I am absolutely thrilled to present American Berserk in the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts series. It’s a one-off event featuring the wilder, dramatic side of piano music written by some of America’s extreme talent: These composers are American mavericks—our musical inventors and cultural icons. American Berserk shares its title with John Adams’s treacherous konzertstück —a riff on stride and boogie-woogie that heads off the charts. Phillip Glass’s classic piece Mad Rush features fluid running piano lines that juxtapose moments of extreme calm with explosive outbursts of emotion. Don Byron’s piano etudes are tuneful, funny, poignant, and pointed. Martin Bresnick’s virtuosic blues Willie’s Way blends together Brahms, Willie Dixon’s Spoonful, and Cream’s Wheels of Fire Fillmore Theater rendition. Henry Cowell’s Aeolian Harp strums a hymn from the inside of the piano, creating an unearthly aura. Missy Mazzoli’s Orizzonte blends single piano notes with an eerie back-up track of ambient horns and nostalgic crackles. Jerome Kitzke’s Bringing Roses with Her Words requires me to act, scream, and perform a mad scene in Jerome’s private language of songs inspired by the American Indian. For dessert, we have Frederic Rzewski’s Piano Piece No. 4, which starts beating up in the top register and then cascades down, erupting into an enveloping resonance. A Chilean folk melody emerges and transforms into a protest piece of power and beauty.