Los Angeles is known as a center of film music, but Los Angeles is also a place where composers are hearing and writing personal, idiosyncratic, impossible-to-categorize forms of concert music. HEAR NOW is an annual festival that recognizes and features new music by contemporary Los Angeles composers.
Composer, Hugh Levick, and Lyris Quartet cellist, Timothy Loo, met 5 years ago. It was then that they started to brainstorm about a series that would promote composers in Los Angeles who were writing contemporary classical music.
Through artist and curator, Barbara Schwann, Levick managed to secure the enthusiastic support of a beautiful venue, The First Lutheran Church of Venice.
When Levick approached possible sponsors, he was met with immediate interest and support.
William Kraft, the first LA Philarmonic composer-in-residence and principle tympanist, agreed to come on board as part of the programming committee and advisory board. After three years of ironing out the details, two years ago, in 2011, they finally had the makings of the First Annual Hear Now festival.
Hugh, Tim and Bill spent hours listening and reading scores before they finalized what they knew was a stellar program for the inaugural concerts. Tim, one of LA’s most well-known and experienced musician contractors, hired LA’s finest and most talented musicians.
But this was LA: an event’s first year–no matter how exceptional the quality– might not draw a big audience. However, to their amazement both concerts in May 2011 were standing room only!
It was then that Levick, Loo and Kraft realized the stunning truth of the matter: Los Angeles had been waiting for a series that promotes its own composers and HEAR NOW was it!
In March 2012, HEAR NOW was honored that composer, Gernot Wolfgang, accepted the invitation to be on the programming committee for our 2013 festival. Then, in April, 2012, the festival was further honored when pianist extraordinaire, Gloria Cheng, agreed to come on board as Artistic Advisor.
“A Benefit Evening with Esa Pekka Salonen” on December 5th, 2012 was a stunning event and brought in significant support for the Third Annual HEAR NOW Festival, which took place on April 13-14, 2013.
The Fourth Annual HEAR NOW Festival will take place May 2, 3, 4, 2014 at a location to be announced soon! Save the dates!