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, New York, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonics, the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the BBC, Saint Louis, and Melbourne Symphonies, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, 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 and the 2009 Berlin Prize. 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 served for two years as Composer in Residence with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and is currently Composer in Residence with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia. Andrew’s 30-minute string trio The Companion Guide to Rome was named a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music.
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, including a week-long outreach visit with the Des Moines Symphony and a two-year stint with the schools in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. 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 a piano concerto, Suspend, for Emanual Ax, as well as a widely-discussed symphony-in-all-but-name, Play, for BMOP. Upcoming projects include another piano concerto for Jeffrey Kahane and the New York Philharmonic, a percussion concerto for Colin Currie, a three-part symphony for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and collaborations with the Calder Quartet, eighth blackbird, Jeremy Denk, Jennifer Koh, and the Berlin Philharmonic.
Andrew’s works are published by Schott Music.
photo credit: Jessa Anderson