Tiny Desk Concert celebrating the release of the new edition of Philip Glass’s Piano Etudes. Filmed at the NPR offices in DC about a month ago. Here I play nos. 5 & 6. Next month in Los Angeles I’ll join Maki Namekawa, Anton Batagov, Jenny Lin, and Lara Downes for a complete performance at Disney Hall.
I’m thrilled to reveal that The Blind Banister, a new album that’s been in the works, in some form, for an outrageous nine years, will be released by Nonesuch Records on March 22. You can listen to the last movement of Upstate Obscura, my cello concerto, today. The album was recorded this past summer with cellist Inbal Segev, conductor Andrew Cyr, and Metropolis Ensemble (longtime collaborators who you may remember from Home Stretch).
It’s increasingly rare, impractical, and untenable to record an orchestra in this level of detail, in a studio environment; this may very well be the last album I make in such a way. I am forever grateful to the collaborators who helped bring it into the world: Andrew Cyr and the musicians of Metropolis Ensemble, Inbal Segev, producer Silas Brown, Jonathan Biss (who commissioned and premiered The Blind Banister), Russell Hirshfield (who commissioned and premiered Colorful History), Bob Hurwitz and the team at Nonesuch Records, David Kaplan for a lyrical liner note, Jason Fulford for his enigmatic cover photo, and Ben Tousley for his elegant typography.
Individual tickets for my February 23rd Carnegie Hall recital just went on sale today. Get ’em while they’re hot.
A brief note to say that I’ve just put up a 2023–24 season calendar, which includes a few rather exciting things. As usual, more to come as dates are confirmed.
Above, the view from the music table during Illinois tech. The show opens Friday; things are sounding and looking stupdendous. It’s been a joy to spend time immersed in this music, with these people. If you missed your chance at tickets for this month’s run at Bard, never fear: future productions are materializing, including one in Chicago this winter.
I’ve had to tear myself away for a few days for a long-postponed jaunt to Britt Festival in Jacksonville, OR. I’ll join Teddy Abrams and the Britt Festival Orchestra for a performance of The Blind Banister on Thursday.
I’m very pleased to help trumpet the announcement of Sufjan Stevens’s new album Reflections, a two-piano ballet score that I recorded with Conor Hanick. The brilliant video above, directed by Brian Paccione, is a performance of the first track, Ekstasis. The full album is out May 19.
In other Sufjan-related news, I’ve created new arrangements and orchestrations for his 2005 album Illinois, which has been choreographed in its entirety by Justin Peck, premiering June 23 at Bard Summerscape.
Happy new year. In an heroic act of procrastination from writing, I’ve made a new subsection of this site listing the various things I’ve written about music over the years. Thanks to all the artists and record labels who have asked me to write about their recordings; doing so always teaches me new ways to listen and think about music.
I’m very pleased to present my new work for natural horn quartet, Loud Ciphers. The piece is somewhat atypical in that it was composed, recorded, filmed, and released over the course of just a month—a rare instance of immediate gratification in the usually glacial world of commissioning new work.
The piece was commissioned and performed by the extraordinary young natural horn specialist Isaac Shieh, who I was introduced to by Nico Muhly (thanks, Nico!). The above performance seems all the more remarkable with the knowledge that it was made during the past week’s intense European heat wave.
Here’s a bit more about the piece, and you can also purchase scores and parts.