Please join New Directions and Wordless Music in celebrating the reissue of The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt. Pianist and composer Timo Andres will play classical piano and Helen DeWitt will read from The Last Samurai.
Helen DeWitt was born in a suburb of Washington, D.C. in 1957. Her father joined the Foreign Service in 1960, and she grew up primarily in South America. She has a B.A. in Literae Humaniores and a D.Phil. in Greek and Latin Literature from the University of Oxford. Her first novel, The Last Samurai, was published in 2000 by Talk Miramax Books and subsequently in nineteen other countries. A Guggenheim Fellowship (2006–7) supported work on Risk, a novel incorporating the information design of Edward Tufte (in progress). She has collaborated with the painter Ingrid Kerma on the show “Blushing Brides” with journalist Ilya Gridneff on the novel Your Name Here, with photographer Emily Horne on “Sexual Codes of the Europeans” for Photography Prose (under curation), and with artist Elizabeth McAlpine on “Plantinga” for Photomonth Krakow.
Timo Andres is a composer and pianist who grew up in rural Connecticut and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. A Nonesuch Records artist, his newest album of orchestral works, Home Stretch, has been hailed for its “playful intelligence and individuality,” (The Guardian) and of his 2010 debut album for two pianos, Shy and Mighty, Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker that “it achieves an unhurried grandeur that has rarely been felt in American music since John Adams came on the scene… more mighty than shy, [Andres] sounds like himself.” Notable works include commissions for the Takács Quartet, Jonathan Biss and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New World Symphony, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. Other recent highlights include commissions from the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and a piano quintet for Jonathan Biss and the Elias String Quartet, for a consortium including Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and San Francisco Performances. As a pianist, Andres has performed solo recitals for Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, the Phillips Collection, and San Francisco Performances. He frequently performs with the new music ensemble ACME and is one sixth of the Sleeping Giant composers’ collective.