is a landmark commissioning and concert project, conceived by acclaimed concert pianist Anthony de Mare, based on the songs of legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim. The project has brought together 36 of the world’s foremost contemporary composers from across the musical spectrum to “re-imagine” one of Sondheim’s songs as a solo piano piece.
The result is a brand new world-class piano repertory that reveals Sondheim’s influence across multiple genres and generations. Chosen by de Mare in consultation with Mr. Sondheim and producer Rachel Colbert, the Liaisons
roster spans the classical, jazz, opera, pop, musical theater and film worlds. Composers hail from seven different countries, ranging in age from 30 to 75 and representing more than 44 Pulitzers, Grammys, Tonys and Academy Awards.
At its essence, Liaisons
is an homage. But unlike any other Sondheim tribute to date, its focus is on Sondheim the composer. Liaisons
leaves no doubt that Sondheim’s music is as at home in the concert hall as it is in the theater – making the case for him as one of the 20th century's greatest and most influential composers.
programs have played to critical and popular acclaim in San Francisco, Portland, Kansas City, Fort Worth and the Ravinia and Gilmore Festivals, among many others. The first 32 pieces received their NYC premieres over the span of two sold-out concerts at Symphony Space, in April 2012 and March 2013. Liaisons
performances have received rave reviews from Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times
, Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle
, Andy Propst of The Sondheim Review
and many others. Mr. Sondheim also gave a live interview at each of the NYC premieres - see the WATCH/LISTEN tab for excerpts.
Performed exclusively by de Mare through 2016, individual pieces can be combined to form an infinite variety of concert, recital and residency programs. Real-time news about concerts and other updates can be found on our Facebook page:
April 9-10, 2015
November 13, 2014Seattle, WACornish Playhouse at Seattle Centermore info Saturday, October 11, 2014Buffalo, NYBurchfield Penney Arts Centermore info Friday, October 10, 2014Buffalo, NYBurchfield Penney Arts Centermore info August 27, 2014Highland Park, ILRavinia Festivalmore info August 8, 2014Rockport, MAShalin Liu Performing Arts Centermore info April 13, 2014Minneapolis, MNThe Schubert Clubmore info March 29-30, 2014Davis, CAMondavi Center for the Performing Artsmore info March 25, 2014San Francisco, CAThe Artist Sessions: San Francisco Conservatorymore info
March 23, 2014
San Diego, CA
San Diego Library
November 3, 2013New York, NYGreenwich House Music School - Renee Weiler Concert HallGuest Artist - The Hilary Hahn Encores
Liaisons works by Nico Muhly, Mark Anthony Turnage, Mason Bates and Paul Moravecmore info
August 25, 2013Highland Park, ILRavinia Festivalmore info August 10, 2013Peterborough, NHMondadnock Music Festivalmore info May 31, 2013Ashland, ORSouthern Oregon Universitymore info May 22, 2013Norfolk, VAVirginia Arts Festivalmore info May 12, 2013New York, NYTribeca New Music 2013 Festivalmore info April 7, 2013Chicago, ILMusic in the Loftmore info March 9, 2013New York, NYSymphony Space - Liaisons II (15 NYC Premieres)more info September 21, 2012College Park, MDClarice Smith Performing Arts Centermore info September 14, 2012Kansas City, MOUMKC - White Recital Hallmore info May 1-2, 2012Kalamazoo, MIThe Gilmore Festivalmore info April 21, 2012New York, NYSymphony Space- Liaisons I (17 NYC Premieres)more info March 12, 2012San Francisco, CAMusic at Meyer Concert Seriesmore info February 4, 2012Fort Worth, TXCliburn Concertsmore info January 21, 2012Hudson, NYHudson Opera Housemore info October 18, 2011New York, NYThe Century Clubmore info September 23, 2011Fort Saskatchewan, AlbertaDow Centennial Centremore info July 12, 2011Portland, ORPortland Piano Internationalmore info
Mr. de Mare began recording works from The Liaisons Project in November 2011, and the final three sessions are scheduled for November 2014. ECM Records will release LIAISONS as a three-CD set In the fall of 2015.
To sign up for CD release information, please fill out the form below.
Three-time Grammy Award winning producer Judith Sherman is our producing engineer. Single tracks are not available at this time.
We still have $19,034 of our recording budget left to raise! Contributions to help us reach the finish line are fully tax-deductible and gratefully appreciated. Please click the Fractured Atlas link below to donate:
And thank you to everyone who joined our INDIEGOGO campaign! Please see the "Donors" page for a complete listing.
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Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano is a solo concert that can be adapted to any context. It is especially well suited to university settings and performing arts series. Individual pieces 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 consecutive twelve-piece programs can be offered. Mr. de Mare delivers brief commentary between pieces, and multi-media components are also available that complement and contextualize the LIaisons performance. These include background slides with animated text, audio clips from interviews with the composers, and a four-minute excerpt of the live interview given by Mr. Sondheim at the first NYC premiere.
Technical requirements for the multimedia components are simple - 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.
Concert pianist Anthony de Mare is internationally recognized as one of the foremost performers of contemporary music and has inspired the creation of dozens of new works by some of today’s most distinguished composers and artists. He launched The Liaisons Project in 2008 and began giving critically acclaimed preview concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada in March 2011. In April 2012 he premiered 17 of the pieces in a highly praised sold out concert at Symphony Space, NYC, for which Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times extolled his “formidable virtuosity”; in a live onstage interview Mr. Sondheim called the Project “flattering… to hear composers take my music and take it seriously is a thrill.”
Mr. de Mare made his New York debut under the auspices of Young Concert Artists, prior to which he won First Prize and Audience Prize at the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in The Netherlands and The International Competition of Contemporary Piano Music in France. He made his Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall in 2005 and has toured extensively with such popular programs as The American Piano, Missing Peace (commissioned by The Rubin Museum), COOL~A Journey into the Influence of Jazz and his solo show, Playing with Myself, which played for an extended run at HERE Arts Center.
Mr. de Mare is a Yamaha Artist with nearly twenty recordings in his discography and was short-listed for a Grammy Award in 2011 and 2005. He is presently Professor of Piano at Manhattan School of Music and New York University. www.anthonydemare.com
arr. Steve Reich
Finishing the Hat
arr. Jake Heggie
I'm Excited. No, You're Not
arr. Fred Hersch
No One is Alone
arr. Gabriel Kahane
arr. Ethan Iverson
Send in the Clowns
We are grateful to the following individuals and institutions for their visionary commissioning support, which enabled Liaisons to come to fruition.
Andy Akiho / Into the Woods was commissioned by Bob and Anna Livingston.
Mason Bates / Very Put Together was commissioned by James & Ellen Marcus and Annaliese Soros in celebration of the marriage of Beth Sapery and Rosita Sarnoff.
Eve Beglarian / Perpetual Happiness was commissioned by Jeannie Colbert as a wedding gift.
Derek Bermel / Sorry/Grateful was commissioned by Tom Spain for Anthony/Tony.
Jherek Bischoff / Ballad of Guiteau remains available for commission.
William Bolcom / A Little Night Fughetta was commissioned by William E. Terry.
Jason Robert Brown / Birds of Victorian England was commissioned by Anthony Razzano and the de Mare family.
Kenji Bunch / The Demon Barber was commissioned by The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Maryland).
Mary Ellen Childs / Now/Later/Soon was commissioned by The Schubert Club (Minneapolis).
Michael Daugherty / Everybody’s Got the Right was commissioned by The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.
Peter Golub / A Child of Children and Art was commissioned by Beth Rudin Dewoody for Kyle Dewoody.
Ricky Ian Gordon / Every Day A Little Death was commissioned by Ted and Mary Jo Shen.
Annie Gosfield / A Bowler Hat was commissioned anonymously.
Jake Heggie / I’m Excited. No You’re Not. was commissioned by The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Ma
Fred Hersch / No One is Alone was commissioned by Dan Gallagher and Peter Shearer for their son, Ian Gallagher Shearer.
Ethan Iverson / Send in the Clowns was commissioned by Frank K. Godchaux and Mark Murashige.
Gabriel Kahane / Being Alive was commissioned by Ted and Mary Jo Shen.
Phil Kline / Paraphrase (Someone in a Tree) was commissioned by William E. Terry.
Tania Leon / going….gone was commissioned by Scott and Roxanne Bok.
Ricardo Lorenz / The Worst [Empanadas] in London was commissioned by Music in the Loft (Chicago).
Wynton Marsalis / That Old Piano Roll was commissioned by Bob and Anna Livingston.
Paul Moravec / I Think About You was commissioned by Martin L. and Lucy Miller Murray.
Nico Muhly / Color and Light was commissioned by Ted and Mary Jo Shen.
John Musto / Epiphany was commissioned by Martin and Perry Granoff.
Thomas Newman / Not While I’m Around was commissioned by James and Ellen Marcus.
David Rakowski / The Ladies Who Lunch was commissioned by Beth Rudin Dewoody.
Steve Reich / Finishing the Hat - Two Pianos was commissioned by Donna and Ben Rosen.
Eric Rockwell / You Could Drive a Person Crazy was commissioned by Beth Rudin Dewoody for Carlton Dewoody.
Daniel Bernard Roumain/ Another Hundred People was commissioned by Heather and Justin Frank, M.D.
Frederic Rzewski / I’m Still Here was commissioned by The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Maryland).
Rodney Sharman / Notes on Beautiful was commissioned by The Banff Centre.
Duncan Sheik / Johanna ... in space was commissioned by Linda and Richard Sweetnam in memory of Anthony Razzano.
David Shire / Love is in the Air was commissioned by Donna and Ben Rosen.
Bernadette Speach / In and Out of Love was commissioned by The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Maryland).
Mark Anthony Turnage / Pretty Women was commissioned by David and Alice Shearer.
Nils Vigeland / Merrily We Roll Along was commissioned by Beth Rudin Dewoody for Darian Zahedi.
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.
Donors as of August 9, 2014
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)
“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
"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
"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
" An adventurous project... Mr. de Mare performed with vivid commitment throughout, fully plumbing the nuances of each work. "Vivien Schweitzerthe New York Times
“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
“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
“A thrilling program… filled with surprise and inventiveness.”Andy PropstThe Sondheim Review
“The concert offered a wide range of compositional styles and moods, highly colorful, and superbly played by de Mare.C. Curtis-SmithM Live
“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
“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
“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
“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