famous composers re-imagine Stephen Sondheim for solo piano


Liaisons is a landmark commissioning and concert project, conceived by acclaimed concert pianist Anthony de Mare, based on the songs of legendary musical theater composer Stephen Sondheim. The project brings together 36 of the world’s foremost contemporary composers to “re-imagine” one of Sondheim’s songs as a solo piano piece.

THE RESULT IS A BRAND NEW WORLD-CLASS PIANO REPERTORY that reveals Sondheim’s influence across multiple genres and generations. Chosen by de Mare in consultation with Mr. Sondheim, The Liaisons roster spans the classical, jazz, opera, pop, musical theater and film worlds, with composers ranging in age from 30 to 75. Individual pieces can be combined to form an infinite variety of concert, recital and residency programs, and the material is exclusive to Mr. de Mare thru 2016.

AT ITS ESSENCE, LIAISONS IS AN HOMAGE. But unlike any other Sondheim tribute to date, its focus is on Sondheim’s power and complexity as a composer, allowing audiences to consider the music on its own terms. Liaisons makes a strong case for Sondheim as one of the 20th century’s greatest composers.

KNOWN AS A CHAMPION OF CLASSICAL CONTEMPORARY MUSIC, pianist Anthony de Mare has also been credited with the reinvention concert theater. Liaisons gives each venue the unique opportunity to work with de Mare directly on shaping the program best suited to their audience, from chamber music and jazz festivals to recital series and educational settings.

A SOLD-OUT HOUSE AND A RAVE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES greeted the first two Liaisons NYC premieres in April 2012 and again in March 2013 at Symphony Space. Anthony Tommasini described the new works as “”not just inventive piano arrangements but new compositions requiring formidable virtuosity,” and in his on-stage interview, Sondheim said that "to hear composers take my work and take it seriously... it's a thrill."

Liaisons is available for booking and has played popular, critically acclaimed concerts in Kansas City, San Francisco, Fort Worth, College Park and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival among others. Upcoming dates include the Ravinia Festival and the Mondavi Center at UC Davis.

Multiple Grammy Award-winning producer Judith Sherman is producing the recording (label TBA).

At this time, Liaisons is unable to consider additional composers for its roster.

For more information on commissions, donations or booking please contact producer Rachel Colbert at rcolbert (at)

List of Composers and Song Selections:
(*) denotes available commission

Andy Akiho*
Into the Woods

Mason Bates
Putting It Together

Eve Beglarian

Derek Bermel

Jherek Bischoff*
Ballad of Guiteau

William Bolcom
Send in the Clowns/Anyone Can Whistle

Jason Robert Brown
Green Finch and Linnet Bird

Kenji Bunch
Ballad of Sweeney Todd

Mary Ellen Childs

Michael Daugherty
Everybody’s Got the Right

Peter Golub
Children and Art

Ricky Ian Gordon
Every Day a Little Death

Annie Gosfield
A Bowler Hat

Jake Heggie
A Weekend in the Country

Fred Hersch
No One is Alone

Ethan Iverson
Send in the Clowns

Gabriel Kahane
Being Alive

Phil Kline
Someone in a Tree

Tania Leon
Good Thing Going

Ricardo Lorenz
The Worst Pies in London / A Little Priest

Nico Muhly
Color and Light

John Musto

Paul Moravec
Losing My Mind

Thomas Newman
Not While I’m Around

David Rakowski
The Ladies Who Lunch

Steve Reich
Finishing the Hat

Eric Rockwell
You Could Drive a Person Crazy

Daniel Bernard Roumain
Another Hundred People

Frederic Rzewski
I’m Still Here

Rodney Sharman

David Shire
Love is In the Air

Duncan Sheik

Bernadette Speach
Liaisons/ Send in the Clowns

Mark-Anthony Turnage
Pretty Women

Nils Vigeland
Alma Mater/Merrily We Roll Along

+ 1 composers TBA*

Anthony de Mare, Creator/Performer is internationally recognized as one of the foremost champions of contemporary music, drawing praise from leading music critics at The New York Times, The New Yorker and many others. He has inspired, commissioned and/or premiered new work by Meredith Monk, John Zorn, Frederic Rzewski and Jerome Kitzke among many others, and made his Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall in 2005 with premieres of new work by Pulitzer Prize winners Paul Moravec and David Del Tredici, jazz legend Fred Hersch and the Tony Award-winning Jason Robert Brown. Since receiving his debut under the auspices of Young Concert Artists, de Mare has toured internationally with popular programs including American Piano, Missing Peace, (commissioned by The Rubin Museum) and his solo show, Playing with Myself. Mr. de Mare is a Yamaha Artist with nearly twenty recordings in his discography and was short-listed for a 2005 Grammy Award. He also serves on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and New York University.

Rachel Colbert, Producer is a freelance producer and fundraising consultant.

Judith Sherman, Recording Engineer is a ten-time Grammy Award nominee and two-time winner of Classical Producer of the Year. She has worked with Steve Reich, Elliott Carter, John Adams, David Rakowski, Philip Glass and Terry Riley, among others, with recordings on labels including Nonesuch, Telarc, Cedille, Bridge, New World, CRI, CBS, Koch and Arabesque. . Earlier in her career she was worked at WBAI-FM in New York City as recording engineer of the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. She currently works as a freelance recording producer and engineer in New York.

COMMISSIONERS (as of March 1, 2013)
Anonymous Ӣ The Banff Centre Ӣ Scott & Roxanne Bok Ӣ The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (University of Maryland) Ӣ Beth Rudin de Woody for Kyle de Woody and Carlton de Woody Ӣ Heather & Justin Frank, M.D. Ӣ Dan Gallagher & Peter Shearer, M.D. for Ian Gallagher Shearer Ӣ The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (Ann Arbor) Ӣ Frank K. Godcheaux & Mark Murashige Ӣ The Perry & Martin Granoff Family Foundation Ӣ James & Ellen Marcus Ӣ Annaliese Soros Ӣ Martin L. & Lucy Miller Murray Ӣ Music in the Loft (Chicago) Ӣ Anthony Razzano and the de Mare family Ӣ Ben & Donna Rosen Ӣ The Rudin Foundation Ӣ The Schubert Club Ӣ The David and Alice Shearer Fund Ӣ The Shen Family Foundation Ӣ Tom Spain Ӣ Richard and Linda Sweetnam Ӣ William E. Terry.

Sponsored since Jul 31, 2009
  • Make a secure online donation
  • Visit the project website
  • Visit the project on Facebook

Raised $25,000