John Adams’ ‘Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?’ with the Los Angeles Philharmonic

On July 25, Yuja Wang reprises John Adams’ piano concerto Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Gustavo Dudamel. Composed for Ms. Wang, she premiered the work in March with the LA Phil and Maestro Dudamel receiving critical acclaim from critics and audiences. Following the world premiere, Yuja and the ensemble introduced the new work on an international tour through Asia.

On July 25, Dudamel also conducts Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. Yuja and the ensemble revisit the program at the Edinburgh International Festival on August 4, marking the concerto’s European premiere. Next season Yuja joins the LA Phil for several performances of Adams’ work, including November 7 & 8 at Walt Disney Concert Hall; November 18 at Barbican Hall in London; November 23 at Symphony Hall in Boston; and November 25 at David Geffen Hall in New York City. For more information about Yuja’s concerts with the LA Phil, click here.

“Wang rumbled the devilish lower keys with her left hand, joining with the orchestra in a repeating bass-heavy, blues-rock groove that was crowned with increasingly demented flourishes of percussion and those fatalistic bells. She pushed down harder on the Steinway’s keys, as if she were giving CPR, while L.A. Phil’s Joanne Pearce-Martin responded across the wide stage with atonal accents on a detuned electric keyboard. Occasionally, Wang demonstrated her trademark speed and unrivaled technique as she set loose little butterfly clusters of fast, dizzying notes, but for much of the piece her piano was just another part of the orchestra as she and Dudamel avoided the temptation to make the piano too loud and flashy. When the hard-driving concerto concluded, most of the audience rose en masse for a standing ovation.” (LA Weekly)