MSU Composer to Take Part in Stephen Sondheim Tribute

Ricardo Lorenz, associate professor of composition in the MSU College of Music (left), is one of 17 leading composers who have reimagined their favorite Stephen Sondheim songs for a concert of new solo piano works that will be performed by pianist Anthony de Mare this weekend.

“Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano” will take place Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m., at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater at Symphony Space, located at 95th Street and Broadway, New York City.

The event marries some of the most beloved works from the world of musical theater to some of the most exciting classical composers of today, including Lorenz, Mason Bates, Derek Bermel, William Bolcom, Kenji Bunch, Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie, Fred Hersch, Ethan Iverson, Gabriel Kahane, Tania Leon, Paul Moravec, David Rakowski, Steve Reich, Daniel Bernard Roumain, David Shire, and Mark Anthony Turnage.

Chosen by de Mare in consultation with Sondheim, each composer put their own spin on recognizable classics from some of Sondheim’s best-loved shows, including Company, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, Anyone Can Whistle, A Little Night Music, Into the Woods, Merrily We Roll Along, Follies, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Lorenz’s contribution to the event is the world premiere of Latin fusion “The Worst [Empanadas] in London” based on “The Worst Pies in London/A Little Priest” from Sweeney Todd.

Following the performance, Stephen Sondheim himself will join Mark Eden Horowitz, the critically acclaimed author of Sondheim on Music, for an intimate on-stage conversation about his life and work. Afterwards, Lorenz will take part in a panel discussion with several of the featured composers that will be moderated by Laura Kaminsky, Symphony Space’s artistic director.

The Symphony Space concert comes after nearly a year of performances of "Liaisons" across the country, including stops in San Francisco, Fort Worth, and the Hudson Opera House, as well as a performance in May at the Gilmore Festival. A full recording of the project is also underway, produced by Judith Sherman, for release in 2013.

For complete program and ticket information, please visit

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