Tomorrow (Nov. 11) at REDCAT, pianist, composer and CalArts alum Richard Valitutto (Music MFA 11) performs the inaugural concert of Piano Spheres' new Satellite series, which focuses on emerging performers and new music for piano.
Valitutto's concert, NAHKT, explores piano nocturnes from the 20th and 21st centuries, specifically delving into the "the complex and volatile relationships between the night and the human psyche." The program, described by REDCAT as "intimate, violent, meditative, whimsical, languorous, and occasionally full of abject terror," includes work by Frederic Rzewski, Salvatore Sciarrino, Olivier Messiaen, Aleksandr Skryabin and Francis Poulenc. Valitutto will also premiere new works by Los Angeles composer Nicholas Deyoe and himself.
Valitutto was recently interviewed by the New Classic LA blog, discussing Los Angeles's new music scene, his favorite recent works and why he chose to focus on nocturnes for this concert:
What attracted you to programming around nocturnes in the first place?
Mostly the music itself, of course: These are some of my favorite pieces of late. But it’s also the fact that I came to realize I had never really heard of a solo piano program (or series of them, for that matter!) comprised mostly or entirely of nocturnes. There are often all-sonatas programs; and I’ve heard many all-prelude, all-dances, even all-etudes!
Like many people, some of my favorite pieces very early on were Chopin nocturnes. They’re some of the most gloriously melodic pieces we pianists have, and the figurations are so pianistic that it’s like swimming with the hands through maple syrup. On a conceptual level, though, the young me loved the idea of a piece somehow specifically being for night-time – something we don’t get a whole lot of in Western Classical Music.
Below is a recording of Valitutto's work frammenti notturni, performed with violinist and faculty member Mark Menzies. Above, he performs composer Ryan Pratt's 2009 work, On Expansion.
Piano Spheres: Richard Valitutto | 'NAKHT'
Nov. 11, 8:30 pm
Tickets: General $25, Students $20, CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff $12