Interim Director - Symphonic Chorus
Paul Leavitt made his début as a concert pianist at 15 with the Albany Symphony Orchestra. As a scholarship student he received a Master’s from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor’s from SUNY Purchase. Laureate of the International Steinway Competition (1989) in Paris, France, Mr. Leavitt performs regularly in Europe and the United States as a concert pianist and organist.
Mr. Leavitt has been full-time director of Music and Arts at Church of the Reformation on Capital Hill in Washington, DC since 2002 and director of the Chorale and Orchestra of the Friday Morning Music Club since August 2014. As a composer he has produced a considerable body of work for chorus, theater, dance, film and piano, and collaborated on many artistic projects combining theater, music and dance. His choral works have been performed by the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the Cathedral Choral Society, the New York City Master Chorale among others, in concert venues such as Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Washington National Cathedral and l’Eglise St. Sulpice in Paris.
Cecelia Porter, contributing critic for the Washington Post said, “Paul Leavitt’s Requiem should belong in every chorus’s repertoire. It is deeply expressive and skillfully written, and successfully combines the sense of overwhelming grief and consolation that suffuse the requiems of Mozart, Verdi, Brahms and Fauré.” Premiered in Washington, DC in 2009, his Requiem continues to reach a wider audience. Mr. Leavitt will be conducting the premiere in Hamburg, Germany in October 2017 with the Musici Emeriti Orchestra, and is preparing a festival chorus for another premiere with the Lithuanian National Orchestra under the direction of Robertas Severnikas.
In December 2012, he premiered his Magnificat for soloists, chorus and orchestra at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Cantata Emmanuel for soloists, chorus and orchestra, commissioned by Church of the Reformation for their 75th anniversary celebration, was premiered in November 2009. In April 2013 he premiered two new works at “Live Music by Living Composers”, a concert sponsored by the Leschetizky Association in New York.
Discography: Requiem Live (DVD) (2011), Requiem and Other Choral Works (2010) Chopin: 4 Ballades, Barcarolle and Sonata in B minor (2007) and Muse en Scène (1995). Choral compositions are available through Augsburg Fortress Press, Yelton Rhodes Music and Lumenaria Music Publishing. He’s currently preparing a recording of the complete piano works of Maurice Ravel.
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