FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2015
Cross-Genre Composer Andrew Lipke
Strikes Groundbreaking Collaborations With Premiere Classical Music Organizations
And Releases New Album Siddhartha
PHILADELPHIA: Philadelphia based, South African born composer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer Andrew Lipke has announced the release of Siddhartha, a new album inspired by Herman Hesse’s novel of the same title. The recording showcases Lipke as composer, producer and performer, and is the first in the series of four. Siddhartha engages prominent local classical musicians, continuing a string of recent and upcoming collaborations with The Aizuri Quartet, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and Choral Arts Philadelphia.
Lipke read Siddhartha at the age of 16, and Hesse’s narrative immediately resonated with him and he initially made plans to write an opera based on the story. When Lipke revisited the idea years later, the vision evolved into a four-part album series. Siddhartha will be followed by Kamala, Govinda and Vasudeva, all named after the central characters of Hesse’s novel.
During his work on Siddhartha, Lipke felt that the piece required the involvement of classical musicians in order for the music to be fully realized. Lipke partnered with harpist Elizabeth Huston, The Azrael String Quartet, and four classically trained vocalists (including tenor and visual artist Steven Bradshaw, who also designed the album cover) to perform his arrangements, giving the work a more sophisticated and richly-textured sound than Lipke had originally anticipated, and opening doors to more musical performances and new collaborations.
Praised for its “smartly constructed lyrics and gorgeously orchestrated melodies” (A.D. Amorosi, Philadelphia City Paper), the album launched Lipke further into the classical music scene. During his work on Siddhartha, Lipke felt that the piece required the involvement of classical musicians in order for the music to be fully realized. Lipke partnered with harpist Elizabeth Huston, The Azrael String Quartet, and four classically trained vocalists (including tenor and visual artist Steven Bradshaw, who also designed the album cover) to perform his arrangements, giving the work the sophisticated and richly-textured sound that Lipke had been searching for.
Impressed with Lipke’s commission (by Live Connections) for The Aizuri Quartet, the Curtis Institute string quartet in residence, The Chamber Orchestra’s artistic director Dirk Brossé chose Lipke to develop and host Intersect, the orchestra’s new genre-crossing project. The three-part series successfully premiered in November 2015 and will continue in February and May, 2016. The series brings together the orchestra’s musicians with composers and the region’s finest solo performers from a wide range of backgrounds for inventive collaborations. According to Brossé: “Working with Andrew is always a pleasure. Very professional on all levels, highly energetic and constantly looking for new artistic adventures, he is a perfect soul mate for this innovative project.” Find out more at www.chamberorchestra.org.
On May 4, 2016, in his premiere for Choral Arts Philadelphia and its popular monthly Bach@7 Cantata Series, Lipke will re-imagine his highly praised album The Plague (2011) expanding it into a full length oratorio for soloist, choir, and strings and appearing as a leading vocalist. The Plague oratorio will be paired in the program with the thematically related J.S. Bach Cantata BWV 19 Es Rehab such in Streit. According to Lipke, this new work will utilize the choir in “unorthodox ways and will challenge the expectations of the audience.”
“I am particularly interested in breaking down the boundaries of so called ‘classical’ and ‘pop’ music,” commented Artistic Director of Choral Arts Philadelphia Matthew Glandorf (who participated as a bass vocalist on the Siddhartha album). “Bach’s music seems so timeless to me, and Andrew’s choral writing is taking on the kind of contrapuntal complexity to compliment it, rather than antagonize it. And with Andrew’s choral background, this seems like a perfect collaborative project.” Find out more at www.choralarts.com.
About Andrew Lipke:
About Andrew Lipke:
Andrew Lipke (b. 1978) came to Philadelphia to pursue a degree in composition at The University of The Arts and has since gone on to become a critically acclaimed and sought after composer, performer, arranger, producer, and educator. Andrew is driven by a passion to find the common ground between disparate styles of music, and his career reflects this. He has performed with and composed/arranged for several prominent American orchestras and ensembles such as The Aizuri Quartet (The Curtis Institute string quartet in residence), Indianapolis Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, among others. He has produced dozens of records for local and regional artists and released five solo albums. In 2010, Andrew formed the Azrael String Quartet to perform music he had written for his album The Plague which upon release was named one of 2011’s 50 best albums by Philadelphia Weekly. Through his involvement with the Philadelphia based non-profit LiveConnections, Andrew has collaborated with several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and other prominent musicians to create cross-genre presentations for young people highlighting the transformative and boundary-crossing nature of music.
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PRESS SHOTS –Press Shot 1
photo credit - Barry Lively
Press Shot 2
photo credit: Barry Lively
Press Shot 3
photo credit: Chris Sikich
Andrew Lipke - Press Kit