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Anthony DeMare's Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano at the Burchfield Penney, October 10 & 11

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State will present The Liaisons Project, a landmark commissioning and concert project, conceived by concert pianist Anthony de Mare, which has invited 36 of the world's foremost contemporary composers to "re-imagine" a song by legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim. The Center will host two performances Friday, October 10 and Saturday, October 11 at 8 PM. 

The result is a brand new world-class piano repertory (Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano) that reveals Sondheim’s influence across multiple genres and generations. Composers hail from seven countries, range in age from 32 to 76, and span the worlds of classical, pop, jazz, opera, musical theater and film. 

Since 2011 de Mare has been touring iterations of Liaisons across the country, to widespread critical and popular acclaim. The first 32 pieces received their New York City premieres over the span of two sold-out concerts at Symphony Space in April 2012 and March 2013, receiving rave reviews from Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times and others. Sondheim also gave a live interview at each concert.

At its essence, Liaisons is an homage. But unlike any other Sondheim tribute to date, its focus is exclusively on the music. The Project leaves no doubt that, aside from his genius as a lyricist, Stephen Sondheim is one of the century's greatest and most influential composers.

Over the past two years, Liaisons programs have played to sold-out crowds at concert halls and universities in major cities from Chicago and San Francisco to Portland, Kansas City, Fort Saskatchwan and Fort Worth. Performed exclusively by de Mare through 2016, individual pieces can be combined to form an infinite variety of concert, recital and residency programs. Liaisons will ultimately be released as a 3-CD recording, currently in process, as well as a published collection.

For those new to Sondheim’s work, Liaisons offers a delightful introduction to it; for those already familiar, the context of a concert hall inspires whole new insights and appreciations.

Tickets are $15 Burchfield Penney members and students / $25 "not yet" members. Call 716-878-6011  or visit for tickets and information.

Tickets for the Friday, October 10 concert are available online by following this link.

Tickets for the Saturday, October 11 concert are available online by following this link.


The program at the Burchfield Penney is:

 (All works based on material by Stephen Sondheim)

Nico MUHLY:  Color and Light (2012) (Sunday in the Park with George
Fred HERSCH:  No One Is Alone (2010)  (Into the Woods
Nils VIGELAND:  Merrily We Roll Along (2011) (Merrily We Roll Along
Duncan SHEIK:  Johanna in Space (2014) (after JohannaSweeney Todd
Wynton MARSALIS:  That Old Piano Roll (2014) (Follies
Eric ROCKWELL:  You Could Drive A Person Crazy (2010/14) (Company
Ethan IVERSON:  Send in the Clowns (2011) (A Little Night Music
Steve REICH:  Finishing the Hat –Two Pianos (2010) (Sunday in the Park with George)


Film Interlude:

Onstage interview with Stephen Sondheim, conducted by Mark Eden Horowitz at LIAISONS’ NYC premiere (Symphony Space April 2012)

Andy AKIHO:  Into the Woods (2013)  (Into the Woods
Thomas NEWMAN:  Not While I’m Around (2012) (Sweeney Todd
Ricardo LORENZ:  The Worst [Empanadas] in London (2011, rev. 2014) (after The Worst Pies in London & A Little Priest) (Sweeney Todd
Paul MORAVEC:  I Think About You (2010) (after Losing My Mind – Follies) 
Jake HEGGIE:  I’m Excited. No You’re Not. (2010) (after A Weekend in the CountryA Little Night Music)