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Conceived by acclaimed concert pianist Anthony de Mare, LIAISONS is a landmark commissioning and concert project based on the songs of legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim. The Project invited 36 of the world’s foremost contemporary composers to choose a song by Sondheim and re-imagine it as a solo piano piece.

Both an homage and a celebration, LIAISONS makes the case for Sondheim as one of the 20th century's most influential composers - as at home in the concert hall as on the Broadway stage. It is also an expression of de Mare’s versatility and renowned commitment to contemporary composers: the Project’s roster spans the worlds of classical, jazz, opera, pop, musical theater and film. Composers hail from seven different countries and range in age from 30 to 75, representing more than 34 Pulitzers, Grammys, Tonys and Academy Awards.

Since 2011 de Mare has performed over 30 different LIAISONS concerts to full houses across the U.S. and Canada, including San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago and Minneapolis among others. The first 32 pieces received their New York premieres over a series of two sold-out concerts at Symphony Space in 2012 and 2013, which also featured special onstage interviews of Mr. Sondheim by Mark Horowitz.

This past fall, in celebration of the release of LIAISONS on the prestigious ECM New Series label, de Mare played the entire collection across a three-concert series at Birdland, the Sheen Center and Symphony Space, which included the final four NY premieres. LIAISONS was cited on twelve major "Best of 2015" lists, from NPR and the New York Times to the Washington Post, Daily Beast and San Francisco Examiner.

“To hear composers take my work and take it seriously... it’s a thrill.”
– Stephen Sondheim

April 2012

“Not just inventive piano arrangements of the songs but new compositions written in the composers’ own styles... it was fascinating to hear how each composer approached the song. Mr. de Mare’s playing was dynamic and stylish, requiring formidable virtuosity... I loved it. "

Anthony Tommasinithe New York Times
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August 2014

"It’s not just that many of the individual new works are so appealing. It’s that de Mare’s passion and vision almost radiate from the stage. He underscores the serious nature of Sondheim’s musical accomplishment, and he causes all involved — composers, performer and audience members — to think about how music is made and how we listen to it."

Andrew PatnerThe Chicago Sun-Times
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August 2013

"After seeing de Mare’s triumphant performance, we definitely want to gain a deeper knowledge of the musicals. Moreover, we were impressed by de Mare’s ability to master everything from the most pyrotechnical classical compositions to the suave style of the jazz works..."

Viola de VoceThe Contrapuntist
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March 2013

" An adventurous project... Mr. de Mare performed with vivid commitment throughout, fully plumbing the nuances of each work. "

Vivien Schweitzerthe New York Times
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September 2012

“De Mare is a dynamic pianist, with technique and musicianship to burn. For those who love Sondheim and are interested in hearing new work from a variety of contemporary composers, [Liaisons is] a must-see occasion.

Bob AshbyShowBiz Radio, Washington DC
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September 2012

“The variety of the settings kept the audience engaged, and de Mare was formidable throughout. The evening was a refreshing alternative to the typical recital, and successfully promoted Sondheim's legacy as well...

Ruth CarverKC Metro
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June 2012

“A thrilling program… filled with surprise and inventiveness.”

Andy PropstThe Sondheim Review

May 2012

“The concert offered a wide range of compositional styles and moods, highly colorful, and superbly played by de Mare.

C. Curtis-SmithM Live
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March 2012

“Liaisons is a revelation… a delightful recital with an exuberant close. De Mare’s playing was superb throughout, a combination of lyrical reflection and extroverted pyrotechnics.”

Joshua KosmanThe San Francisco Chronicle
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February 2012

“Just when you thought that there wasn't anything new in piano recitals anymore, along comes Anthony de Mare … a first-class pianist whose list of composer friends is a virtual who's who of American music… each piece is a fascinating exploration of the composer's style.”

Gregory IsaacsThe Fort Worth Star Telegram
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January 2012

“The ambitious endeavor of Anthony de Mare to create liaisons between musical theater and so-called “art-music” brings out his formidable piano technique and his charming, easy manner.”

Uel WadeSqwak.Com
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August 2011

“If anyone still doubted Sondheim’s prowess as an instrumental composer, this project should firmly lay those doubts to rest… de Mare’s concert kicked off energetically and his illuminating stage comments relaxed the atmosphere.”

Brett CampbellOregon ArtsWatch
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“The ambitious endeavor of Anthony de Mare to create liaisons between musical theater and so-called “art-music” brings out his formidable piano technique and his charming, easy manner.”

Uel WadeSqwak.Com, Hudson NY

Past Performances

Saturday, December 12, 2015
Chicago, IL
Pianoforte Studios
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Thursday, November 19, 2015
New York, NY
Symphony Space
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Thursday, October 22, 2015
New York, NY
The Sheen Center
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Thursday, September 24, 2015
New York, NY
Birdland Jazz Club
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Friday, September 18, 2015
Blacksburg, VA
Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech
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April 10, 2015
Williams, MA
Williams College Visitng Artist Series - Chapin Hall
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Monday, February 23, 2015
Flagstaff, Arizona
Northern Arizona University - Ashurst Hall
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Saturday, January 31, 2015
New York, NY
American Songbook - Appel Room
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November 13, 2014
Seattle, WA
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
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Saturday, October 11, 2014
Buffalo, NY
Burchfield Penney Arts Center
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Friday, October 10, 2014
Buffalo, NY
Burchfield Penney Arts Center
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August 27, 2014
Highland Park, IL
Ravinia Festival
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August 8, 2014
Rockport, MA
Shalin Liu Performing Arts Center
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April 13, 2014
Minneapolis, MN
The Schubert Club
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March 29-30, 2014
Davis, CA
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
March 29-30, 2014
Davis, CA
Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
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March 25, 2014
San Francisco, CA
The Artist Sessions: San Francisco Conservatory
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March 23, 2014
San Diego, CA
San Diego Library
November 13, 2014
Seattle, WA
Cornish Playhouse at Seattle Center
November 3, 2013
New York, NY
Greenwich House Music School - Renee Weiler Concert Hall
Guest Artist - The Hilary Hahn Encores
Liaisons works by Nico Muhly, Mark Anthony Turnage, Mason Bates and Paul Moravec

August 25, 2013
Highland Park, IL
Ravinia Festival
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August 25, 2013
Highland Park, IL
Ravinia Festival, Bennett Gordon Hall
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August 10, 2013
Peterborough, NH
Mondadnock Music Festival
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May 31, 2013
Ashland, OR
Southern Oregon University
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May 22, 2013
Norfolk, VA
Virginia Arts Festival
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May 12, 2013
New York, NY
Tribeca New Music 2013 Festival
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April 7, 2013
Chicago, IL
Music in the Loft
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March 9, 2013
New York, NY
Symphony Space - Liaisons II (15 NYC Premieres)
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September 21, 2012
College Park, MD
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
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September 14, 2012
Kansas City, MO
UMKC - White Recital Hall
more info
May 1-2, 2012
Kalamazoo, MI
The Gilmore Festival
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May 1, 2012
Kalamazoo, MI
Wellspring Theater, Epic Center WMU
The 2012 Gilmore Keyboard Festival
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April 21, 2012
New York, NY
Symphony Space- Liaisons I (17 NYC Premieres)
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March 12, 2012
San Francisco, CA
Music at Meyer Concert Series
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February 4, 2012
Fort Worth, TX
Cliburn Concerts
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January 21, 2012
Hudson, NY
Hudson Opera House
more info
December 11, 2011
Chicago, IL
Music in the Loft
October 18, 2011
New York, NY
The Century Club
September 23, 2011
Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta
Dow Centennial Centre
more info
July 12, 2011
Portland, OR
Portland Piano International
more info
ANTHONY DE MARE is one of the world's foremost champions of contemporary music. He pioneered the genre of the speaking-singing pianist nearly 25 years ago with the premiere of Frederic Rzewski’s groundbreaking De Profundis, and his versatility has inspired the creation of over 60 new works by distinguished artists including Meredith Monk, David del Tredici, Paul Moravec, Aaron Jay Kernis, Fred Hersch and Jerome Kitzke. With Liaisons he has added another 27 composers to the list of those he has commissioned, and another 36 compositions to the contemporary piano repertoire. Since his 1986 debut with Young Concert Artists, de Mare's performances have spanned five continents and 25 countries; his discography includes twenty recordings on Innova, Koch (E1) and CRI/New World and ECM Records. Mr. de Mare is a Steinway artist and serves as Professor of Piano on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and New York University. anthonydemare.com

STEPHEN SONDHEIM is widely acknowledged as the most innovative and influential composer and lyricist in modern Broadway history. Accolades include eight Tony Awards including one for Lifetime Achievement (more than any other composer), an Academy Award, a Pulitzer Prize, a special Olivier Award, a National Medal of Arts and multiple Grammy and Drama Desk awards. His best-known works as composer and lyricist include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods. He wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy and composed film scores for Stavisky, Reds and Dick Tracy among others. His collected lyrics with attendant essays were published by Knopf in two volumes: "Finishing the Hat" (2010) and "Look, I Made A Hat" (2011). Sondheim.org

RACHEL COLBERT is an independent producer, development consultant and project manager for artists and cultural organizations in New York City.

for press inquiries,
Brian Drutman
DrutmanBrian@gmail.com

for booking and all other inquiries,
Rachel Colbert
+1 (212) 473-2288
rcolbert@theliaisonsproject.com

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"An astonishing three-CD recording..."
- Jesse Green, NY Magazine

"A starry who’s who of the contemporary music world... Each composer was asked to do a free treatment of a Sondheim song, and the results - on this irresistible new CD set – are little short of breathtaking… the whole undertaking is a triumph."
- Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

"Background music this is not. De Mare renders lyricism with a dreamy, even gossamer touch; in rambunctious numbers, he goes gorgeously bananas. Yet even the wildest inventions never obscure our octogenarian wunderkind of the American musical... what De Mare hath wrought, with the help of his many collaborators, adds up a collective Goldberg Variations for Sondheim."
- Matthew Gruewitsch, Pundicity
Andy Akiho
Into the Woods
LISTEN
Mason Bates
Very Put Together
LISTEN
Eve Beglarian
Perpetual Happiness
LISTEN
Derek Bermel
Sorry/Grateful
LISTEN
Jherek Bischoff
The Ballad Of Guiteau
LISTEN
William Bolcom
A Little Night Fughetta
LISTEN
Jason Robert Brown
Birds Of Victorian England
LISTEN
Kenji Bunch
The Demon Barber
LISTEN
Mary Ellen Childs
Now
LISTEN
Michael Daugherty
Everybody's Got The Right
LISTEN
Anthony de Mare
Sunday In The Park ~ Passages (Encore)
LISTEN
Peter Golub
A Child Of Children And Art
LISTEN
Ricky Ian Gordon
Every Day A Little Death
LISTEN
Annie Gosfield
A Bowler Hat
LISTEN
Jake Heggie
I'm Excited. No You're Not.
LISTEN
Fred Hersch
No One Is Alone
LISTEN
Ethan Iverson
Send In The Clowns
LISTEN
Gabriel Kahane
Being Alive
LISTEN
Phil Kline
Paraphrase (Someone In A Tree)
LISTEN
Tania Leon
Going... Gone
LISTEN
Ricardo Lorenz
The Worst [Empanadas] In London
LISTEN
Wynton Marsalis
That Old Piano Roll
LISTEN
Paul Moravec
I Think About You
LISTEN
Nico Muhly
Color and Light
LISTEN
John Musto
Epiphany
LISTEN
Thomas Newman
Not While I'm Around
LISTEN
David Rakowski
The Ladies Who Lunch
LISTEN
Steve Reich
Finishing The Hat - 2 Pianos
LISTEN
Eric Rockwell
You Could Drive A Person Crazy
LISTEN
Daniel Bernard Roumain
Another Hundred People
LISTEN
Frederic Rzewski
I'm Still Here
LISTEN
Rodney Sharman
Notes On 'Beautiful'
LISTEN
Duncan Sheik
Johanna In Space
LISTEN
David Shire
Love Is In The Air
LISTEN
Bernadette Speach
In and Out of Love
LISTEN
Mark Anthony Turnage
Pretty Women
LISTEN
Nils Vigeland
Merrily We Roll Along
LISTEN




Coming soon...

Liaisons Album EPK
Anthony de Mare Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim Anthony de Mare: piano US concert pianist Anthony de Mare pays tribute to musical theatre composer Stephen So...
Liaisons Indiegogo Campaign Video
film by Crystal Arnette. Click "Donate" tab for more info.
from Liaisons II: Composers Speak about Sondheim
film by Crystal Arnette, shown during live Symphony Space performance
LIAISONS I : Highlights from Symphony Space
film by Sacha Popov, Popov Media. April 21, 2012
Liaisons I: Sondheim's onstage interview
Mark Horowitz' live interview with Stephen Sondheim at the Liaisons I premiere. Symphony Space, April 2012
ANTHONY DE MARE plays Finishing the Hat
Live performance of Steve Reich's contribution to The Liaisons Project. Symphony Space, March 2013.
ANTHONY DE MARE plays Send in the Clowns
Premiere of Ethan Iverson's contribution to The Liaisons Project. Symphony Space, April 2012
ANTHONY DE MARE plays Not While I'm Around
Premiere of Thomas Newman's contribution to The Liaisons Project. Symphony Space, March 2013.
Thank you for your interest in LIAISONS. Did you know that we're a nonprofit enterprise entierly made possible by the generosity of donors? It was donations that enabled us to commission the composers and record the album. But there's more to do - we are still raising funds for three key components: to complete filming and editing archival interviews with all the composers, to tour the concerts in the U.K. and abroad, and to cover the cost of the first 8 recording sessions. Please join us!

All donations are tax-deductible through Fractured Atlas.

We are deeply grateful to the following donors for their support of the commissions and recording (as of June 30, 2015): Ryan Anderson • Celia Asbell • Steven Bell • Derek Bermel • Sue Renee Bernstein • Martin Blanco • Roxanne And Scott Bok • John Brennan •Sammy Buck • Daniel Chadburn • Jenny Chai •Mary Ellen Clark • Joachim Coghlan • Zachary Cohn • Jeannie Colbert • Gilbert Cole • Philip Crosby • Anne De Mare • Viola De Mare • Alek Deva • Beth Rudin Dewoody • Erika Dohi • Arthur Don • George Dougherty • Andrew Duxbury • Kirsten Egenes • Stuart Evans • Karl Maria Fattig • Thomas G Felt • Illya Filshtinskiy • Charles Finn • William Fletcher • Heather And Justin Frank, MD • Shelly Freeman • Dan Gallagher and Peter Shearer • Craig Glenday • Frank Godchaux and Mark Murashige • Harold Gray • Amy Gustafson • Michael Halberstam • Jefrey Hall-Flavin • Shelly Freeman • Samantha Harris • Sharonne Hayes • Jean Heins • Paul Henderson • Isabel Hernandez-Cata • William Hill • Elisabeth Ho • Paul Hogarth • Mark Horowitz • David Humphrey • Richard Hurst • Rika Iino • Ed Sylvanus Iskandar • Jewish Communal Fund • Sarah Johnson • Ellen Krupa • Earl Kunz • Paul Lazarus • Gary Ledet • Thomas Leonard • David Levy • Louis C Liberatore • Bob And Anna Livingston • Robert Lobiondo • Raymond Longa • Paul Maggio • Steven Mann • Barbara Marcin Ullman • James and Ellen Marcus • Michael Marton • Jill Matichak • Michael McElroy • John McKeever • David McMullen • William Merrill • Solomon Mikowsky • Ann Miner • Evan Mirapaul • Matthew Mirapaul • Ashil Mistry • Elliot Mitchell • Fran Morris Rosman • Martin L. And Lucy Miller Murray • Alexandra Murray-Duffy • Nicholas Nash • Ian Nisbet • Gerd Nowaczyk • Catherine Oconnor • Jonah Orlofsky • Stephen Ortiz • Cormac Ose • Carol Ostrow • Robert Paterson • Perry And Martin Granoff • Daniel Petry • Lex Poppens • David Rakowski • Anthony Razzano • Mark Redanty • Elaine Reed • Benjamin and Donna Rosen • Tamar Rozin Muskal • Wally Rubin • May and Samuel Rudin Foundation • Anthony Ruth • Eleanor Shakin • Steven Shankroff • David and Alice Shearer • Peter Shearer • Ted And Mary Jo Shen • The Shen Family Foundation • Scott Smith • William S Smoot • Annaliese Soros • Tom Spain • Bernadette Speach • Stonewall Community Foundation • Andrei Strizek • Richard and Linda J. Sweetnam • Carmen H. Tellez • William E. Terry • April M Thibeault • Gabriel Tsai • Paul Upham • William Upham • The Ursetti Family • Douglas Van Epps • C. Vogel • Robert Weirich • Morton Weisman • Emmeline Wexer • William White • Patrick Willingham • Walt Winnowski • Cary Wong • Raymond Wong • Anonymous (21)

Liaisons is an enormously ambitious endeavor whose launch took the support of many generous and visionary donors. We are deeeply grateful to them, and to all 145 participants of our recent INDIEGOGO campaign.

Please join the LIAISONS team with a tax-deductible donation through Fractured Atlas! Contributions of any size are deeply appreciated and can be put toward various project components including commissions, production costs, archival documentation, film and video creation, and recording costs. Please see the Commissions page for a list of commissioners and their pieces.

Donate now!


Donors as of June 30, 2015:
Ryan Anderson • Celia Asbell • Steven Bell • Derek Bermel • Sue Renee Bernstein • Martin Blanco • Roxanne And Scott Bok • John Brennan •Sammy Buck • Daniel Chadburn • Jenny Chai •Mary Ellen Clark • Joachim Coghlan • Zachary Cohn • Jeannie Colbert • Gilbert Cole • Philip Crosby • Anne De Mare • Viola De Mare • Alek Deva • Beth Rudin Dewoody • Erika Dohi • Arthur Don • George Dougherty • Andrew Duxbury • Kirsten Egenes • Stuart Evans • Karl Maria Fattig • Thomas G Felt • Illya Filshtinskiy • Charles Finn • William Fletcher • Heather And Justin Frank, MD • Shelly Freeman • Dan Gallagher and Peter Shearer • Craig Glenday • Frank Godchaux and Mark Murashige • Harold Gray • Amy Gustafson • Michael Halberstam • Jefrey Hall-Flavin • Shelly Freeman • Samantha Harris • Sharonne Hayes • Jean Heins • Paul Henderson • Isabel Hernandez-Cata • William Hill • Elisabeth Ho • Paul Hogarth • Mark Horowitz • David Humphrey • Richard Hurst • Rika Iino • Ed Sylvanus Iskandar • Jewish Communal Fund • Sarah Johnson • Ellen Krupa • Earl Kunz • Paul Lazarus • Gary Ledet • Thomas Leonard • David Levy • Louis C Liberatore • Bob And Anna Livingston • Robert Lobiondo • Raymond Longa • Paul Maggio • Steven Mann • Barbara Marcin Ullman • James and Ellen Marcus • Michael Marton • Jill Matichak • Michael McElroy • John McKeever • David McMullen • William Merrill • Solomon Mikowsky • Ann Miner • Evan Mirapaul • Matthew Mirapaul • Ashil Mistry • Elliot Mitchell • Fran Morris Rosman • Martin L. And Lucy Miller Murray • Alexandra Murray-Duffy • Nicholas Nash • Ian Nisbet • Gerd Nowaczyk • Catherine Oconnor • Jonah Orlofsky • Stephen Ortiz • Cormac Ose • Carol Ostrow • Robert Paterson • Perry And Martin Granoff • Daniel Petry • Lex Poppens • David Rakowski • Anthony Razzano • Mark Redanty • Elaine Reed • Benjamin and Donna Rosen • Tamar Rozin Muskal • Wally Rubin • May and Samuel Rudin Foundation • Anthony Ruth • Eleanor Shakin • Steven Shankroff • David and Alice Shearer • Peter Shearer • Ted And Mary Jo Shen • The Shen Family Foundation • Scott Smith • William S Smoot • Annaliese Soros • Tom Spain • Bernadette Speach • Stonewall Community Foundation • Andrei Strizek • Richard and Linda J. Sweetnam • Carmen H. Tellez • William E. Terry • April M Thibeault • Gabriel Tsai • Paul Upham • William Upham • The Ursetti Family • Douglas Van Epps • C. Vogel • Robert Weirich • Morton Weisman • Emmeline Wexer • William White • Patrick Willingham • Walt Winnowski • Cary Wong • Raymond Wong • Anonymous (21)



Individual pieces from the Liaisons repertoire can be combined to form an infinite variety of programs that appeal to audiences of all backgrounds, from recital series and festivals to student unions and music departments. Mr. de Mare works with each venue to tailor a program best suited to their audience and presenting needs.

Single programs last from 60-90 minutes and contain approximately 11-14 pieces. As many as three fully distinct programs can be performed consecutively. Mr. de Mare delivers brief commentary between pieces, and multi-media components are also available that complement and contextualize the performance. These include background slides with animated text, audio clips from interviews with the composers, and an edited 4-minute filmed of Sondheim’s live onstage interview at the NYC premiere. 

The multimedia component is delivered as a specially created integrated Flash program; technical requirements are a projector with a DVI, HDMI or VGA input and/or connection to a computer running Windows XP (or later) or Mac OS X. In addition, three pieces require CD or mp3 playback along with a stage audio monitor for the performer: Steve Reich’s Finishing the Hat, Jason Robert Brown’s Birds of Victorian England and Duncan Sheik's Johanna... in space.

A master teacher and lecturer, Mr. de Mare can offer residencies and lectures as well as day-, week- or semester-long curricula based on Liaisons material.