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Blog Archive



Andrew Norman Premieres "Switch" at Utah Symphony

On November 6th, percussionist Colin Currie and the Utah Symphony premiered Andrew Norman's new work for solo percussion and orchestra, Switch. Norman's works for orchestra have been called some of the "best orchestral works that the 21st century has seen thus far", and we couldn't agree more. His landmark 2008 piece, Unstuck, has already become a staple of orchestral repertoire around the country; 2011's Try, for chamber orchestra, was commissioned and premiered by the LA Philharmonic to critical acclaim; and 2013's Play premeired to critical acclaim in both traditional and social media. 

So what has Norman composed this time? Switch, like its sibling works for large groups of musicians, explores the ludic possibilities of play between soloist and ensemble. Quite literally, the music acts like a "switch" between percussion instruments positioned in front of, and behind, the orchestra; these instruments act as "switch[es] that control other instruments in specific ways, making them play louder or softer, higher or lower, freezing them in place and settng them in motion again."

The Salt Lake Tribune, which called the premiere "electrifying" and "hyperkinetic", conducted a video interview with Norman and Toby Tolokan, the Utah Symphony's Vice President of Artistic Planning. Check it out below: 

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