Conceived by acclaimed concert pianist Anthony de Mare, Liaisons2020 brings together 36 of the world’s leading composers from the worlds of classical, jazz, film, pop, and musical theater to "re-imagine" one of Sondheim’s songs as a solo piano piece. The result is a remarkable compendium of new music that breaks open the boundaries between musical theater and concert music. Composers range in age from 23 to 81, representing seven countries and over 52 Grammy, Pulitzer, Tony, Academy, MacArthur, and Emmy Awards.
Merging his passion for Sondheim with his charismatic approach to the recital format, de Mare performed single- and multi-concert versions of Liaisons to sold-out houses across the country. In the fall of 2015 his recording of the entire collection – including his own contribution, Passages – was released as a 3-CD set on the prestigious ECM New Series label, which was cited on twelve of the year’s highest-profile "Best of" lists including the New York Times, NPR, the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, and the San Francisco Examiner. In celebration of the release, de Mare played the entire collection across a critically acclaimed three-concert series in New York City at Birdland, The Sheen Center, and Symphony Space. An international tour followed, including major cities in Australia, the U.K., Canada, and Italy.
Liaisons can now be combined to form single or multiple concerts that appeal to audiences from across the musical spectrum, and venues can work directly with de Mare on shaping a program best suited to their audience. Multi-media components, ranging from animated titles to exclusive film and audio featuring Sondheim and the composers discussing the Project, are also available. In preparation for Sondheim’s 90th birthday in 2020, a select number of new composers have been commissioned for the Project, which will bring the total compendium to 50.
Please see “Composer Compendium” attachment for a complete list of composers and song choices for LIAISONS and the upcoming LIAISONS2020.
"Not just inventive piano arrangements of the songs but new compositions written in the composers' own styles... It was fascinating to hear how [each] composer approached the song... I loved it."
The New York Times
"To hear composers take my work and take it seriously... it’s a thrill."
“Just when you thought that there wasn’t anything new in piano recitals anymore, along comes Anthony de Mare…. A first-class pianist whose list of composer friends is a virtual who’s who of American music… each piece is a fascinating exploration of the composer’s style."
– Gregory Isaacs, The Fort Worth Star Telegram