Uri Caine was born in Philadelphia and began studying piano with Bernard Peiffer. He played in bands led by Philly Joe Jones, Hank Mobley,Johnny Coles, Mickey Roker, Odean Pope, Jymmie Merritt, Bootsie Barnes and Grover Washington. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and studied music composition with George Rochberg and George Crumb.
Caine has recorded 25 cds as a leader. His most recent cd is a solo cd, Callithump, (Winter and Winter 2014) He has made cd’s featuring his jazz trio, his Bedrock Trio and his ensemble performing arrangements of Mahler, Wagner, Beethoven, Bach and Schumann. Caine has received commissions from the Vienna Volksoper, The Seattle Chamber Players, Relache, The Beaux Arts Trio, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Koln and the American Composers Orchestra.
Caine was the Director of the Venice Biennale for Music in September 2003. He has performed his version of the Diabelli Variations with orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the CBC Orchestra in Canada and the Swedish Chamber Orchestra. From 2006-2009 he was composer in residence for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and premiered his Concerto for Two Pianos and Chamber Orchestra with Jeffrey Kahane in May 2006. In 2009 he was nominated for a Grammy Award for The Othello Syndrome.
During the past several years, Caine has worked in groups led by Don Byron, Dave Douglas, John Zorn, Terry Gibbs and Buddy DeFranco, Clark Terry, Rashid Ali, Arto Lindsay, Sam Rivers and Barry Altschul, the Woody Herman Band, Annie Ross, the Enja Band, Global Theory and the Master Musicians of Jajouka. He has received grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts , the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pew Foundation. In December, 2010 he was awarded a grant by the USA Artist Fellowships. He has performed at many jazz festivals including The North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival. Monterey Jazz Festival, JVC Festival, San Sebastian Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, as well as classical festivals including The Salzburg Festival, Munich Opera, Holland Festival, Israel Festival, IRCAM, and Great Performers at Lincoln Center. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jan
Double Trouble For Piano and Orchestra was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, performed February 8, 2008, Zankel Hall, New York City. Conducted by David Alan Miller. Revised and expanded version premiered by ACO at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, April 9, 2015.
I am interested in the relationship between structured music and improvisation. As a composer and also as an improvising performer, I enjoy music that combines fixed musical forms with the freedom to react and play spontaneously in the moment. Double Trouble sets up a dialogue between composed music (mostly for the orchestra) and improvisation (mostly for the piano soloist).
The piece is a mini piano concerto in the sense that there is a constant give-and-take between the piano and the orchestra. In five short but continuous sections, the piano comments on and seeks to transform musical material presented by the orchestra, especially in the solo cadenzas. Sometimes the piano is part of the ensemble, sometimes it moves in a parallel but distinct musical space, and sometimes it moves in direct opposition and in contrast to the orchestra. The orchestra can function as a sort of rhythm section and set up textures that invite improvisation from the soloist. Double Trouble was composed at the end of 2007 (and revised and expanded in 2015) and is dedicated to Saul Galperin.