Home » Artists » Still Sound

Bruce Levingston: Bio

Pianist Bruce Levingston is one of today's leading figures in contemporary music. Many of the world's most important composers have written works for him and his Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center world premiere performances of their works have won notable critical acclaim. The New York Times has called him "one of today's most adventurous musicians" and praises his performances as "graceful", "dreamy, and "hauntingly serene." The New Yorker has described him as "elegant and engaging... a poetic pianist who has a gift for glamorous programming," while The Washington Post has lauded his "wonderfully even touch" and
"timeless reverie, which Levingston
projected beautifully."

Mr. Levingston has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in many international music festivals and his recordings have received wide critical acclaim. The American Record Guide wrote that "Levingston plays beautifully and authoritatively" and called his tone "enthralling." Classics Today lauded his CD Portraits for its "transcendent virtuosity and huge arsenal of tone color." New York City's WQXR named his CD Heart Shadow "Album of the Week" while Zachery Lewis ofThe Cleveland Plain Dealer called Levingston's account of Schumann's Kreisleriana "vivid and richly expressive, a notable reading" and his world premiere recording of works by Bielawa and Wuorinen "a gripping, dynamic performance". In a glowing review of Levingston's most recent CD, Nightbreak, Jeff Simon of The Buffalo News called Levingston "an exceptional pianist of Romantic and modern repertoire - a poet and intellectual who it seems, thus far, doesn't have a vulgar or excessive bone
in his body."

Noted for his innovative and thoughtful programming, Mr. Levingston has performed and collaborated with some of the most interesting artists of our time including painter Chuck Close, actor/author Ethan Hawke, authors Michael Cunningham,
Nick McDonell, and George Plimpton, composer/performers Lisa Bielawa and Philip Glass, violinist Colin Jacobsen, and choreographers Jorma Elo and Peter Quanz. His repertoire spans from the Baroque works of Bach and Scarlatti to the Classical and Romantic masterpieces of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms to the most avant-garde works of today. His programs often feature and highlight many of the twentieth century's most influential composers including Satie, Debussy, Bartok, Webern, and Messiaen. In 2007, Mr. Levingston played a critically acclaimed sold-out concert devoted to the music of Erik Satie at New York's French Institute/Alliance Franeaise.

Long interested in human rights, Mr. Levingston gave performances to assist emerging "refusniks" from the Soviet Union, served as a U.S. delegate to the American Council on Germany in Berlin and Hamburg, and performed at the United Nations in honor of the people of Denmark for their heroism during World War II. He is founding chair and artistic director of Premiere Commission, Inc., a non-profit foundation that has commissioned and premiered over forty new works.

In 2008, Mr. Levingston performed a critically acclaimed sold-out solo concert at Carnegie Hall premiering works by 2007 Grawemeyer Award-winner Sebastian Currier, Germany's celebrated Wolfgang Rihm and Pulitzer Prize-winner Charles Wuorinen and also appeared as special guest artist at New York's City Center for the world premiere of American Ballet Theatre's production of a new ballet inspired by Chuck Close's life with music by Philip Glass. In 2009, Levingston gave the world premiere of Rome Prize-winner Lisa Bielawa's "Elegy-Portrait" and in Spring, 2011, performed premieres by David Bruce, Sebastian Currier and Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky with the brilliant violinist Colin Jacobsen at Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and Carnegie Hall in New York City. The New York Times reported that "Mr. Levingston has found a soul mate in Colin Jacobsen...they joined forces in the kind of recital for which each has become known: driven by ideas and filled with music old, new and well worth hearing." Levingston records for Orange Mountain Music and Dorian Sono Luminus.

1 Arvo Part: Fur Alina  
2 Arvo Part: Variationen zur gesundung von Arinuschk  
3 Erik Satie: Gymnopedie #2  
4 Augusta Gross: Venturing Forth Anew 1  
5 Augusta Gross: Venturing Forth Anew 2  
6 Schubert: Impromptu in A-flat maj., Op. 90, #4  
7 Chopin: Nocturne in B-flat m, Op. 9, #1  
8 William Bolcom: New York Lights  
9 Erik Satie: Gnossienne #2  
10 Augusta Gross: Dance of the Spirits  
11 Augusta Gross: Changes  
12 Augusta Gross: Reflections on Air  
13 Erik Satie: Gymnopedie #3  
UM Artist-in-Residence Bruce Levingston Creates Unique Opportunity for Students

The final album in Bruce Levingston's three-part series, "Still Sound" contains intimate works featuring world premiere recordings of Pulitzer Prize-winner William Bolcom's "New York Lights" written for Bruce Levingston and Augusta Gross' new works inspired by Satie and Part. Reflecting on his album, Levingston writes, "As I first listened to this collection of intimate, gentle music, I kept thinking how much it evokes a feeling of timelessness and stillness. From the minimal sounds of Arvo Part and Erik Satie to the reflective pieces of Augusta Gross and William Bolcom, each work, their harmonic and rhythmic movement notwithstanding, suggests a kind of spiritual stasis. Even the Romantic works of Schubert and Chopin, with their moments of surging emotion, possess magical, hypnotic qualities that lull the listener into a state of calm. The consistent impression of tranquility and serenity in these beautiful works led me to call the album "Still Sound."

22 New 'ON' this week: 120 Total
SYND:
Classical 24

Direct: SiriusXM, Music Choice
Markets include: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Wash DC, Atlanta, St. Louis, Denver, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Houston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, New Orleans, Louisville, Madison WI, San Antonio, Honolulu
Online: Taintradio, RadioIO

Crossover Media Projects with: Bruce Levingston