Lowell Liebermann

Lowell Liebermann

Composer • Piano • Conductor

• Born 1961


Lowell Liebermann is one of the most frequently performed contemporary American composers, with several of his pieces having entered the standard repertory. Liebermann is also active as a pianist and has premiered important works by himself and others.

Liebermann was born on September 22, 1961, in New York. He took up the piano at age eight and added composition lessons when he was 14. Excelling in both fields, he premiered his Piano Sonata, Op. 1, at Carnegie Hall in New York when he was 16. Liebermann earned bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School, where his composition teachers were David Diamond and Vincent Persichetti. Liebermann has composed some 140 works in a variety of genres, and several have achieved wide popularity. Notable are his Sonata for flute and piano and Gargoyles for piano; each of these has been recorded more than 20 times. Liebermann has written four symphonies, two operas (Miss Lonelyhearts, based on the novel by Nathanael West, and The Picture of Dorian Gray, which was the first American opera premiered by the Monte Carlo Opera in Monaco), and a variety of other orchestral works; his Piano Concerto No. 2, premiered by Stephen Hough and the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Classical Composition when it was recorded on the Hyperion label. Liebermann has worked closely with flutist James Galway, who has commissioned from him two concertos and a trio. As a pianist, Liebermann has premiered works by Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, and others, and premiered his Piano Quintet in Berlin with players from the Berlin Philharmonic. He has been the composer-in-residence with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and other organizations.

About 120 of Liebermann's works have been recorded. He has appeared on several recordings of his works, but it was not until 2021 that he made his solo recording debut with Personal Demons on the Steinway & Sons label, performing music by himself and others. Liebermann joined the composition faculty of Mannes College at the New School for Music in 2012 and has served as head of its composition department. He also founded and served as the artistic director of MACE, the Mannes American Composers Ensemble, which is a large group devoted to the works of living American composers.