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Lowell Liebermann

Birth Place: New York City

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Lowell Liebermann – Biography

Lowell Liebermann is one of America's most frequently performed and commissioned composers. Called by the New York Times “as much of a traditionalist as an innovator,” Mr. Liebermann’s music is known for its technical command and audience appeal. Multiple recordings of many of his works attest to the enthusiasm shared by performers and listeners for his music: the Sonata for Flute and Piano has been recorded sixteen times to date; the Gargoyles for piano eleven times; and the Concerto for Flute and Orchestra is available on four different releases.

Recent premieres include Liebermann’s second full-length opera “Miss Lonelyhearts,” to a libretto by J. D. McClatchy after the novel by Nathanael West. Commissioned by the Juilliard School as part of its centennial celebration, it was premiered on April 26th 2006 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Lincoln Center to critical acclaim. Piano Concerto No.3, commissioned for pianist Jeffrey Biegel by a consortium of eighteen different orchestras both here and abroad, was premiered May 2006 with the Milwaukee Symphony conducted by Andreas Delfs. The group Concertante commissioned a new work to featuring violinist Xiao-Dong Wang. Upcoming premieres include two sting quartets for the Orion and Ying Quartets and new works for horn player Leslie Norton and pianist Nadejda Vlaeva.

Recent seasons heard the premieres of several major Liebermann compositions. His Concerto for Orchestra was commissioned and premiered by the Toledo Symphony under the baton of Grant Llewellyn, and later recorded by Llewellyn with the BBC Symphony for CD release. Stephen Hough and the Indianapolis Symphony performed Liebermann's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which the orchestra commissioned to celebrate Raymond Leppard's farewell concert as conductor. Charles Dutoit and the Tokyo NHK Symphony gave the world premiere of Variations on a Theme of Mozart, commissioned to commemorate the orchestra's seventy-fifth anniversary, and also recorded by the BBC Symphony. The New York Philharmonic and principal trumpet Philip Smith presented the premiere of Mr. Liebermann's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, 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."

In 2001 Mr. Liebermann was awarded the first American Composers' Invitational Award by the 11th Van Cliburn Competition after the majority of finalists chose to perform his Three Impromptus, which were selected from works submitted by forty-two contemporary composers. In an interview with newscaster Sam Donaldson, Van Cliburn himself described Mr. Liebermann as “a wonderful pianist and a fabulous composer.”

Liebermann's Symphony No. 2 was premiered in February 2000 by the Dallas Symphony and Chorus, under the direction of Andrew Litton. Time magazine wrote, "Now brazen and glittering, now radiantly visionary, the Liebermann Second, a resplendent choral symphony, is the work of a composer unafraid of grand gestures and openhearted lyricism." Mr. Litton and the DSO recorded the symphony and the Liebermann Concerto for Flute and Orchestra for Delos, with Eugenia Zukerman the soloist. In February 2001, the Dallas Symphony gave the New York premiere of Liebermann's Piano Concerto No. 2 at Carnegie Hall, with Stephen Hough as soloist. Stephen Wigler of the Baltimore Sun found the concerto to be "perhaps the best piece in the genre since Samuel Barber's concerto." 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." Stephen Hough's recording of the concerto -- conducted by the composer -- received a 1998 Grammy Award nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.

In May 1996, Mr. Liebermann's opera based on Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray was premiered at the L'Opéra de Monte-Carlo. This commission was the first by an American composer in the company's history. After the opera's American premiere in February 1999 at Milwaukee's Florentine Opera, the New York Times commented, "Musically and dramatically, Mr. Liebermann's work is effective; as a first opera, it is remarkable." The Picture of Dorian Gray is scheduled to be presented in June of 2007 at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia in a new reduced orchestration commissioned by Center City Opera Theater.

James Galway has commissioned three works from Mr. Liebermann: the Concerto for Flute and Orchestra, the Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra, and Trio No. 1 for Flute, Cello and Piano. Mr. Galway premiered the Flute Concerto in 1992 with the St. Louis Symphony and the double concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1995. That same year, Mr. Galway performed the Flute Concerto with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Galway recorded both works, along with Mr. Liebermann's Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra, for BMG, with Mr. Liebermann conducting.

Mr. Liebermann acted as Composer-in-Residence for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra until 2002. He filled the same role for Sapporo's Pacific Music Festival and for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. His tenure in Saratoga lead to the commission of the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, which was premiered by Chantal Juillet and the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of Charles Dutoit.

Recent recording releases on the Koch and Arabesque labels include Mr. Liebermann's complete piano music performed by David Korevaar, his complete chamber music for flute, and the complete songs for tenor and piano with Robert White and Liebermann at the piano. Additional recordings of Mr. Liebermann's music are available on Hyperion, Virgin Classics, Albany, New World Records, Centaur, Cambria, Musical Heritage Society, Intim Musik, Opus One and others.

Orchestras worldwide have performed Liebermann's works, including the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, L'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Tokyo NHK Symphony, L'Orchestre National de France, and the symphonies of Dallas, Baltimore, Seattle, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Minnesota. Among the artists who have performed Liebermann's works are James Galway, Charles Dutoit, Stephen Hough, Kurt Masur, Joshua Bell, Hans Vonk, Steven Isserlis, Andrew Litton, Susan Graham, David Zinman, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Paula Robison, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Steuart Bedford, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.

Mr. Liebermann maintains an active performing schedule as pianist and conductor. He has collaborated with such distinguished artists as flautists James Galway and Jeffrey Khaner, violinists Chantal Juillet, Mark Peskanov and Eric Grossman, singers Robert White and Carole Farley and cellist Andres Diaz. He performed the world premiere of Ned Rorem's "Pas de Trois" for Oboe, Violin and Piano at the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival. In 2002 he made his Berlin Philharmonie debut performing his Piano Quintet with members of the Berlin Philharmonic. On February 22nd of 2006, Mr. Liebermann’s 45th birthday, the Van Cliburn Foundation presented a highly successful all-Liebermann concert as part of their “Modern at the Modern” series, with the composer at the piano and featuring the premiere of Liebermann’s 3rd Cello Sonata. After a highly successful engagement which included Saint-Saens’ Sonata in d minor for Violin and Piano as well as Mr. Liebermann’s own Violin Sonata, Mr. Liebermann was invited to return to perform the complete Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano with violinist Eric Grossman at the Detroit Art Institute as part of their Mozart anniversary season.

Lowell Liebermann was born in New York City in 1961. He began piano studies at the age of eight, and composition studies at fourteen. He made his performing debut two years later at Carnegie Recital Hall, playing his Piano Sonata, Op.1, which he composed when he was fifteen. He holds bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School of Music. Among his many awards is a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters as well as awards from BMI ands ASCAP. Theodore Presser Company is the exclusive publisher of Mr. Liebermann's music.


Lowell Liebermann News


Organist Paul Jacobs To Return To Chicago Symphony Orchestra in May


Join Grammy winner Paul Jacobs as he returns to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Learn how to purchase tickets.

Grammy-Winning Organist Paul Jacobs To Appear With The Toledo Symphony In April


Join Grammy Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs as he returns to the Toledo Symphony for a concert under Maestro Alain Trudel.

New York Festival of Song to Release NYFOS Records: 'THE SINGLES, VOL. 1'


On Friday, March 8, 2024, New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) will release an album drawn from its archives, NYFOS Records: The Singles, Vol. 1 featuring guest artists performing together with pianist and NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier on NYFOS Records. Learn more here!

New York Festival Of Song Presents ALL TOGETHER NOW At Merkin Hall, February 21


New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), led by Artistic Director Steven Blier, collaborates with Young Concert Artists (YCA) in All Together Now on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. at the Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Hall.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Will Premiere Lowell Liebermann's Flute Concerto No. 2 in March


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by the charismatic Finnish conductor Susanna Mälkki, will perform the world premiere of GRAMMY Award-nominated American composer Lowell Liebermann's Flute Concerto No. 2 on March 21, 2024 at Symphony Center.

Brooklyn Art Song Society Presents CIRCLES V: THE MINNESOTA CONNECTION


Brooklyn Art Song Society (BASS) continues its seasons on Friday, February 2 at 7:30PM at First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn with Circles V: The Minnesota Connection.

Grammy Award-Winning Organist Paul Jacobs To Give East Coast Premiere Of John Harbison's 'What Do We Make Of Bach?'


GRAMMY Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs will give the East Coast premiere of John Harbison's 'What Do We Make Of Bach?' with the New England Philharmonic. Learn how to purchase tickets!

Grammy Award-Winning Organist Paul Jacobs To Be Presented By Tryon Concert Association Series


GRAMMY Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs returns to Tryon, NC for a solo organ recital on January 5, 2024. Presented by the Tryon Concert Association, the program includes works by Bach, Franck, Buck, and Guilmant.

Brooklyn Art Song Society to Present CIRCLES IV: LES SIX at First Unitarian Church of Brooklyn


Brooklyn Art Song Society presents Circles IV: Les Six, a program exploring the rebellious French composers who revolutionized music in the early 20th century. Don't miss this unique musical experience.

Award-Winning Pianist David Korevaar To Perform At Lakewood Gardens December 3


Award-winning pianist David Korevaar will perform on the Music from Home series at Lakewood Gardens historic Wagner House on December 3. The program includes Shawn Okpebholo’s Unknown, Stravinsky’s Suite from L'Histoire du soldat, Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, and selections from Luigi Perrachio’s Nove Poemetti. Tickets are available. Special offer for active duty personnel and veterans.

Grammy Award-Winning Organist Paul Jacobs To Inaugurate Schoenstein Opus 183 Organ With Solo Recital At St. Michael's Abbey


GRAMMY Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs to inaugurate Schoenstein Opus 183 Organ with solo recital at St. Michael's Abbey, Silverado, CA on December 2, 2023. Program includes works by Franck, Mozart, Messiaen, Bach, and Liszt. Tickets available on St. Michael's Abbey's website.

GRAMMY-Winning Organist Paul Jacobs To Be Presented By Live At Winspear In Vital Organs Series, November 21


GRAMMY Award-winning organist Paul Jacobs will perform a solo organ recital at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton, Canada on November 21, 2023. Presented by Live at Winspear in their 'Vital Organs' series, Jacobs will perform works by Bach and Liszt. General admission tickets are available on the Winspear Centre's website. Don't miss this internationally celebrated organist in action!

New York Festival Of Song Presents GRACIAS A LA VIDA


​​​​​​​New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), led by Artistic Director Steven Blier, continues its Mainstage season with Gracias a la vida, a musical tour of South America, with songs from Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile, on Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. at Merkin Hall.

Walt Disney Concert Hall Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Conductor Laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen and Architect Frank Gehry, October 24


GRAMMY Award-winning American organist Paul Jacobs has been invited by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to play the Lou Harrison Concerto for Organ and Percussion in the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Walt Disney Hall on Tuesday evening, October 24, 2023, at 8 pm at the Walt Disney Hall.

Distinguished Composer Lowell Liebermann To Curate 'Thornwillow Concerts At Calvary' In Newburgh


Distinguished Composer Lowell Liebermann curates Thornwillow Concerts At Calvary in Newburgh, NY. GRAMMY-Award winning organist Paul Jacobs performs on the newly restored historic Skinner Pipe Organ at Calvary Presbyterian Church on November 4, 2023.

Violin Piano Duo OPUS TWO To Perform Bernstein And Sondheim, University Of South Carolina, October 23


Opus Two, the acclaimed violin-piano duo, will perform a program featuring works by Bernstein and Sondheim at the University of South Carolina. The event is free and tickets are not required. Critics have praised Opus Two for their stunning sound and commitment to expanding the violin-piano duo repertoire.

Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra to Kick Off 23/24 Season with Guest Pianist Philip Edward Fisher


The Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra is launching its 23/24 season with guest pianist Philip Edward Fisher. Find out the dates and locations of the concerts featuring Barber's 'Piano Concerto, Op. 38,' Corigliano's 'Elegy (1965),' music from John Williams' 'Lincoln,' and the Suite from Copland's 'Billy the Kid.'

NYFOS Next Festival to Return with New Song Performances at Rubin Museum of Art


New York Festival of Song, led by Artistic Director Steven Blier, will present its annual NYFOS Next Festival with two performances on Sunday, October 15, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 19, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. at the Rubin Museum of Art.

Crypt Sessions to Present US Premiere Of Lowell Liebermann's Acclaimed Frankenstein Suite For Piano in October


Piano version of Lowell Liebermann's Frankenstein Suite will be premiered in the US on October 10, 2023. The performance will take place at the Crypt Chapel in New York City. Full program and ticket information available.

Two Works By Composer Lowell Liebermann To Be Performed by The Kazakh State Symphony At Carnegie Hall


The Kazakh State Symphony Orchestra, led by Maestro Andreas Delfs, will make its American debut at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on October 9, 2023 at 8 p.m. EDT. Learn how to purchase tickets!

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