Ludovico Einaudi Plays First U.S. Solo Show

A well-known name in his European homeland, Italian composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi gave his first American solo performance Tuesday (Nov. 18) at Largo in Los Angeles.With his unique blend of classical melodies, pop structures and ambient atmospherics, Einaudi's music has started to gain traction stateside, thanks to exposure from radio stations such as KCRW, TV ads and soundtracks such as "The Reader," starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet.At Largo, the mostly bespectacled crowd greeted Einaudi with several standing ovations after he treated them to a 90-minute career-spanning music, with an emphasis on his most recent album, "Divenire."Einaudi opened with a suite of four pieces, including the new album's thundering title track, "Uno" and "Monday," blended with "Dietro L'Incanto" from 2004's "Le Onde." The artist was frequently audible humming along to the melodies.In addition to pieces such as "Ascolata," "Dietro Casa" and "Nuvole Bianche," Einaudi unveiled a new song with a gorgeous two-note cascade of simple counterpoint melodies. The as-yet-untitled number will appear on Einaudi's next solo album, set for release in 2009. The encore featured an abbreviated rendition of "Melodia Africana" from 2006's "I Giorni," which Einaudi played on Jon Brion's custom-made tack piano on the far side of the Largo stage.After the show, Einaudi told Billboard that, in addition to the aforementioned solo record, he has another project slated for an early 2009 release. Along with electronic producer and frequent collaborator Robert Lippock, Einuadi and a drummer have formed an actual band, called White Tree, and their album, due in January, will be called "Cloudland."Einaudi also revealed he'd spent time earlier in the day with Police drummer Stewart Copeland, but did not divulge details on whether they plan to collaborate.The artist continues his U.S. run with shows Saturday and Sunday in Boston and Tuesday in New York.