Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Rachmaninov – The Piano Concertos, May 2023

“Under conductor Andrew Litton, the ASO’s playing was full and lush, creating a veritable wall of sound at the symphony’s conclusion.”

Limelight Magazine


“Hough is the consummate cabaret crooner here, if you like, sensuous and human-touched. It takes some excellence of timing to stitch in the orchestra seamlessly, and the communication that flows between him and Litton is masterful. A film director could not edit this unfolding rapture to better effect.”

“Litton might be new to the players, and they to him, but their collaboration was remarkable for its degree of understanding and empathy. Litton is a most absorbing conductor to watch, for a start. His gestures are economical, simultaneously aimed at heightened expression and precision timing. But when the big stuff happens, as it repeatedly does in Tchaikovsky, his direction then becomes as commanding as a military general doing battle. In addition to gorgeous arch-shaped melody in this performance, there were climaxes of spectacular energy where Litton let the musicians rip. This Fifth was both deliriously beautiful and exciting beyond any expectation. The ASO’s wonderful playing was clearly intensively honed and rehearsed. What a difference a top conductor makes. If only this gentleman could become its next conductor, or at least visit again.”

In Daily


“This performance worked especially well for its evenness of tempi, and Litton’s direction continually reminded one that this, in the first place, is ballet music, not an orchestral showpiece to be pulled around for spectacular effect. It was a pleasure to see conductor and orchestra understanding each other so well.”

In Daily  


Litton elicited consistently inspired playing in the two Debussy works that occupied the second half of the program. Following Antiphaser’s at times apocalyptic soundscape, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune served as a serene chaser filled with the “sun-consumed” delights envisioned in Mallarmé’s poem. Like a film’s establishing shot, Demarre McGill’s gorgeously phrased introductory flute solo opened the door into Debussy’s encompassing dreamscape. Litton’s gentle, patient pacing and exquisite textural balancing suggested not so much an erotic fantasy enjoyed by the faun as a blissful vision of biophilia as described by the late Edward O. Wilson.

Classical Voice North America


Litton provided exciting, sculpted performances of Debussy and Ravel…Litton’s interpretation of La Mer rippled with tension…I hope he comes back.

Seen and Heard International


Litton had amusingly signed off his [pre concert] talk saying how much he was looking forward to performing the works in concert without having to worry about dancers’ tempo preferences. Amply demonstrated throughout every bar of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, Bizet’s Symphony in C and the complete second act of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, the release from strict balletic constraints was clearly audible…With sleight of baton and gesture however, the conductor channelled his consummate ballet experience to energise and complement each work with its own natural flexibility and freedom of movement, while cannily holding true to the broader general parameters of dance.

The superb quality of Act Two of The Nutcracker completely vindicated Litton’s declared stance on the programme… his comprehensive expertise on the clockwork of this masterpiece was conveyed to the orchestra with thrilling conviction and spontaneity. The irrepressible invention and eloquence of the characteristic dances more often heard as a separate suite led to a cumulatively paced Pas de Deux that nailed the epic climax of the whole work with overwhelming power and intensity.


Another central factor has been the contribution of Andrew Litton, who joined the company as music director in 2015. He reached a new peak with the late-May performances of Léo Delibes’s marvelously infectious 1870 score for Coppélia. From the overture – the harmonies for the brass instruments playing quietly, the sweeping, rainbowlike melody for the strings – it was evident that this would be a singularly vivid account. New York City Ballet

Alastair Macaulay, New York Times


Andrew Litton, who is conducting 10 of the 11 performances, shapes the score marvellously. From individual portamenti to overall sections, he really sets a stamp on the music in a way we seldom hear in ballet. His contribution powerfully enriches a patchy show. New York City Ballet; Romeo and Juliet

Alastair Macaulay, New York Times


The orchestra, under the baton of Andrew Litton, sounds better than it has in years. He has an interpretation, and the orchestra itself sounds confident and present in the pit, creating a solid platform for what is going on onstage. New York City Ballet

Marina Harss,


The Russian visitors and familiar New York stars topped their own previous accomplishments, with the conductor Andrew Litton providing firm tempos and lustrous orchestral playing. New York City Ballet: Balanchine’s Jewels

Alastair Macaulay, New York Times


In his second concert as principal guest conductor, Litton’s intent to connect with the SSO’s principal musicians and to share his love for great American music was evident and well appreciated. This concert reaffirms the sense that his partnership with the SSO is one that will bear great fruit for the future. Singapore Symphony Orchestra; Beethoven: Triple Concerto, Copland: Symphony No 3

Mervin Beng, The Straits Times


The orchestra, led by Andrew Litton, played beautifully. Usually I carp at ballet orchestras, but under the direction of Mr. Litton, the orchestra has become one of the most distinguished in its field. New York City Ballet: Swan Lake

Barnett Serchuk, Broadway World


Beyond the usual power and conviction that the SSO often brings in performance, Litton layered in polish, balance and much welcome nuances in dynamics and tempo. If this concert is anything to go by, Litton should be on track for a long and happy partnership with the SSO. Singapore Symphony Orchestra: October/Bartok/Tchaikovsky

Mervin Beng,


It was, ultimately, Litton’s and the players’ evening. Salome is an enormously complex and demanding score, boasting a gloriously lugubrious heckelphone, semi-crazed xylophone writing, and everything in between. Litton owned the opera’s sweep and architecture, and at the conclusion of a long, arduous season the Minnesota Orchestra honored his 15 years’ service with playing of thrilling commitment and viscerality. He will be a hard act to follow, whatever shape the orchestra’s summer programming (currently under discussion) takes in the future. Sommerfest; Strauss: Salome

Terry Blain, StarTribune


The New York City Ballet orchestra, under the baton of Andrew Litton, has held up its side of the bargain. Seldom have I heard it play with such focused intensity, such assurance, and such clarity among the individual players, especially true in the chamber-music-like moments in the Fauré. Litton’s interpretation here is infused with a sense of wonder, even rapture. New York City Ballet: Emeralds

Marina Harss, DanceTabs


Andrew Litton, Tuesday’s conductor and the company’s music director, isn’t invariably a natural accompanist. Mr. Litton keeps raising the City Ballet’s orchestral playing. Dance and music meet as shining equals. New York City Ballet; Allegro Brillante, Four Temperaments, Symphony in C

Alastair Macaulay, New York Times


This is a perfect disc. This performance has passion, color, and drive aplenty. Prokofiev often indulges a deliberate simplicity, and Litton takes him at his word, never for a moment lapsing into artifice or affectation. A wonderful release.  Bergen Philharmonic; Prokofiev Symphonies No. 4 & 7

David Hurwitz,


Wait till you hear the combination of Litton’s clear thinking and perfect pacing and the orchestra’s razor-sharp response . . . it reminds you why this Litton-Prokofiev cycle has been such a consistent pleasure. Bergen Philharmonic; Prokofiev Symphonies No. 4 & 7

David Nice, BBC Radio 3


Litton’s mastery shows in the immediate contrasts of broad, epic opening and razor-sharp Allegro mechanics. He never rushes, and allows the theatrical contrasts to speak for themselves. Bergen Philharmonic; Prokofiev Symphonies No. 4 & 7

David Nice, BBC Music Magazine


New York City Ballet’s four-week fall season has belonged primarily to its music director, Andrew Litton…familiar scores have returned with new immediacy. Details of orchestral phrasing have registered keenly, with a wealth of color; he gives many scores a strong pulse. For years, the best orchestral playing in American ballet has belonged outside New York; but this may well now be changing.

Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times


Andrew Litton, better known as a conductor, happens to be a first-rate pianist. He is the anchor in a performance of the Brahms Trio that is at once poetic and ebullient, mournful and rollicking. It would be easy for musicians to take such a familiar piece for granted, but not these players. They illuminate the work’s varied moods through subtle shadings and supple phrasing, and they give the last movement’s hunting activity a joyous ride. Inspired, really. Brahms Trio in E-Flat Major

Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone