Max Levinson is known as an intelligent and sensitive artist with a
fearless technique. Levinson's career was launched when he won First
Prize at the Guardian Dublin International Piano Competition, the
first American to achieve this distinction. He received overwhelming
critical acclaim for his two solo recordings on N2K Encoded Music,
and was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. In 2005,
he was given the Andrew Wolf Award for his chamber music playing.
The Boston Globe proclaimed: "The questioning, conviction, and
feeling in his playing invariably reminds us of the deep reasons why
music is important to us, why we listen to it, why we care so much
Levinson has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony,
St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony,
Baltimore Symphony, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony,
Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah
Symphony, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National
Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among others. He has worked with such
conductors as Robert Spano, Neemi Järvi, Uriel Segal, Joseph
Swensen, Jeffrey Kahane and Alasdair Neale. Recital appearances
include Washington Performing Arts Society’s "Kreeger String &
Hayes Piano Series" at the Kennedy Center, Tonhalle Orchester
Zurich’s "Competition Winner Series," Ravinia’s "Rising
Stars," Lincoln Center’s "What Makes it Great" and
the FleetBank Boston "Emerging Artists Series."
Director of the San Juan Chamber Music Festival (in Ouray, Colorado)
and former Co-Artistic Director of the Janus 21 Concert Series in
Cambridge, Massachussetts, Max Levinson is an active chamber
musician. He has collaborated with such renowned artists as the
Tokyo Quartet, Vermeer Quartet, Borromeo Quartet, Mendelssohn
Quartet, the Jacques Thibaud String Trio, Benita Valente, Richard
Stoltzman, Pinchas Zukerman, Joseph Silverstein, Stefan Jackiw, Young
Uck Kim, Arnold Steinhardt, David Finckel, Daniel Phillips, Nathaniel
Rosen, Carter Brey, Allison Eldredge, Alisa Weilerstein,
Christopheren Nomura, and Heiichiro Ohyama. He has appeared at major
music festivals including Mostly Mozart, Santa Fe, Marlboro,
Tanglewood, La Jolla, Bravo/Vail, Seattle, Killington, Vancouver,
Cartagena, and Switzerland’s Davos Festival.
Levinson's debut recitals at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and
London's Wigmore Hall as the Guardian Competition winner were
critical successes and received standing ovations. He performed
ambitious programs, which included works by Bartók, Brahms, Chopin,
Liszt, Schönberg, Schubert and Kirchner. Of the New York debut
performance, The New York Times wrote that Levinson's "quietly
eloquent conceptions, formidable technique and lovely touch left
little else to be desired."
Levinson garnered international accolades for his two recordings.
his debut recording released immediately following his triumph in
Dublin, is an extraordinarily thoughtful program that traces the
musical lineage between Brahms, Schumann, Schönberg and Kirchner.
The Los Angeles Times deemed Mr. Levinson "a brilliant American
pianist, musically mature and fully formed technically. More
important, he uses his wide spectrum of pianistic mechanics for
altogether poetic ends, touching the listener deeply and often."
American Record Guide declared Levinson's second disc,
of Doors: Piano Music of Béla Bartók
"an important recording and a great one. The disc blew me out of
my chair, and it has taken me a long time to get back up. Hearing
performances as riveting as these produces a rare frisson; indeed,
this is the most brilliant and exciting Bartók piano disc I have
heard. On the basis of only two recordings, Mr. Levinson has created
the myth of a pianist with everything." His recording of Leon
Kirchner's “Five Pieces for Piano” was chosen for the composer's
complete works recording (Albany Records), alongside recordings by
Leon Fleisher and Peter Serkin.
most recent recording is of the Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano,
with violinist Stefan Jackiw (Sony Classical). He has also recorded
with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival for the Stereophile label,
and the violin sonatas of Debussy, Janácek, and Prokofiev with
violinist Andrew Kohji Taylor for Warner Classics. Upcoming
recording projects include the complete piano music of Bruce
committed to nurturing young audiences, Max Levinson has been a
participant in the Grammy-in-the-Schools program throughout the
United States and in other outreach performances in numerous cities.
He has experimented with Internet broadcast, served as
Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University's Lowell House for four
years, and has been featured on National Public Radio's "Performance
Today" and "A Note to You." Mr. Levinson serves on the
boards of the Aube Tzerko Piano Institute and AMRON (Artists
Musicians Recital Opportunity Network). In 2000, he was asked by the
Millennium Committee of Ireland to design a National Education
Initiative, and gave a televised masterclass as part of the project.
He has also taught masterclasses at the Royal Irish Academy of Music,
Harvard, MIT, Brigham Young University, Rutgers, the University of
Washington, UCLA, the Colburn School, Boston University, the Music
Teacher’s Association of California annual convention and in
various cities throughout the U.S. In 1997, he was named "Best
Debut Artist" by The Boston Globe and was added to Steinway's
distinguished roster of artists.
is on the faculty of both the New England Conservatory and the Boston
Conservatory, where his students have achieved success in numerous
competitions. He also teaches at the Foulger International Music
Festival, and was formerly on the applied music faculty of Brown
has recently become active as a conductor, and his performances as
conductor of the Killington Music Festival and Foulger Chamber
Orchestra have resulted in standing ovations and return engagements.
in the Netherlands and raised in Los Angeles, Max Levinson began
studying piano at age five. His first teachers were Bruce Sutherland
and Aube Tzerko, and as a child he also studied cello, composition
and conducting. He attended Harvard University, graduating cum laude
with a degree in English Literature, and later completed his graduate
studies with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory of
Music, receiving an Artist Diploma and the Gunther Schuller Medal, an
award given to the school’s top graduate student. Max Levinson
currently lives in the Boston area with his wife, cellist Allison
Eldredge and their two daughters, Natalie and Jessica.