Andrew Norman (b. 1979) is a Los Angeles-based composer of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music.
A lifelong enthusiast for all things architectural, Andrew writes music that is often inspired by patterns and textures he encounters in the visual world. He has a passion for musical notation, its long history, and the many ways its boundaries can be pushed to find new modes of expression. He also loves collaborating with performers to explore the act of interpreting notation and he is fascinated by the translation of written symbols into physical gesture and sound.
Andrew is increasingly interested in story-telling in music, and specifically in the ways non-linear, narrative-scrambling techniques from cinema, television, and video games might intersect with traditional symphonic forms. His distinctive, often fragmented and highly energetic voice has been cited in the New York Times for its “daring juxtapositions and dazzling colors,” in the Boston Globe for its “staggering imagination,” and in the L.A. Times for its “Chaplinesque” wit.
Andrew’s symphonic works have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the BBC, Saint Louis, Seattle, and Melbourne Symphonies, the Orpheus, Saint Paul, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, the Tonhalle Orchester, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, and many others. Andrew’s music has been championed by some of the classical music’s eminent conductors, including John Adams, Marin Alsop, Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Rattle, and David Robertson.
In recent seasons, Andrew’s chamber music has been featured at the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Wordless Music Series, the CONTACT! series, the Ojai Festival, the MATA Festival, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Green Umbrella series, the Monday Evening Concerts, and the Aspen Music Festival. In May of 2010, the Berlin Philharmonic’s Scharoun Ensemble presented a portrait concert of Andrew’s music entitled “Melting Architecture.”
Andrew is the recipient of the 2004 Jacob Druckman Prize, the 2005 ASCAP Nissim and Leo Kaplan Prizes, the 2006 Rome Prize, the 2009 Berlin Prize and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship. He joined the roster of Young Concert Artists as Composer in Residence in 2008 and held the title “Komponist für Heidelberg” for the 2010-2011 season. Andrew has served as Composer in Residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Opera Philadelphia, and he currently holds that post with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Andrew’s 30-minute string trio The Companion Guide to Rome was named a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music, and his large-scale orchestral work Play was nominated for a 2016 Grammy in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category.
Andrew is a committed educator who enjoys helping people of all ages explore and create music. He has written pieces to be performed by and for the young, and has held educational residencies with various institutions across the country. Andrew joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 2013, and he is thrilled to serve as the new director of the L.A. Phil’s Composer Fellowship Program for high school composers.
Andrew recently finished two piano concertos, Suspend, for Emanual Ax, and Split, for Jeffrey Kahane, as well as a percussion concerto, Switch, for Colin Currie. Upcoming projects include a symphony for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and collaborations with Jeremy Denk, Jennifer Koh, Johannes Moser, yMusic, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the London Symphony.
Andrew’s works are published by Schott Music.
photo credit: Jessa Anderson