On February 13, 2012, Premiere Commission celebrated its 10th anniversary with a gala concert featuring Premiere artistic director pianist Bruce Levingston and acclaimed guest artists Lisa Bielawa, composer and soprano; the adventurous string quartet Brooklyn Rider (Colin Jacobsen, violin; Johnny Gandelsman, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola; Eric Jacobsen, cello); Kimball Gallagher, pianist, and Christopher Tignor, composer and keyboardist.
The program included World Premieres of music by Lisa Bielawa, Augusta Gross, and Christopher Tignor and music of Philip Glass, Henry Purcell and Alfred Schnittke.
The concert also included a special tribute to composer Lisa Bielawa for her consistent and inspiring high level of composition as well as her sustained advocacy for new music. Bielawa has distinguished herself as one of the most vital and important musical figures of her generation. In honor of her outstanding work, Premiere Commission arranged that a portion of the evening's proceeds were given to support Bielawa's new and important Berlin project Tempelhof Broadcast. The performance was recorded and broadcast by WQXR.
On May 6 and May 12, 2011, violinist Colin Jacobsen and pianist Bruce Levingston performed premieres at Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and Carnegie Hall in New York City.The New York Times reported that "Mr. Levingston has found a soul mate in Colin Jacobsen...they joined forces in the kind of recital for which each has become known: "driven by ideas and filled with music old, new and well worth hearing."
2010: Impression de la Vie: World Premiere of New Composition by Philippe Manoury at French Institute/Alliance FrançaiseAcclaimed pianist Bruce Levingston performed an evening of evocative French music reflecting the exquisite sounds, colors and textures found in nature. This fascinating program took listeners from Debussy's vivid impressions of rippling water, solitary snowscapes and flashing, golden fins to Ravel's sultry reflections of torpid summer sounds and exotic syncopations, and, ultimately, into the ecstatic harmonies and melodies of Messiaen's radiant, breathtaking portrayals of virtuosic birdsong. The concert also featured the sensual music of the modernist master Henri Dutilleux and a special world premiere of the brilliant French composer Philippe Manoury's "Spins" inspired by the mysterious sounds, movements and rhythms of air and wind. This exciting new work is both an homage to Manoury's distinguished French heritage as well as the powerful and timeless inspiration of nature upon art and man.
2010: Top of The StandardOn April 28, 2010, Premiere Artistic Director and acclaimed pianist Bruce Levingston appeared in a gala benefit evening on Top of The Standard, New York (recently called by Vanity Fair "the hottest night spot in New York City" and known fondly as the "Boom Boom Room"). The event included a cocktail supper with performances by Bruce Levingston and special friends and guest artists to benefit the Premiere Commission Music Foundation.
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2008: Premiere Commission, Rooftop Films, and The Museum of Modern Art Presented Surreal Sounds and ShortsOn Friday, June 27, 2008, Premiere Commission, Rooftop Films, and The Museum of Modern Art presented an extraordinary night of short films and live music inspired by the life and art of Salvador Dali. The evening included a live performance by pianist Bruce Levingston, who played works by Frederic Chopin, Erik Satie, Claude Debussy and Philip Glass; Mr. Levingston concluded his performance with a new film score by 2008 Rome Prize-winner Keeril Makan, Three Surreal Shorts, played live with a screening of Dali: Home Movie, 1954 and Menjant Garotes two short films from MoMA's Dali: Painting and Film. Following Mr. Levingston's performance, Rooftop Films presented a program of new surreal short films. These shorts showed how Dali's pioneering juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated images and concepts continue to resonate in the playful and profound works of today's short filmmakers. Bruce Levingston appeared in a special solo concert at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, premiering works by 2007 Grawemeyer Award-winner Sebastian Currier, Germany's celebrated Wolfgang Rihm and Pulitzer Prize-winner Charles Wuorinen.
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Creating a Comfortable Context for the New Pieces That Can Challenge Audiences (The New York Times)
A Boldface Crowd at Zankel Hall (The New York Observer)
2007: Premiere Commission at American Ballet TheatreAmerican Ballet Theatre presented the world premiere of a new ballet choreographed by Jorma Elo based on Philip Glass's A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close titled "C. to C. (Close to Chuck)", the work originally commissioned and premiered by Premiere Commission, Inc. Glass's musical portrayal of the life of his longtime friend artist Chuck Close was conceived and first performed in 2005 by Premiere artistic director pianist Bruce Levingston. ABT's premiere of the new ballet included three new movements composed by Glass performed live on stage by Levingston. The multi-media work featured a set design by Chuck Close and costumes by acclaimed fashion designer Ralph Rucci.
Portrait of the Artist (Playbill)
Portrait of the Artist (W Magazine)
Choreographer of moment struts multidisciplinary stuff (The San Francisco Chronicle)
Masterworks and Edgy Ventures at American Ballet Theatre (The Village Voice)
A Huddle of Humanity (The New York Sun)
2007: Ballet GalaPremiere Commission hosts a gala evening of music and dance including the world premiere of Peter Quanz' ballet set to the Milton Babbitt's A Waltzer in the House and a performance of Eliot Feld's Intermezzo No. 1 with New York City Ballet dancers Tyler Angle, Charles Askegard, Megan Fairchild, Robert Fairchild, Sterling Hyltin, and Jenifer Ringer, soprano Jo Ellen Miller, percussionists Alexander Lipowski, pianists Cameron Grant and Bruce Levingston at PaceWildenstein, New York City.
New York Social Diary
2006: Apparition of the Eternal Church PremierePremiere Commission presents (in conjunction with Rooftop Films and St. Bart's Church) the New York City premiere of Paul Festa's film "Apparition of the Eternal Church" based on the Messiaen organ work Apparition de l'église éternelle and including a live performance of the work by William Trafka, St. Bart's Church, New York City.
The New York Times: Urbanite. The Best of New York Today
2006: Fifth Anniversary GalaPremiere Commission presents its Fifth Anniversary Gala Concert featuring the world premiere of Lisa Bielawa's The Lay of the Love and Death and works of Bach, Chopin, Glass and Messiaen with performers Lisa Bielawa, Jesse Blumberg, Michael Cunningham, Jocelyn Dueck, Philip Glass, Ethan Hawke, Colin Jacobsen, Bruce Levingston and Alexandra Montano at Lincoln Center, New York City.
New York Social Diary
Premiere Commission Holds Gala, With a Premiere by Lisa Bielawa (The New York Times)
2005: Premiere of Philip Glass's A Musical Portrait of Chuck ClosePremiere Commission presents the world premiere of Philip Glass's A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close at Lincoln Center, New York City.
A Portraitist Whose Canvas Is a Piano (The New York Times)
A Pianist Turns the Tables on a Portrait Painter (The New York Times)
New York Social Diary
2004: Gala honoring David RockefellerPremiere Commission hosts a gala dinner at La Grenouille in honor of the ninetieth birthday of founding benefactor David Rockefeller and presents him with the dedication of Philip Glass's A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close.
2004: William Bolcolm PremierePremiere Commission presents the world premiere of William Bolcom's New York Lights and David Del Tredici's Gymnopedie No 1 at Lincoln Center, New York City.
2003: "Snapshots" PremierePremiere Commission presents the world premiere of "Snapshots", sixteen new works for string quartet inspired by composers' personal photographs that are shown with the performance in a video constructed by Wendell Harrington at the Kaufman Cultural Center, New York City.
About Last Night from Arts Journal.com
'03! Oh My! The Big Apple's Sweetest Bites (The Washington Post)
2003: Seven Solitudes PremierePremiere Commission presents the world premiere of Gregg Wramage's Seven Solitude at Lincoln Center, New York City.
2002: Etudes PremierePremiere Commission presents the world premiere of Curtis Curtis-Smith's Etudes at Lincoln Center, New York City.
Sprinting Across All 88 Keys (The New York Times)