Thornton celebrates new music from “Noon to Midnight” this Saturday with the LA Phil

On Saturday, October 1st, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will welcome the city’s most adventurous music audiences to Walt Disney Concert Hall (WDCH) for a day-long celebration of contemporary composition, Noon to Midnight. In addition to performances by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, wasteLAand, Monday Evening Concerts, Chris Kallmyer, gnarwhallaby, and Lucky Dragons, six cutting-edge ensembles will feature USC Thornton student, faculty, and alumni musicians or performances of their works.

The afternoon’s many pop-up performances will precede the LA Phil’s 8:00PM Green Umbrella concert, at which John Adams will conduct the world premieres of works by Andrew Moses, Kate Soper, Mario Diaz de Leon, and Ingram Marshall. Audiences will enjoy a festive and friendly atmosphere, including food trucks, drinks, and art installations.


Beginning at Noon and repeating at 5:15PM, the LA Phil Bass Quintet will perform the unorthodox Porcupine for tent, quintet, bows and elbows by Composition faculty member Veronika Krausas. The ensemble includes Strings faculty member and alumnus David Allen Moore (’94, double bass).

The Los Angeles Percussion Quartet, which includes alumnus Nick Terry (DMA ’11, percussion), will take the stage at 12:45PM, performing a Mallet Quartet by faculty member and LA Phil principal timpanist, Joseph Pereira. At 6:30PM, the group will reconvene for the world premiere of Ur by alumnus Jeffrey Holmes (MM ’01, DMA ’05, composition).

At 1:00PM, the innovative wild Up ensemble will present a program of works by participants of the LA Phil’s National Composer’s Intensive, including Thornton Composition student Tamzin Ferré Elliott and doctoral candidate Thomas Kotcheff (MM ’12). The Intensive, which is dedicated to cultivating young talent, is directed by Thornton faculty composer Andrew Norman. At 10:00PM, wild Up will return for a second program, including alumnus Andrew McIntosh’s (GCRT ’12, early music) Yelling into the Wind.

Elsewhere in WDCH at 1:00PM, over a dozen Piano Spheres artists will contribute to a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s spectacular, thirteen-movement, 150-minute Catalogue d’oiseaux (Bird catalog). Thornton pianists, in order of appearance, include Vicky Ray (DMA ’88, accompanying), Susan Svrcek, Thomas Kotcheff, Aron Kallay (DMA ’09, piano), Steven Vanhauwaert (MM ’06, GCRT ’08, piano), Nic Gerpe (DMA ’12, piano), Mark Robson (MM ’89, piano), Composition faculty member Sarah Gibson (MM ’10, DMA ’15, composition), and Nadia Shpachenko (MM ’99, DMA ’04,piano).

The USC Thornton Percussion Ensemble, led by Joseph Pereira, takes the main stage at 4:00PM, performing a live score to accompany the 1924 silent film, Ballet mécanique. The group will then occupy the garden terrace for repeated performances of John Luther Adams’ atmospheric Qilyuan at 5:15 and 6:45PM.

At 5:30, Thornton Composition chair Donald Crockett will lead the Jacaranda new music ensemble in several works, including the world premiere of David Lang’s sleeper’s prayer, featuring a performance by Composition faculty member Jeffrey Parola on the WDCH’s iconic pipe organ.

And the Noon to Midnight event also marks the debut of a new sound art installation by the vanguard contemporary theater company, The Industry, which features recorded performances by six musicians, including Strings faculty member and LA Phil principal concertmaster Martin Chalifour, as well as Winds & Percussion faculty members Thomas Hooten, principal trumpet, and Marion Arthur Kuszyk, oboe. Composer Rand Steiger’s Nimbus will be broadcast over 32 motion-triggered speakers distributed throughout the WDCH’s escalator lobby and will be installed through the coming year.


General admission to all of the Noon to Midnight events at WDCH is $15 and also includes admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Patrons with tickets to the LA Phil’s 8:00PM Green Umbrella concert ($20-$58) will also receive complimentary admission to the Noon to Midnight programming.