Poster Will Liverman
Will Liverman highlights women composers past and present on his new album with pianist Jonathan King, 'Show Me the Way.'
Jaclyn Simpson
New Classical Tracks®

Baritone Will Liverman and pianist Jonathan King highlight women composers

New Classical Tracks (extended interview) - Will Liverman
New Classical Tracks - Will Liverman
New Classical Tracks - April 3, 2024

Will Liverman and Jonathan King – Show Me the Way (Cedille)

“The freedom of expression and being able to take a song and work on it with someone that you trust. To come up with your best interpretation and putting it out there in the world,” baritone Will Liverman says. “For me, this whole album has been special because each collaborator brought their artistry and creativity and perspective into it. And so each session is so magical and different in its own way.”

Liverman’s latest release, Show Me the Way, is a two-disc set of American art songs.

The idea for this project came about when Liverman and his best friend, pianist Jonathan King, were sitting on a couch during the pandemic, thinking about what they might do next. That’s when they decided to highlight women composers for their contribution to the American art song. And, while they were at it, why not commission women composers of today and bring new works into the fold? It was a three-year project that also includes some incredible collaborations.

“I remember when we recorded in Washington, D.C.,” Liverman says. “Rene Fleming was our ‘hail mary’ pitch. She's one of the most prominent opera singers of our time. It was really cool to get a little bit of insight on how she works and how her mind works once we settled in and started working together on the Sarah Kirkland Snider piece, Everything That Ever Was.”

You mention that you started to think about your mom. How has she inspired you?

“My mom has really been my biggest inspiration. I grew up with a heavy gospel background musically, and she was, and still is, the songstress of the family.”

In the piece you recorded with her on this album, you're the pianist and she's the singer. We don't hear you playing piano often. How was that experience?

“It's special for me because piano was my first passion. And as much as I can, I still like to play every once in a while and write music. So to be able to use that part of my brain and to work with her and arrange that piece was really cool.”

You have some incredible collaborators on this recording, including composers you commissioned who are writing amazing text. There is a new text written to celebrate Black joy and it's in the form of a jubilee. How did this work come about, and why was it so important to celebrate Black joy?

“I have been a part of many significant and important pieces about Black stories, but a lot of it can be very heavy because that's our truth. But also, I think there's a balance. I think Black joy is something that's also very important to show.

“And I love in the piece Inspiration, in the first movement, the composer samples a lot of different famous Black songs that just heighten what Black joy is. And it just puts me right in, because I know what that is and I know what that feels like. It was immediately a locked-in moment for me. I could just feel every single phrase.”


Will Liverman and Jonathan King – Show Me the Way (Cedille)

Will Liverman and Jonathan King – Show Me the Way (Amazon)

Will Liverman (official site)

Love the music?

Donate by phone

Show your support by making a gift to YourClassical.

Each day, we’re here for you with thoughtful streams that set the tone for your day – not to mention the stories and programs that inspire you to new discovery and help you explore the music you love.

YourClassical is available for free, because we are listener-supported public media. Take a moment to make your gift today.

More Ways to Give

Your Donation


Latest New Classical Tracks® Episodes


Latest New Classical Tracks® Episodes


About New Classical Tracks®

Host Julie Amacher provides an in-depth exploration of a new classical music release each week.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Radio Public, or RSS.

About New Classical Tracks®