Bryce Dessner

ACO: American Pie

World Financial Center Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street, NYC

Saturday, October 22 at 7:00pm

Ticket Prices: Free (no reservation required. Seating is first come fist serve. Reserved/VIP seating with SONiCPass)

Impromptu Jam - Bryce & Aaron Dessner, Richard Reed Parry


Attending 2 or more performances? Check out the SONiCPass for at least 20% off ticket prices.

The proposed work represents the culmination of a series of works I have composed for my brother, Aaron Dessner, and I to perform. In 2007, I presented electric guitar quintets with string quartets, and an electric guitar quartet with small orchestra. For these, I used the electric guitar as a coloristic/timbral addition to traditional orchestration. The guitar writing avoided the idiomatic vocabulary of rock guitar solos, and instead sought to integrate within and expand upon the orchestral instruments.

Another work, “Jumeaux,” explored mirror guitar inventions for my brother and me. Aaron and I have collaborated musically for our entire lives and compose for our band, The National. “Jumeaux” expanded this relationship and pushed the boundaries of our music. This 7-minute hocket has each guitar playing an eight-note displaced from the other, while often using simple canonic and mirror compositional techniques. “The Long Count” used these techniques and orchestration for a 12-person ensemble. The proposed concerto will expand the sonic possibilities of our guitar playing, while allowing me to deeply investigate the sound world of the symphony.

I have worked in many areas of music, often defying genre labels, challenges traditional notions of concert programming and bringing new audiences into the rich tradition of contemporary music. The double guitar concerto for ACO continues in this vein by challenging me to write my first work for full orchestra, while bringing the non-traditional instrumentation of two electric guitars into the orchestral setting. I hope that we will perform this work over the years and help introduce new audiences to the incredible world of the symphony orchestra and contemporary music.