Andrew Norman is a composer of chamber and orchestral music. A native Midwesterner raised in central California, Andrew studied the piano and viola before attending the University of Southern California and Yale. His teachers and mentors include Martha Ashleigh, Donald Crockett, Stephen Hartke, Stewart Gordon, Aaron Kernis, Ingram Marshall, and Martin Bresnick.

A lifelong enthusiast for all things architectural, Andrew writes music that is often inspired by forms he encounters in the visual world. His music draws on an eclectic mix of sounds and usually features some combination of bright colors, propulsive energy, a healthy dose of lyricism, and the fragmentation of musical ideas.

Andrew is a committed educator who enjoys helping people of all ages explore music. He has written several pieces to be performed by and for the young, and has held educational residencies with orchestras and festivals across the country, including a two-year relationship with the schools in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Andrew taught piano and composition at the Pasadena Conservatory and has given master classes at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School and the Des Moines Symphony Academy.

Andrew is increasingly active as an orchestral composer. His symphonic works, often noted for their clarity, vigor, and wit, have been commissioned and premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the Grand Rapids Symphony, and the New York Youth Symphony.

Andrew’s chamber music has been featured at numerous venues in recent seasons, including the Wordless Music Series at Le Poisson Rouge, the MATA Festival, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series, the Juilliard School Focus Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. In May of 2010, the Berlin Philharmonic’s Scharoun Ensemble presented a portrait concert of Andrew’s music entitled “Melting Architecture.”

Andrew spent the 2006-2007 academic year as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome, where, when not eating gelato, he explored newfound interests in Cosmati pavement designs, Palladian villas, and the Norman kings of Sicily. In the fall of 2010 he returned from an equally rich year at the American Academy in Berlin, where, when not downing currywurst and bionade, he scratched the surface of Berlin's vibrant street art scene and heard lots of amazing music.

Upcoming projects for Andrew include commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Des Moines Symphony. He was recently named “Komponist für Heidelberg” for the 2010-2011 season, and is thrilled to be writing a Theremin concerto for Carolina Eyck and the Heidelberg Philharmonic to be premiered next April.

Andrew recently finished a two-year term as Composer-in-Residence for Young Concert Artists and his works are published by Schott Music.


Carnegie Hall | April 15, 2023
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | May 17, 2013
Club Oberon in Harvard Square | February 6, 2012
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 27, 2012

News and Press

[News Coverage] Andrew Norman wins music award for "Play"

Play, a 47-minute orchestral work by American composer Andrew Norman, is the winner of the prestigious 2017 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.

In three movements, Play explores the relationship of choice and chance, free will and control. It investigates the ways musicians in an orchestra can play with, against, or apart from one another; and maps concepts from the world of video gaming onto traditional symphonic structures to tell a fractured narrative of power, manipulation, deceit and, ultimately, cooperation.

Grawemeyer Awards Full review
[News Coverage] Young composer gets Grawemeyer Award for 'Play'

The adventurous orchestral work Play by 37-year-old American composer Andrew Norman has earned the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, according to the University of Louisville, which distributes the $100,000 prize each year.

Norman is the second youngest recipient of the internationally recognized prize after British composer Thomas Ades, who won in 2000 and was born in 1971.

Courier-Journal Full review
[News Coverage] Andrew Norman Wins The Grawemeyer Award For Music

A rambunctious 45-minute orchestral piece called Play, by American composer Andrew Norman, has been named the winner of the 2017 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. The prize, which includes $100,000, was announced this evening by the University of Louisville, which sponsors the award. Former winners include Pierre Boulez, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho and Thomas Adès.

NPR Full review
[CD Review] Music For Writers: Playful Andrew Norman

Imagine the orchestra as this sort of complicated 19th-century futurist machine, all moving parts and cogs and gears, and little people. I find that sort of fascinating. But every now and then, I just want to throw a wrench in and see what will happen.

Andrew Norman is ready to show you — at least through sound — just what happens when he tosses a wrench or two onto the concert stage.

Thought Catalog Full review
[CD Review] Andrew Norman, Video Games and the 21st-Century Orchestra at 'Play'

What is the worst thing that would happen if you publicly admitted to being in throbbing love with the oeuvre of Phil Collins or the decidedly non-artisanal bite of Evan Williams bourbon? The pasty guy at the record store counter may mutter, “Typical…”, but it would be freeing, right? Andrew Norman’s Play is no such “guilty” pleasure, but the score reads as though written by a composer unrestrained by any hint of self-consciousness. It is also one that is acutely aware that audiences trek in and shell out bills to see a show not to hear music, but to watch it performed.

WQXR Full review
[Concert Review] New England’s Prospect: Polytropos

Tell me, O Muse, of the generation of many devices, who wandered full many ways. I come to generalize about an entire cohort of composers, based solely—sample size be damned—on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s May 17 concert at Jordan Hall. A foolhardy and even dangerous venture, surely? Well, consider it, in part, payback for making me type “Gen OrcXstrated,” which is what BMOP named the program, a collision of letters that I am still not quite sure how to pronounce.

NewMusicBox Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP celebrates youngish composers in season closer

Ah, classical music—where else in our culture can you be in your mid-30s and be celebrated as part of a youth movement?

A small but enthusiastic audience consisting mostly of Baby Boomers and Greatest Generationers cheered on their juniors in New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall Friday as the Boston Modern Orchestra Project led by Gil Rose presented “Gen OrcXstrated,” a program of three works for large orchestra by composers born in the late 1970s.

Boston Classical Review Full review
[Concert Review] The Boston Musical Intelligencer reviews Gen OrcXstrated

Generation X is a term used by demographers to describe the group of people born after the post-World War II baby boom. For much of the term’s history it has tended to be a little pejorative. There are many cultural events that have shaped their identity including the rise of internet culture as well as the emergence of many musical styles and sub genres including electronic and hip hop.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer Full review
[Concert Review] Mandolin Power! And other Unexpected Delights

On Friday, January 27, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (a.k.a. BMOP) presented Strange Bedfellows: Unexpected Concertos, showcasing instruments don't get to be concerto soloists as often as their ubiquitous cousins, like violin or piano. Here, the spotlight was on viola, electric guitar, mandolin, theremin and French horn. All but one of the pieces were written in the last six years, and together they showed that contemporary classical music is thriving — don't let anyone tell you different!

Miss Music Nerd Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP five concertos cover some brave, new frontiers

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project called its program of five "unexpected concertos" at Jordan Hall Friday "Strange Bedfellows." None (well, almost none) of the music induced slumber, however. Created for an odd array of solo instruments (viola, electric guitar, theremin, mandolin, French horn) accompanied by instrumental ensembles of various size and composition, the works prodded at the frontiers of traditional concerto form. Electronic and acoustic sounds engaged in conversation - sometimes in rancorous argument - across the centuries, forcing us to rethink this venerable genre.

The Boston Globe Full review
[Concert Review] BMOP Revitalizes the Concept of a Concerto Concert

Leave it to the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) to completely revitalize the concept of a concerto concert. This past Friday night at Jordan Hall, the orchestra, conducted by music director Gil Rose, presented a thoroughly energizing and invigorating concert of five concerti written by composers born between 1923 and 1979.

Billed as Strange Bedfellows: Unexpected Concertos, the program featured concertos for, respectively, viola, electric guitar, mandolin, theremin, and horn.

The Arts Fuse Full review
[Concert Review] Oooh-weee-oooh: BMOP unveils a concerto for theremin, among works for other offbeat instruments

If you're one of those concertgoers who look forward most to the concerto, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, led by its artistic director Gil Rose, had a concert for you Friday night at Jordan Hall.

Boston Classical Review Full review
[News Coverage] BMOP concert will showcase Andrew Norman's work

For Andrew Norman, the acts of playing music and composing music have always been intimately linked - at least since he was 6, which is when a piano arrived in his family's house, their first musical instrument.

"I was always making up things," said Norman by phone during a recent call from London, where he was having a piece performed. "No one in my family was musical, so I was able to fool my parents into thinking I was practicing."

The Boston Globe Full review
[Press Release] BMOP Unites Five Varying Composers and Concertos for One Night

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's premier orchestra dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music, presents "Strange Bedfellows: Unexpected Concertos" – a program of five incongruous concertos by five different composers featuring five of today's most revered solo artists. Spearheading the evening is the world premiere of Eric Chasalow's Horn Concerto with horn soloist Bruno Schneider.

Full review
[News Coverage] BMOP names Andrew Norman '09AD as new composer in residence

Andrew Norman '09AD has been named the new Composer-in-Residence for the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP).

BMOP is dedicated to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music. It was one of five orchestras nationwide selected for an extended Music Alive residency, a program of Meet the Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League. Andrew Norman will be the 2011–2013 Music Alive Composer-in-Residence.

In making the announcement, BMOP cited Norman's "wit, clarity and vigor, as evident in his music."

Music at Yale Full review
[Press Release] BMOP Welcomes its 2011-13 Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Andrew Norman

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation's premier orchestra dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music, proudly welcomes its 2011-13 Music Alive Composer-in-Residence Andrew Norman. BMOP was one of five orchestras nationwide selected for an extended Music Alive residency, a program of Meet the Composer and the American Symphony Orchestra League.

Full review
[Press Release] BMOP Announces its 2011-12 Season

The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the nation’s premier orchestra dedicated exclusively to commissioning, performing, and recording new orchestral music, today announced the programming for its 2011-12 season. By harnessing internationally-acclaimed composers and regional talent, BMOP presents a nine concerts ranging from intimate, chamber-centric shows to full orchestral premieres at Jordan Hall.

Full review