Composers Datebook®

Lowell Liebermann

Lowell Liebermann (b. 1961) Flute Concerto James Galway, flute; London Mozart Players; Lowell Liebermann, cond. BMG 63235 Symphony No. 2 Dallas Symphony and Chorus; Andrew Litton, cond. Delos 3256


Composers Datebook for February 22, 2021

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February 22, 2021

Synopsis

In recounting the life story of many composers, it’s a familiar and perhaps Romantic cliché that their work will be—as a matter of course—NOT appreciated by their contemporaries, and that the composer in question will have to toil for years in obscurity before his or her music is appreciated by performers and audiences.

In reality, we’re happy to report, that isn’t always the case.

Consider, for example, the American composer Lowell Liebermann, who was born in New York on today’s date in 1961. At the age of sixteen, the premiere of his Piano Sonata No. 1 at Carnegie Hall resulted in a number of prizes and awards. By his thirties, Liebermann was being commissioned and championed by some of the leading performers of our time.

For James Galway, Liebermann composed a Flute Concerto and Liebermann’s two-act opera “The Picture of Dorian Gray” was the first work that the Monte Carlo Opera commissioned from an American composer. In 1998, Liebermann was appointed composer-in-residence with the Dallas Symphony, and that orchestra premiered his Symphony No. 2 in February of the year 2000, and, in a symbolic Millennium gesture, simulcast their performance new-fangled World Wide Web.

Music Played in Today's Program

Lowell Liebermann (b. 1961) Flute Concerto James Galway, flute; London Mozart Players; Lowell Liebermann, cond. BMG 63235

Symphony No. 2 Dallas Symphony and Chorus; Andrew Litton, cond. Delos 3256

On This Day

Births

  • 1810 - Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin, in Zelazowa Wola (This is the date contained in the composer's baptismal certificate; Chopin himself gave March 1, 1810, as his birthdate);

  • 1817 - Danish composer Niels W. Gade, in Copenhagen;

  • 1961 - American composer Lowell Liebermann, in New York City;

Deaths

  • 1903 - Austrian composer Hugo Wolf, age 42, in Vienna;

Premieres

  • 1878 - Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, in Moscow, with Nikolai Rubinstein conducting (Julian date: Feb. 10);

  • 1881 - Bruch: "Scottish Fantasy," Op. 46, in Liverpool, with the composer conducting and Joseph Joachim as soloist;

  • 1890 - Brahms: Piano Trio No. 1 in Bb, Op. 8 (revised version), in Vienna, at one of the Rosé Chamber Concerts, with the composer at the piano; The first version of this Trio, composed in 1854, received one of its first public performances ever in New York City on November 27, 1855;

  • 1907 - Ravel: "Introduction and Allegro," in Paris;

  • 1938 - Kabalesvky: opera "Colas Breugnon," in Leningrad;

  • 1941 - Paul Creston: Symphony No. 1, in New York City;

  • 1941 - Morton Gould: "Latin American Symphonette," in Brooklyn, N.Y.;

  • 1945 - Virgil Thomson: "Symphony on a Hymn Tune," in New York City, with the composer conducting;

  • 1962 - Benjamin Lees: "Concerto for Orchestra" No. 1, in Rochester, N.Y.