American tap dancer Maurice chestnut and Czech violinist-vocalist Iva Bittová. On Friday, April 16 at 9:30 p.m., Dutch singer Greetje Bijma performs with Andriessen on piano, followed by a performance from British saxophonist Evan Parker. The following evening, Saturday, April 17 at 9:30 p.m., the series ends with a performance by cellist Ernst Reijseger as well as one by vocalist Cristina Zavalloni accompanied by Andrea Rebaudengo on piano.

April 15: La Commedia
On Thursday, April 15 at 8:00 p.m., Andriessen's extraordinary new opera La Commedia (based on Dante's Divine Comedy) makes its New York premiere in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage in a concert performance by the Asko ? Schoenberg ensemble conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw and featuring the voices of Claron McFadden, Jeroen Williems, Marcel Beekman, Cristina Zavalloni, Synergy Vocals, and The Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Louis Andriessen joins Jeremy Geffen, Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning, that evening for a pre-concert talk at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage.

According to the composer, "I see Dante's La Commedia as one of the highest points ever reached in literature and philosophy. It combines complexity, intellectualism, horror, beauty, multi-layering, allusions, historical and mythological references, and, above all, irony. I selected sequences of material in the same order as in Dante's book. So the first two scenes take us from the City of Dis down through Inferno to the deepest regions of hell where we meet Lucifer in the third part. This is where Adam's Fall is described. We then pass upward through the lighter-hearted Garden of Earthly Delights until we reach Paradise in the final section, Eternal Light."

La Commedia was premiered in June 2008 at the Holland Festival by many of the same musicians performing in the Carnegie Hall presentation. The Sunday Times wrote of the opera, "It relishes the mixture of media, musical quotations and parody, intellectual subtexts and ironic commentary while remaining spunkily itself-a brilliant, new-fangled circus. Whether rhythmically driven in his minimalist manner, harmonically block-like with a Stravinskian bite, flaring up like a big band or essaying startling textures...Andriessen's score is a holiday of inventiveness." And the Los Angeles Times said, "Andriessen's music is often forceful and driving, which is his characteristic style, especially in the first two scenes... But these just hinted at the humor, the ingratiating jazziness, the terrible fury and, in the end, the ravishing grace of the later scenes... The opera, which is dedicated to [his wife's] memory, is what happened when the hippest, sassiest, most savvy major composer we have dealt with the most meaningful moment of his life and left nothing out. La Commedia is an opera that should be seen again, and it will be."

April 16: Asko | Schoenberg in Works by Andriessen, Padding, and de Leeuw
Reinbert de Leeuw and Asko | Schoenberg return the following evening, Friday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m., to Zankel Hall for a performance of Andriessen's Zilver. Andriessen notes about his work, "The idea behind Zilver was to write a chorale variation as Bach did for organ: a long, slow-moving melody, combined with the same melody played faster. The two groups play in canons." Zilver is one of a planned series of chamber pieces named after a type of physical matter. Hout ("wood") was the first, and Zilver ("silver") is the second. The title also refers to the two silver instruments, flute and vibraphone, which start and end the piece. Also on the program is a work, First Harmonium Concerto, by one of Andriessen's protégés, Martijn Padding. Vocalist Barbara Sukowa also joins the ensemble for a performance of de Leeuw's Im wunderschönen Monat Mai ("In the Lovely Month of May").

April 17: Making Music: Louis Andriessen
On Saturday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m., a Making Music program in Zankel Hall will feature Andriessen in conversation with Carnegie Hall's Director of Artistic Planning Jeremy Geffen, as well as performances by several frequent champions of Andriessen's music. Bang on a Can All-Stars will perform the US premiere of a new Andriessen work, Life, featuring video by Marijke van Warmerdam. (In addition to being a huge influence on Bang on a Can and its formation, Andriessen was a teacher of co-founder Julia Wolfe. In 2002, Bang on a Can released an acclaimed CD of Andriessen classics on the Cantaloupe label entitled Gigantic Dancing Human Machine). Soprano Dawn Upshaw also appears, performing Andriessen's Dances with The Zankel Band conducted by Alan Pierson. Also on the program is Martijn Padding's Mordants performed by violinist Heleen Hulst and pianist Gerard Bouwhuis.

April 18: The Music of Louis Andriessen at (Le) Poisson Rouge
In a related event to Andriessen's residency at Carnegie Hall, on Sunday, April 18 at 8:00 p.m. (Le) Poisson Rouge presents the American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME) and pianist Eric Huebner performing an evening of Andriessen's chamber music at the downtown music venue. The program will include Facing Death for string quartet, Image de Moreau, Trois Pieces, and Trepidus for solo piano, with additional works to be announced. The concert will be preceded by a discussion with the Andriessen and Robert Hurwitz of the composer's longtime US record label, Nonesuch Records, at 7:30 p.m.

May 10: De Staat
Louis Andriessen's residency concludes on Monday, May 10 at 6:00 p.m., with composer John Adams conducting Ensemble ACJW in a performance of Andriessen's seminal 1976 work De Staat. This was Andriessen's breakthrough work, where all of his influences-from jazz, minimalism, and Stravinsky to the sonorities created from brass, keyboards, and bass guitars-came together to produce an unrelenting, rhythmic, loud, and intricate masterpiece that propelled the composer to international acclaim.

The composer notes, "I wrote De Staat (The Republic) as a contribution to the debate about the relation of music to politics. Many composers view the act of composing as, somehow, above social conditioning. I contest that. How you arrange your musical material, the techniques you use and the instruments you score for are largely determined by your own social circumstances and listening experience, and the availability of financial support. I do agree, though, that abstract musical material-pitch, duration, and rhythm-are beyond social conditioning: it is found in nature. However, the moment the musical material is ordered it becomes culture and hence a social entity. I have used passages from Plato to illustrate these points."

John Adams, who conducted the original US premiere of De Staat also conducts his own work Son of Chamber Symphony on the program, along with Stravinsky's Concerto for Piano and Winds featuring pianist Jeremy Denk.

About Louis Andriessen
Born the Netherlands in 1939, Louis Andriessen grew up in a musical family-his father, uncle, and brother were all composers-and studied with Luciano Berio, drawing from a diverse range of influences from Stravinsky to jazz, funk, and rhythm and blues. Through his varied background in both jazz and avant-garde composition, as well as his rejection of traditional musical forms, Mr. Andriessen's music has often been viewed to be a revolt against the legacy of German Romanticism. He has developed a style employing elemental harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic materials, as well as distinctive-if not idiosyncratic-instrumentation (having never written a work for a traditional symphony orchestra). Through music Mr. Andriessen has explored such seemingly disparate subjects as politics, time, velocity, matter, and mortality. It is this openness and willingness to reach beyond the traditionally accepted range of music that has made Mr. Andriessen a catalyst and provocateur in the Dutch contemporary arts scene. Mr. Andriessen's work as a composer, author, pianist, firebrand, and teacher over the past 40 years have established him as a central figure in the international new music scene and as the most significant composer working in the Netherlands today. He was named Musical America's Composer of the Year for 2010. Louis Andriessen is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

About the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair at Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall's Composer's Chair was inaugurated in 1995, inviting composer appointees to collaborate with the Carnegie Hall staff on creative aspects of the Hall's activities. In 1999, the position was renamed for trustee and chairman emeritus Richard Debs and his wife, Barbara, in honor of their longstanding commitment to Carnegie Hall and its artistic goals. Previous holders of the Carnegie Hall Composer's Chair are Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (1995-1999), Pierre Boulez (1999-2003), John Adams (2003-2007), Thomas Adès (2007-2008), and Elliott Carter (2008-2009). Beginning in the 2007-2008 season, the Debs Composer's Chair was reconfigured as a one-year position. For the 2010-2011 season, pianist and composer Brad Mehldau will be the first jazz artist to hold the Debs Composer's Chair.

Program Information for Carnegie Hall Debs Composer's Chair Louis Andriessen

Friday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
Jeffrey Milarsky, Conductor
William Anderson, Electric Guitar
John Korsrud, Trumpet


LOUIS ANDRIESSEN Symphony for Open Strings (NY Premiere)
MISSY MAZZOLI These Worlds in Us (World Premiere, new orchestration)
MICHAEL FIDAY Gonzo Variations - Hunter S. Thompson in memoriam (World Premiere)
JOHN KORSRUD Come to the Dark Side (World Premiere)

Tickets: $38, $48

Wednesday, April 14 at 9:30 p.m.
Weill RecitAl Hall
Maurice chESTNUT, Tap Dancer
IVA BITTOVÁ, Violin/Vocals

Three Naughty Boys and Three Crazy Girls

Programmed by Louis Andriessen this double bill offers high-voltage tapping and singing-all improvised, first by star American tap dancer Maurice chestnut, followed by Czech singer-violinist Iva Bittová, whose unique vocal and instrumental technique have gained her international recognition.

Tickets: $25

Thursday, April 15 at 8:00 p.m.
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
Reinbert de Leeuw, Conductor
Claron McFadden, Voice
Jeroen Willems, Voice
Marcel Beekman, Voice
Cristina Zavalloni, Voice
Synergy Vocals
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Dianne Berkun, Director

LOUIS ANDRIESSEN La Commedia (concert version, NY Premiere)

Pre-concert talk starts at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with Louis Andriessen in conversation with Jeremy Geffen, Director of Artistic Planning, Carnegie Hall.

Tickets: $25, $29, $36, $48, $63, $69

Friday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
Reinbert de Leeuw, Conductor
Barbara Sukowa, Voice

MARTIJN PADDING First Harmonium Concerto
REINBERT DE LEEUW Im wunderschönen Monat Mai (In the Lovely Month of May)

Tickets: $32, $37

Friday, April 16 at 9:30 p.m.
Weill RecitAl Hall
Evan ParkeR, Saxophone

Three Naughty Boys and Three Crazy Girls

A feast of surprises, as Louis Andriessen continues his series of unpredictable improvisatory concerts. This double bill features two striking performers who both exploit every possibility of their instruments: British saxophonist Evan Parker and Dutch singer Greetje Bijma, who performs with Andriessen on piano.

Tickets: $25

Saturday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Zankel Hall
Commentary by Louis Andriessen
Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
Heleen Hulst, Violin
Gerard Bouwhuis, Piano
Bang on a Can All-Stars
The Zankel Band
Anna Elashvili, Violin
Yonah Zur, Violin
Meena Bhasin, Viola
Claire Bryant, Cello
Kristoffer Saebo, Bass
Molly Morkoski, Piano
Bridget Kibbey, Harp
Eric Poland, Percussion
Alan Pierson, Conductor
Jeremy Geffen, Series Moderator

LOUIS ANDRIESSEN Life (with video by Marijke van Warmerdam) (US Premiere)

Tickets: $22, $28

Saturday, April 17 at 9:30 p.m.
Weill RecitAl Hall

Three Naughty Boys and Three Crazy Girls

This double bill features a versatile cellist "who can play anything," according to director Werner Herzog, for whom Reijseger has composed four film scores. On the program's second half, a wildly theatrical singer who is also featured in Louis Andriessen's La Commedia at Carnegie Hall on April 15. It's the last in a series of evenings of improvisation programmed by Andriessen.

Tickets: $25

Sunday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.
(Le) Poisson Rouge


Program to include:
Facing Death
Trois Pieces

(Le) Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10012

Tickets: $15
Doors at 6:30 PM

For more information:

Presented by (Le) Poisson Rouge.

Monday, May 10 at 6:00 p.m.
Zankel Hall
Featuring musicians of The Academy-a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education
John Adams, Conductor
Jeremy Denk, Piano

JOHN ADAMS Son of Chamber Symphony
Igor Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds

The Academy-a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and The Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education-is made possible by a leadership gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Major funding has also been provided by Mercedes and Sid Bass, The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation, The Irving Harris Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Kovner Foundation, Martha and Bob Lipp, Mr. and Mrs. Lester S. Morse Jr., Judith and Burton Resnick, Susan and Elihu Rose, and The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, with additional support from Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari, Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, Susan and Ed Forst, Mrs. Nancy A. Marks, Edward John Noble Foundation, The William Petschek Family, and Suki Sandler.

The Academy School Partnerships benefitting NYC public school students are made possible, in part, by Bank of America.

The Academy and Ensemble ACJW are made possible, in part, by public funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Recovery Act, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Tickets: $22, $37

Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

Ticket Information
Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website,

For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit


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