Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for Sustain by Andrew Norman last night. Premiered and recorded at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in October 2018, as a commission for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s centennial season, Sustain has been hailed as “a new American masterpiece” by The New Yorker, “sublime” by The New York Times, and “a near out-of-body acoustic experience that sounds like, and feels like, the future we want…” by the Los Angeles Times.
Gustavo Dudamel said, “Andrew Norman is an extraordinary talent and vital member of our LA Phil family and we are all so proud to have been able to commission, premiere and record this magnificent work of his.”
In his program notes composer Andrew Norman described his thoughts when writing Sustain as follows:
“My first thought in writing Sustain was to imagine the audience that will sit in Walt Disney Concert Hall one hundred years from now, during the 200th season of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. What will it mean to gather as a community and listen to an orchestra in 2118? How will the ears and minds of those people be different from ours? How will they be the same? How will their notions of time and space and sound and history be shaped by the world around them, and what will that world outside the Hall look like? What place will the art of live symphonic performance have in such a society?”
“We, at this critical moment in our history, are not doing enough to sustain the planet”
“… And this thinking brought me around to what is perhaps at the heart this piece: the natural world. Midway through writing Sustain I discovered that I was really writing a piece about the earth, and my — and our — relationship to it. All the work I was doing with long spans of musical time … was in many ways my attempt to place us, the listeners in Walt Disney Concert Hall, in relation to things in nature which are unfathomably bigger and longer than we are. And if there is a sense of sadness or loss that permeates this music, it comes from the knowledge that we, at this critical moment in our history, are not doing enough to sustain the planet that sustains us, that we are not preparing our home for those who will inhabit it in the next hundred, thousand, or million years…”
Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Gustavo Dudamel is Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is driven by the belief that music has the power to transform lives, to inspire, and to change the world. Under his direction the Los Angeles Philharmonic has secured its place as one of the leading orchestras in the world. As Gustavo Dudamel begins his second decade with the orchestra, having recently extended his contract through the 2025/26 season, they continue to push boundaries, bringing new sounds, voices, and faces into the concert hall. Both at home and abroad, the Los Angeles Philharmonic is leading the way in groundbreaking and diverse programming, on stage and in the community, that reflects the orchestra’s artistry and demonstrates its vision. 2019/20 marks the orchestra’s 101st season.