Showcase Sommerfest 2014 - page 29

Starting with his 16th birthday, when a schoolmate
gave him an Oscar Peterson LP, Andrew Litton has been
hooked on the music of the late great pianist. Litton met
his hero in London in 1984, advanced the friendship
during his years as assistant conductor of the National
Symphony in Washington, D.C., when Peterson was
appearing regularly at Wolf Trap, the NSO’s summer
home—and in 2004, the year after taking the Sommerfest
Artistic Director title, Litton brought Peterson and his
trio to the stage of Orchestra Hall.
The works Litton recorded for
A Tribute to Oscar Peterson
,
which he also plays tonight, span four decades of Oscar
Peterson’s legacy as a solo pianist. “When he played alone,” Litton notes, “he often eschewed his dazzling virtuosity,
making it truly possible to hear the amazing colors and voicing in his playing, the feathering of the sustaining pedal,
the achingly beautiful original harmonies and the total command of the instrument….He did things daily at the piano
while spontaneously improvising that the rest of us spend a lifetime trying to achieve.”
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SOMMERFEST 2014 MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA
july 12
A Tribute to Oscar Peterson
Sommerfest
A Tribute to Oscar Peterson
Andrew Litton
, piano
Saturday, July 12, 2014, 10:30 pm Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall
Mercer Ellington
Thelonious Monk/Cootie Williams
Thad Jones
Johnny Green
Harry Warren
Richard Rodgers
Spencer Williams
Hoagy Carmichael
George Gershwin
Billy Strayhorn
Things Ain’t What They Used to Be
’Round Midnight
A Child is Born
Body and Soul
Lulu’s Back in Town
Little Girl Blue
Basin Street Blues
The Nearness of You
How Long Has This Been Going On?
Take the ‘A’ Train
Andrew Litton
’s profile appears on page 14.
Photo courtesy of Steve J. Sherman © 1985
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