Praised as “radiantly visionary…a composer unafraid of grand gestures and openhearted lyricism” (TIME), Lowell Liebermann is one of America's most frequently performed and recorded living composers. He has written nearly one hundred forty works in all genres, several of which have gone on to become standard repertoire. His Sonata for Flute and Piano and his Gargoyles for piano are among the most frequently performed contemporary works for their instruments, appearing regularly on recital and competition programs; each of them has been recorded on compact disc more than twenty times to date.
Recent works include a song cycle for soprano Brenda Rae, jointly commissioned by Vocal Arts DC and London's Wigmore Hall and Sonata No.5, commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and University of Reno for cellist Dmitri Atapine and pianist Hyeyeon Park. In 2019 the Steinway piano company commissioned Romance, Etude and Blessing for piano duet (Steinway's second commission from Liebermann) as a wedding gift for pianists Lang Lang and Gina Alice Redlinger and presented to them at their wedding in the Palace of Versailles.
Mr. Liebermann has written two full-length operas, both enthusiastically received at their premieres: The Picture of Dorian Gray, the first American opera commissioned and premiered by Monte Carlo Opera; and Miss Lonelyhearts, which was commissioned by the Juilliard School to celebrate its 100th anniversary. His full-length ballet Frankenstein was co-commissioned by the Royal Ballet in London and San Francisco Ballet, and is available on Blu-Ray and DVD. The CD recording of the complete score will be released soon on Reference Recordings with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra conducted by Martin West.
Mr. Liebermann has enjoyed a long-standing and creative partnership with flautist Sir James Galway, who commissioned three works from him: Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra, and Trio No. 1 for Flute, Cello and Piano. Sir James premiered the Flute Concerto with the St. Louis Symphony under Leonard Slatkin and subsequently performed it with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. He recorded three of Liebermann's concertos for RCA Red Seal with the composer conducting the London Mozart Players.
Among his other orchestral works, Mr. Liebermann has composed four symphonies, a Concerto for Orchestra, three piano concertos, and concertos for many other instruments. His Symphony No.2 was commissioned for the centennial of the Dallas Symphony and premiered by them in February 2000 under the direction of Andrew Litton. This concert was the ground-breaking first webcast ever of an orchestral concert. Liebermann's Piano Concerto No. 2 was commissioned by Steinway and premiered by Stephen Hough with the National Symphony under the direction of Msistislav Rostropovich. Stephen Wigler of the Baltimore Sun found the concerto to be "perhaps the best piece in the genre since Samuel Barber's concerto" and John Ardoin of the Dallas Morning News described the work as "more than a knockout; it is among the best works of its kind in this century." The Hyperion recording of the concerto - conducted by the composer - received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. The New York Philharmonic with Kurt Masur and principal trumpet Philip Smith presented the premiere of Mr. Liebermann's Trumpet Concerto, which the Wall Street Journal described as "balancing bravura and a wealth of attractive musical ideas to create a score that invites repeated listening. [Liebermann] is a masterful orchestrator, and just from this standpoint the opening of the new concerto is immediately arresting," also noting that the "rousing conclusion brought down the house."
Mr. Liebermann has written a wealth of music for solo piano and is active himself as a pianist, collaborating frequently with distinguished instrumentalists and vocalists. He performed the world premiere of works by Ned Rorem, William Bolcom and other composers, and made his Berlin debut performing his own Piano Quintet with members of the Berlin Philharmonic. He can be heard as pianist on the Arabesque, GPR and MSR Classics labels, and is currently recording a solo CD of his own music as well as works by Busoni, Liszt and Kabelác for Blue Griffin. Mr. Liebermann is a Steinway Artist.
His compositions are widely available on CD and download, with over one hundred twenty releases on Deutsche Grammophon, Hyperion, Virgin Classics, Hungaroton, New World Records, Albany, RCA Red Seal and many other labels. His works are published by Theodore Presser Company, Schott, and Faber Music.
Mr. Liebermann joined the composition faculty of Mannes College the New School for Music in 2012, and the following year was appointed for a five-year term as Head of its Composition Department. He was the founding conductor and Artistic Director of MACE - the Mannes American Composers Ensemble - a large ensemble devoted to the works of living American composers.
Mr. Liebermann is the recipient of many awards and distinctions, among them the CAG Virtuoso Award given by Concert Artists Guild for lifetime achievement, and Grand Prize from the inaugural American Composers Invitational of the Van Cliburn Competition. He has been honored multiple times by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, most recently becoming the first recipient of the Virgil Thompson Vocal Award for his entire body of vocal music. In 2016 he was awarded the Barto Prize for his Eighth Nocturne for solo piano. Mr. Liebermann has served as Composer-in-Residence for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; the Saratoga Performing Arts Center; and many other organizations.
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