Yuja Wang debuts John Adams’ new piano concerto, Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall on March 7, 8, 9 & 10. Commissioned by the LA Phil, this work marks John Adams’s third piano concerto. It has been nearly a quarter century since his last piano concerto Century Rolls (written for Emanuel Ax) debuted in 1996.
Adams explains that the title “came from an article about Dorothy Day in a very old copy of The New Yorker. In the same way that I first encountered the name ‘Hallelujah Junction’ and knew that I had to write a piece with that title, when I saw the phrase ‘Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?’ I thought to myself, ‘that’s a good title just waiting for a piece.’ The phrase suggested a “Totentanz,” only not of the Lisztian manner, but more of a funk- invested American-style.” His new concerto will be paired with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, a beloved song-filled symphony with themes from Songs of a Wayfarer in the opening and third movements.
After the world premiere performances in Los Angeles, the LA Phil, Yuja, and Dudamel introduce Adams’ new work on an international tour through Asia, with performances in Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan. Tour dates are available via Yuja’s Calendar.