SELECTED CONCERT REVIEWS
"The intensity Mr. Levingston clearly felt was transmitted in his introspective, dreamy performance."
– The New York Times. Through Erik Satie's Music, a Trip Back in Time to the Soundless and the Surreal
"The music is Philip Glass's 'A Musical Portrait of Chuck Close' (given a commanding live onstage performance by Bruce Levingston)..."
– The Boston Globe. Boston Ballet's challenging 'Close to Chuck'
"…transparency and timeless reverie, which Levingston projected beautifully"
– The Washington Post. Jacobsen and Levingston at Library of Congress
"...consistently graced by Mr. Levingston’s sensitive playing"
– Wall Street Journal. ‘Trio Concertdance’ and ‘Rising’ Reviews
"Levingston’s playing was sublime throughout..."
– Backtrack. Five Stars
"...a showcase for the American pianist Bruce Levingston whose vivid hands floating over the keys is like a dance in itself."
– The New York Times. Review: Alessandra Ferri, Herman Cornejo and Piano Makes Three
"An elegant performer, he was passionate and intense.... Levingston has a powerful stage presence ...He has a special ability to captivate not only the ears of his audience, but their hearts as well."
– DCMetroTheaterArts. Five Stars
"…driven by ideas and filled with music old, new and well worth hearing….Mr. Levingston's technique was at its best"
– The New York Times. A Little Offbeat Humor in Cyclical Exploration
"...warm and sinuous piano lines...Levingston and Brooklyn Rider played perfectly in sync."
– Backtrack. Premiere Commission Celebrates 10 Years of New Music at (Le) Poisson Rouge
"…pianist Bruce Levingston essays Glass's elegiac score with consummate artistry"
– The Hub Review. Boston Ballet gets Close to cutting Edge
"…a hauntingly serene performance by Mr. Levingston and Mr. Jacobsen"
– The New York Times. Premiere Commission Holds Gala, With a Premiere by Lisa Bielawa
"Mr. Levingston played with a delicate touch and painted in subtle hues…. a graceful account."
– The New York Times. A Pianist Turns the Tables on a Portrait Painter
"good taste...intrepid playing...sensuous sound"
– The New York Times. Sprinting Across All 88 Keys
"Bruce Levingston was the most “piano-soloist” of all and he performed with Lisztian élan. #12 was a majestic, shimmering piece that he managed to play with both energy and tenderness."
– I care if you listen. Practice, practice, practice: Philip Glass’s Complete Piano Etudes at BAM
“The impeccable command for which Levingston's become known are again evident, this time in an inspired set-list that achieves a satisfying rapprochement between old and new—if, that is, it's fair to brand Schumann's timeless works old.... The range of emotional expression and technical command he demonstrates in this performance is exceptional.”
– Textura, February 2018. Top Albums of the Year
“impressive textural and emotional variety.... Sono Luminus’s resonantly ample engineering particularly lends itself to Matheson’s vibrant writing and Levingston’s compelling, colourful pianism.”
– Gramophone, March 2018
“[Levingston’s] Kinderszenen shows affection and clarity of thought”
– American Record Guide, May/June 2018
“A reflective disc with Schumann effectively placed alongside two contemporary American composers… played with character.”
– Four Stars, BBC Magazine, March 2018
“Pianist Bruce Levingston unites seemingly disparate works in a fascinating musical collage. David Bruce’s Schumann-inspired The Shadow of the Blackbird is the dark, foreboding partner to Schumann’s own Kinderszenen, a charming, many-layered portrait of the innocences of youth. Levingston’s performance is gentle, delicate, and winsome, his “Träumerei” gorgeously slow and deeply affecting. James Matheson’s Windows seeks, like Schumann’s music, to bring contrasting elements together in one work—here Matheson pays homage to the exquisitely colored stained glass windows of Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse with music that dances, flits, and refracts.”
– iTunes Review, January 2018
“Bruce Levingston gives a sensitive, soulful, interpretation of Schumann’s Scenes from Childhood (Kinderszenen)…. then caps the Schumann section of the CD with an idiomatically flawless Arabesque. The programming of these three composers’ works in one CD is daring and utterly successful…. over an hour of pleasure, thanks to the devotedly committed playing of Bruce Levingston, an elegant musician whose playing is ever self-effacing and always at the service of the music. This Sono Luminus elegantly packaged, well engineered and intelligently annotated release should be a welcome addition to the libraries of those who, like this writer, love great piano music in the hands of master players.”
– All About The Arts (Rafael’s Music Notes), January 2018
“beautiful... Not since Horowitz played this as the encore in his 1986 Moscow concert near the end of his life, have I heard such playing. Words completely fail. Levingston brings this approach to the whole piece and thereby creates something quite unlike anything recorded of late.”
– The Whole Note, March 2018
Textura Top Albums of the Year
“...pianist Bruce Levingston shows himself on this double-CD set to be an ideal interpreter of Glass's work. Inaugurating the release with “Etude No. 2” proves to be a masterstroke for the way in which the pianist's sensitive rendering invites a renewed appreciation for Glass's artistry.... his softer touch brings forth even more vividly the inherent musicality of the compositions, a case in point his delicate, understated rendering of “Metamorphosis II.” No performance of a given work can ever be said to be definitive, but Levingston's certainly come close to seeming so, and one imagines Glass would endorse these versions without reservation.”
– Textura, December 2016
WQXR-Q2 Album of the week
“[ a ] passionate and spontaneous portrait of the composer.... Dreaming Awake (Sono Luminus) is a boldly individual approach to the keyboard works of an American master. Even Levingston's stellar choice of collaborator fits the bill…. Levingston recruits thespian Ethan Hawke, Hollywood's Gen-X embodiment of Romanticism, and Hawke's breathless delivery is absolutely of a piece with the almost cinematic heroics of Levingston's vision for these pathbreaking works.”
– Review by Daniel Stephen Johnson for Album of the Week, WQXR-Q2
“One of the best Glass piano programs I have ever heard.”
– The American Record Guide
“Wichita Vortex Sutra, with its subtle shifts of color....includes a brilliant reading of excerpts from Allen Ginsberg’s stream-of-consciousness anti-war poem of the same name by Ethan Hawke... highly recommended.”
“The image of the great eye that stands out on the cover of this unmissable double CD of Sono Luminus, although it refers in all likelihood to the song that gives the title track, can be used as a metaphor for Philip Glass's music, especially that performed here by the extraordinary pianist Bruce Levingston.... Levingston understands this duality, and knows when and how to give breath to the ornaments, bring out the melodic design, enhance the rhythmic motor engine, with an exquisite touch, sense of space, dramatic pathos and an overview that makes him the ideal interpreter of these intense works.”
– Philip Focosi for Kathodik Ezine (Italy), Five Stars
“The musical colors are incredibly poignant in this tribute to American painter Chuck Close…. Glass depicts this emotional battle in the music, Levingston communicates it with his playing, and the producers at Sono Luminus record it with such master, yielding a stand-out new release in the contemporary classical realm.”
– Second Inversion
“...this collection of shorter piano pieces is a revelation... They're pure, distilled essence of Glass. These études charm, entertain and move by turns. Glass’s friend and collaborator Bruce Levingston commissioned several of them, and he’s a persuasive, expansive guide. The dexterity and accuracy are thrilling... [Ethan Hawke and Bruce Levingston] perform as if their lives depend on it, the collective positivity oozing out of the speakers. Wichita Vortex’s optimism alone makes this a mandatory purchase. Sono Luminus's production values are predictably high. An essential Glass anthology….”
– The Arts Desk, Graham Rickson, April 15, 2017
“Levingston’s interpretations are unusually thoughtful and sensitive, with a clarity of touch that brings a welcome sense of textural interest. One highlight is the collaborative performance of Wichita Vortex Sutra for piano and spoken word; based on the antiwar sentiments of the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg; the work is beautifully narrated by Ethan Hawke.”
– Clavier Companion, Vanessa Corbett, January 2017
“a superbly planned program…. Levingston gives a rich and colourful performance. His playing reveals a deep understanding of the music and its composer. Levingston is a master in this genre, with complete interpretive access to Glass’ work, whether originating in poetic protest or the cinema, whether written for study or meditation.”
-The Whole Note, April 2017 (Canada)
“a solo recital that shimmers with Mr. Levingston's mastery of colors and nuance.”
– The New York Times. Best Classical Recordings of 2015
“Death and rebirth are the themes of this deeply personal, exquisite album.”
– The New York Times
“Heavy Sleep is a considerably meditative effort bookended by its highlights–two world premiere recordings of works by two of the United States’ luminaries in contemporary composition, left to the hands (figurative and literal) of a caring and virtuosic leader in the field.”
– I Care if You Listen
“Bruce Levingston is a pianistic poet of the highest sort. The right pianist with the right imagination can fashion a program that is very...right. Pianist Bruce Levingston has done this vividly on his album Heavy Sleep (Sono Luminus 92183)...a winner on every count.”
– Classical Modern Music
“...extraordinary gifts as a colorist and as a performer who can hold attention rapt with the softest of playing.”
– MusicWeb International Recording of the Month
“Pianist Bruce Levingston's new Still Sound is a gorgeously conceptual album... a knockout... a quietly powerful reminder of why Levingston has become the go-to pianist for many of this era's most intriguing composers.”
– Lucid Culture
“beautiful minimal pieces”
– Buffalo News
“Levingston is a pianist's pianist... stunning and highly illuminating performances”
– American Record Guide
“pianism on a grand scale...Levingston saved best for last: a suite from Philip Glass's Dracula. Bruce Levingston's nocturnal tone finally meets its perfect match...pure excellence.”
– MusicWeb International
“On its own, Levingston's account of Schumann's "Kreisleriana" easily justifies this collection of works inspired by literature. Vivid and richly expressive, it's a notable reading and a worthy addition to any library.... a gripping, dynamic performance. Grade: A”
– Cleveland Plain Dealer
“clarity and panache”
– American Record Guide
“Bruce Levingston links 19th century Romanticism to the present.”
– New Jersey Star Ledger
“Levingston's playing is exemplary throughout.”
– Baker and Taylor CD Hotlist
“transcendent virtuosity and a huge arsenal of tone color”
– Classics Today
“intimate, meditative and richly colored”
– Classic Magazin (Germany)
FEATURES AND INTERVIEWS
Meeting of artistic minds draws Boston Ballet close to Chuck The Boston Globe
He Knew He Was Right Newsweek
No Boundaries The New York Sun
A Portraitist Whose Canvas Is a Piano The New York Times
Ovations for Convocation Populi Magazine
Honors College Welcomes Bruce Levingston as Artist-in-Residence University of Mississippi News