Music Director Candidate Biography: Paul Leavitt
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.
As a composer he has produced a considerable body of work for chorus, theatre, dance, film and piano. 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 and the Washington National Cathedral. 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 under the baton of Thea Kano in February 2009, his Requiem for chorus, soloists & orchestra continues to reach an ever-widening audience. 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.
Mr. Leavitt has been full-time director of Music and Arts at Church of the Reformation on Capital Hill in Washington, DC since 2002. He has led the Reformation Festival Choir on two European tours and numerous concerts in the area.
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.