Anthony de Mare
Anthony de Mare is one of the world’s foremost champions of contemporary music. His versatility over the past three decades has inspired the creation of over 75 new works by some of today’s most distinguished artists including Steve Reich, Wynton Marsalis, Nico Muhly, Annie Gosfield, Fred Hersch, Ethan Iverson, Meredith Monk, Mason Bates and Andy Akiho. The Chicago Sun Times says “de Mare’s passion and vision almost radiate from the stage ... he causes all involved –composers, performer and audience members --to think about how music is made and how we listen to it.”
Known for his entrepreneurial performance projects, he continues to expand the boundaries of the repertoire, which includes the speaking-singing pianist genre that he pioneered over 25 years ago with the premiere of Rzewski’s "De Profundis", based on the writings of Oscar Wilde. The piece remains one of his signatures -- this past season, New York Classical Review described a recent performance as “gripping and moving … a living thing on stage, as if one was sitting in de Mare’s home, listening to him tell his own story. This was an ideal meeting of composer and interpreter -- a unique and wonderful experience.”
De Mare’s most recent project, Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano perfectly expresses his vision to expand both the repertoire and the audience for contemporary music. As creator, performer and co-producer, this landmark commissioning and concert project has definitively brought the work of Stephen Sondheim into the concert hall, through the extraordinary re-imaginings of composers from across the musical spectrum. In addition to the Project’s acclaimed national, U.K., Canadian, and Australian tours, his recording of the first 36 pieces in the compendium, released by ECM’s prestigious New Series label, was cited on numerous “Best Of” lists in 2015. The San Francisco Chronicle declared that “this irresistible new CD set — is a little short of breathtaking … many of the composers give de Mare plenty of opportunities for virtuoso showing off — which he grabs with gusto. The whole undertaking is a triumph.”
With the release of the ECM recording, Mr. de Mare was featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and was invited to perform on Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series event “Reich and Sondheim: In Conversation”. Liaisons was chosen to represent Mr. Sondheim’s oeuvre in the festivities surrounding his receipt of the 2013 Medal of Honor from the MacDowell Colony at the Monadnock Music Festival. An excerpt from the project was also featured in the HBO documentary “Six by Sondheim”.
In honor of Sondheim’s 90th birthday in 2020, de Mare has extended the Project to include 13 new commissions under the title "Liaisons2020", bringing the total compendium to 50. The pieces will premiere and officially become part of the collection in March 2020 at a birthday celebration-concert at the 92nd Street Y. Announced composers include Timo Andres, Jonathan Batiste, Jeff Beal, Mark Bennett, Christopher Cerrone, Ted Hearne, Stephen Hough, Meredith Monk, Paola Prestini, Kevin Puts, Max Richter and Conrad Tao. A national tour will then continue through 2021 with performances at UCLA’s Royce Hall, Ravinia, Williams College (Sondheim’s alma mater), Maverick Concerts, University of Iowa, Southern Oregon University, and Lawrence Family JCC (San Diego), among others. A U.K. tour is also in the works.
Recently, his performances have taken him to the Mostly Modern Festival (performing with the American Modern Ensemble), American Pianists Association (Indianapolis), Australia (Melbourne Recital Centre and Sydney), the London Jazz Festival at the Barbican, the Bari Piano Festival in Italy, the 21C Festival in Toronto, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Cal Performances (Berkeley), Virginia Tech Center for the Arts, SF Jazz, The Ravinia Festival, the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Monadnock Music Festival, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Schubert Club in Minneapolis, Mondavi Center at UC Davis, Rockport Music Festival, and the Cliburn Series in Fort Worth.
The adaptability of his programming to traditional classical, jazz and theater spaces speaks to the range of de Mare’s versatility. His performances over the years span five continents with twenty recordings in his discography. In addition to the current release of LIAISONS on ECM, his recording SPEAK! ~ The Speaking-Singing Pianist (Innova) is the first disc devoted completely to the genre he created over twenty years ago. For Out of My Hands (KOCH E1), American Record Guide raved that “his exquisite touch and impassioned beauty of utterance imbue this program with artistry of the highest order.” American Record Guide also named Wizards and Wildmen: Piano Music of Charles Ives, Henry Cowell and Lou Harrison (CRI /New World) as one of 2000’s Ten Best Releases. Other acclaimed recordings include: Pianos and Voices: Music by John Cage and Meredith Monk, an unprecedented pairing of these two mavericks of the American avant-garde (Koch), Frederic Rzewski - Anthony de Mare (O.O. Discs), and Oblivion, with cellist Maya Beiser (Koch).
A brand new two-piano collaboration with Italian pianist Emanuele Arciuli entitled The American Explorer features prominent American works by composers championed by these two leading interpreters.
Since his debut with Young Concert Artists, his accolades and awards have included First Prize and Audience Prize at the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition (The Netherlands) and The International Contemporary Piano Competition of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France). He gave his Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall in 2005.
He has been profiled by the Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker, the New York Times, Time Out NY, The Contrapuntist, BroadwayWorld.com, among others, and has been heard in performance and interviews on nationally syndicated shows with WNYC’s John Schaefer, NPR, WQXR and numerous stations across the country.
A Steinway Artist, he currently is Professor of Piano at Manhattan School of Music and New York University. He also serves as new music curator for the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in NYC.
(short bio available by request)
Mr. de Mare is a Steinway Artist.