Andrew Norman (born October 31, 1979) is an American composer of contemporary classical music whose texturally complex music is influenced by architecture and the visual arts. His string trio The Companion Guide to Rome (2010), was a runner-up for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music. While composer-in-residence for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, he first gained international attention for the orchestral work Play (2013), which was nominated for the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and won the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. He received another Grammy nomination for the orchestral work Sustain (2018), a commissioned from the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Other noted works include the fantasy for piano and orchestra Split (2015) and the opera A Trip to the Moon (2017). Since 2020, Norman has been on the composition faculty of the Juilliard School.
Norman studied composition at the University of Southern California and Yale University. Much of his music is influenced by architecture and visual arts, in which he has had a lifelong interest. He was composer-in-residence for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project from 2011 to 2013. Among his most notable works are the 2010 string trio The Companion Guide to Rome, the 2013 symphony Play, the 2015 fantasy for piano and orchestra Split, the 2017 opera A Trip to the Moon, and the 2018 orchestral work Sustain.
His composition The Companion Guide to Rome was a runner-up for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Music. A recording of Play by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project was named one of the best classical music recordings of 2015 by David Allen of The New York Times and nominated for the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
Norman won the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for Play, which the music writer Will Robin called "the best orchestral work that the 21st century has seen thus far". In reference to the prize, Norman said in an interview with NPR:
If I get more commissions, great, but maybe I can use this moment to talk about things that are important to me. Like to call attention to the fact that there are problems. For instance, this award has been given to three women out of its 30-year history. And to me that's kind of an issue. And in all honesty, I'm a white man and I get lots of commissions and there are systemic reasons for that, reasons we should all be talking about. There are so many talented composers out there. Rather than giving me another commission, why aren't we giving those people a commission?
In 2018, the Los Angeles Philharmonic commissioned Norman to write Sustain for the beginning of their centennial season. Norman was a finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Music for the work. In 2020, it won him a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for their 2019 recording of the piece. He was a MacDowell Fellow in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2014.
Norman is currently on the composition faculty of the Juilliard School, and is serving as Carnegie Hall's Debs Composer's Chair for the 2020–2021 season. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Composition at the USC Thornton School of Music.
On October 31, 2020, 31 members of the Berlin Philharmoniker performed Norman's composition Sabina (arranged for string orchestra), described as "a sound painting full of iridescent reflections of light", at the Philharmonie in Berlin. The arrangement was commissioned by the Berlin Philharmoniker Foundation.
List of compositions
- A Trip to the Moon, a Melodrama for Children (2017)
- Light Screens (2002) for flute and string trio
- Farnsworth: Four Portraits of a House (2004) for four clarinets, flute, violin, piano, and percussion
- Gran Turismo (2004) for violin octet
- Garden of Follies (2006) for alto saxophone and piano
- The Companion Guide to Rome (2010) for string trio
- Try (2011) for large chamber ensemble
- Peculiar Strokes (2011–2015) for string quartet
- Music in Circles (2012) for flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, viola, and cello
- Mime Mime Mime (2015) for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion
- Frank's House (2015) for two pianos and two percussion
- Sacred Geometry (2003)
- Drip Blip Sparkle Spin Glint Glide Glow Float Flop Chop Pop Shatter Splash (2005)
- Unstuck (2008)
- The Great Swiftness (2010) for chamber orchestra
- Apart (2011)
- Play (2013, rev. 2016)
- Suspend (2014) for solo piano and orchestra
- Split (2015) for solo piano and orchestra
- Switch (2015) for solo percussion and orchestra
- Spiral (2018)
- Sustain (2018)
- Sabina (2008–09) for violin, viola, or cello
- For Ashley (2016) for solo cello
- Lullaby (2007) for mezzo-soprano and piano
- Don't Even Listen (2010)
- Robin, William (November 25, 2015). "Andrew Norman on Loving 'Star Wars' and Pushing Musical Boundaries". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Lanzilotti, Anne (2016). Andrew Norman's "The Companion Guide to Rome": Influence of Architecture and Visual Art on Composition. PhD diss, Manhattan School of Music.
- Boehm, Mike (January 31, 2015). "Composer Andrew Norman tries to evoke Gehry home in 'Frank's House'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Wright, David (May 18, 2013). "BMOP celebrates youngish composers in season closer". Boston Classical Review. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Lanzilotti, Anne (October 25, 2016). ""Cut to a Different World": Andrew Norman". Music & Literature.
- Gardner, Alexandra (February 1, 2014). "ANDREW NORMAN: EMPOWERING PERFORMANCE". NewMusicBox. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Davidson, Justin (December 14, 2015). "Can Serious Music Be Funny? The New York Philharmonic, via Andrew Norman, Gives It a Try". New York. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
- Tommasini, Anthony (December 11, 2015). "Review: Andrew Norman's 'Split,' a Teeming Premiere From the New York Philharmonic". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
- Lanzilotti, Anne (July 9, 2017). "A Trip to the Moon" (PDF). London Symphony Orchestra.
- "Review: Andrew Norman's astonishingly sustainable 'Sustain'". Los Angeles Times. November 4, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Oteri, Frank J. (April 16, 2012). "Kevin Puts Wins 2012 Pulitzer Prize". NewMusicBox. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Berger, Kevin (September 22, 2012). "Composer Andrew Norman's imagination has taken residence". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Sirota, Nadia (August 12, 2014). "Bonus Track: "Sabina" from The Companion Guide to Rome by Andrew Norman". WQXR-FM. Retrieved December 25, 2015.
- "The Best Classical Music Recordings of 2015". The New York Times. December 10, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
- "2016 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees". Los Angeles Times. December 7, 2015. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
- Oteri, Frank J. (December 7, 2015). "About Those 2016 Grammy Nominations". NewMusicBox. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- "Norman's Grawemeyer". Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- Ross, Alex (January 5, 2015). "CD of the Week: Andrew Norman's Play". The Rest is Noise. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- "Andrew Norman Wins The Grawemeyer Award For Music". NPR.org. Retrieved December 5, 2016.
- "Sustain – Andrew Norman". Retrieved March 29, 2020.
- "Andrew Norman – Sustain". LA Phil. Retrieved March 29, 2020.
- "Music". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- "Winners & Nominees". GRAMMY.com. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Phil win Grammy for Andrew Norman's 'Sustain' – Los Angeles Times
- "Winners & Nominees". GRAMMY.com. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
- "Andrew Norman – Artist". MacDowell. Retrieved July 14, 2020.
- "Award-Winning Composer Andrew Norman to Join Juilliard Faculty | The Juilliard School". www.juilliard.edu. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
- "EAM: Andrew Norman Named Carnegie Hall's 2020–21 Debs Composer's Chair". www.eamdc.com. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
- "Andrew Norman". music.usc.edu. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
- "Kirill Petrenko Conducts Strass, Shostakovich And Norman". digitalconcerthall.com. Retrieved December 9, 2020.