“Whatever narratives … the music evokes in you, the pungent, precise harmonies are the result of the acute ear this composer brings to all his music, as we are learning from the Philharmonic’s two-week series ‘The Art of Andriessen.’”
So wrote The New York Times Senior Classical Music Critic Anthony Tommasini in his review of the October 10–13 subscription concerts, which included Andriessen’s TAO. Based on attendance, reviews, social-media buzz, and word of mouth, he speaks for the many who thoroughly experienced this great contemporary composer’s sound world over 16 days, 13 concerts, and five venues.
The Art of Andriessen kicked off with the World Premiere of Andriessen’s Agamemnon, commissioned when the Philharmonic awarded him The Marie-Josée Kravis Prize for New Music, in 2016. Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducted his fellow Dutchman’s work. Above, Andriessen takes a bow after the performance on October 4.
“Mr. Andriessen did put forth a mighty musical epic. Mr. van Zweden conducted it with majesty and regality,” wrote ConcertoNet.com.
Here is a taste of the piece in rehearsal:
On October 7 The Art of Andriessen inaugurated the GRoW @ Annenberg Sound ON series — Sunday afternoon new-music concerts at The Appel Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center, hosted and curated by Kravis Creative Partner Nadia Sirota — with a program including Andriessen’s Symphony for Open Strings conducted by Jaap van Zweden alongside works by Andriessen’s former students Martijn Padding and Vanessa Lann.
On Saturday, October 13, The Art of Andriessen stopped in for a Nightcap — as in, the Kravis Nightcap series, new-music concerts curated by guest artists and hosted by Sirota at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center. Andriessen curated a program reflecting his interests and influences that went from Ravel to Cage to Miles (Davis).
The Philharmonic didn’t go it alone in this salute to the eminent Dutch composer, and was joined by two other New York cultural institutions. National Sawdust joined the Philharmonic in co-presenting MUTED in its US Premiere, October 8–9. This unique piece was composed collectively by Andriessen, Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe for violinist Monica Germino after Germino was diagnosed with high sensitivity to sound.
“‘Muted’ may be the quietest piece ever written for violin, but it was riveting in this intimately powerful performance,” wrote The New York Times.
Finally, on Sunday The Juilliard School presented a free concert at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater in which the AXIOM Ensemble, led by Jeffrey Milarsky, performed Andriessen’s De Staat alongside Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks, selected by Andriessen as a complement, and Knussen’s Two Organa.
“De Staat spoke for itself yesterday. … a huge quilt with dozens upon dozens of brilliantly painted patterns. De Staat was, briefly, one of the great events of the new New York season,” wrote ConcertoNet.
Thanks to all who attended and performed in these concerts!
(Photos: Chris Lee, top; Richard Termine, bottom)