(photo: Tim Deussen)

Karajan Academy

John Adams conducts the Orchestra Academy

Within the scope of his Berliner Philharmoniker residency, the composer and conductor John Adams will work on pieces by contemporary American composers with the scholars of the Orchestra Academy: Andrew Norman’s orchestral work Try, which takes as its subject the process of trial and error; Timo Andres’s piano concerto The Blind Banister; Last Round, Osvaldo Golijov’s homage to Astor Piazzolla; as well as Adams’s Chamber Symphony, which fades away like a hymn. In its instrumentation it follows Schoenberg’s famous Chamber Symphony.

Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker

John Adams Conductor

Timo Andres Piano

Akademie II – John Adams – Composer in Residence

Andrew Norman


Timo Andres

The Blind Banister

Osvaldo Golijov

Last Round

John Adams

Chamber Symphony

Dates and Tickets

Wed, 25 Jan 2017, 20:00

Chamber Music Hall


Andrew Norman describes himself as a “trial-and-error composer” who never finds the “right” solution at the first go. And why? A marked propensity for self-criticism, which leads the young composer from Los Angeles (who has established himself as one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents on the international music scene) time after time to never-ending revisions. Thus it’s no coincidence that his orchestral work Try takes as its subject the process of trial and error whereby the music – in its composed search for the “right” way – yields ever new variants with almost ebullient vitality. John Adams, who premiered the piece in May 2011 in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, will now present it at this second Academy concert of the 2016/17 season.

Together with Timo Andres, he will then turn to Andres’s piano concerto no. 3 The Blind Banister. The work makes reference to Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto – or more precisely: to the stylistic distortions that adhere to the work due to the cadenza Beethoven composed many years after the work itself was completed which “makes no concessions to his earlier style” (Timo Andres). Then comes Osvaldo Golijov’sLast Round, an homage to Astor Piazzolla: an exciting work whose finale, with its fantasy on the refrain from Carlos Gardel’s tango Mi Buenos Aires querido, Golijov also created as a resounding declaration of love to his own home town. The programme then concludes with John Adams’ Chamber Symphony, which fades away like a hymn. In its instrumentation it follows Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony op. 9 for 15 solo instruments, whereby the instruments Schoenberg specified are expanded to include synthesizer and percussion.

(photo: Tim Deussen)