Los Angeles Philharmonic 2008/2009

Walt Disney Concert Hall

Every year the LA Phil commissions new works, which is one of the most important aspects of keeping musical tradition alive. No new works=fossilization of old ones. Let’s take a look at some of the new commissions from their next season.

January 10: Arvo Part premiering a new work for string orchestra. That’s fitting since some of his best works have featured string orchestras, such as Tabula Rasa and Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten.

April 7: Here we get a concert of almost all new pieces. Of course, it’s the Green Umbrella night, which has made a new for itself as not only a champion of new music but also as an affordable ticket. Last year, the Green Umbrella featured new works by Harold Meltzer, Thomas Ades, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Tal Rosner. This year, Salonen is conducting four new works as well as his own Floof.

April 9: A mere two days later, Salonen conducts his new work, which has no other description than New Work.

May 12: Timothy Andres features his new work, which is also a New Work. He’s performing piano in this premiere along side conductor/composer John Adams, which gets to conduct his own stuff, including the delightfully named Son of Chamber Symphony. Andres apparently also has time to write a blog here.

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January 15: Saariaho’s Passion of Simone is an LAPA commission according to the LA Phil pamphlet. She’s always been championed by her fellow Finn composer Salonen so it’s not a shock to see her name here. But she’s definitely established her work in orchestras across the world and we are privileged to get her beautiful sonorities first.

January 16: While not listed on the website as a commission, the Andriessen Double Concerto is listed as an LAPA commission in the pamphlet. Along with Part, Andriessen is one of the major European minimalists, which bodes well for composers of this strain of composition.

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