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Young Americans

The newest music emerged from quarantine

Nov 19 2020

Muziekgebouw Up Close. A performance in an intimate setting, both live and via livestream.

We’re still in the midst of a pandemic, but the crisis is already taking hold in the latest compositions. Two young American composer got inspired by the lockdown experiences of themselves and others. Huang Ruo, born in China and former composer-in-residence at The Concertgebouw, feels as though the crisis is casting a shadow over our lives. For A Dust in Time he created an acoustic space allowing to ‘step out of the shadows’. For Samuel Adams the motivation was more practical: his partner is a violinist and during their quarantine Violin Diptych for violin and piano emerged.

Huang Ruo compares A Dust in Time with a Tibetan sand mandala: a complex figure that is meticulously crafted and then destroyed again. The music grows from a single point to a colourful richness, after which it shrinks and disappears. Asko|Schönberg will perform the world première of the short 30-minute version for string quartet.

Samuel Adams, son of composer John Adams, describes his diptych as a “study in difference”. Both parts have the same skeleton, but a very different shell.

Huang Ruo

A Dust in Time world première short version

Samuel Adams

Violin Diptych for violin and piano


Eduardus Lee photography

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Nov. 19 2020


Free to attend
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Nov. 19 2020


Live and livestream


Muziekgebouw and online livestream

Nov. 19 2020




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