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Born: 1946, New York, New YorkDied: 2011

“If you investigate what [a piece of music] is made of, you find nothing more than bits of sound that have no inherent meaning whatsoever. Somehow, notes have been endowed with such passion that they magnetize further notes until, magically, a world is born that makes us cry and laugh.”

PETER LIEBERSON came to prominence in the mid-1980s with the Piano Concerto and Drala, two major commissions from the Boston Symphony, with whom he enjoyed a fruitful collaboration. Of profound influence on his music was his practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Many of his works were inspired by Buddhist themes such as King Gesar (1991) and the opera Ashoka’s Dream (1997), both from a series of works based on the lives of enlightened rulers. Lyricism and vocal writing dominated his works of the last decade, reflecting the rich collaborations with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, for whom he composed Neruda Songs (winner of the 2008 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition). In addition to his associations with major orchestras such as Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles, Lieberson enjoyed long-standing artistic collaborations with Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax and Oliver Knussen. Recent commissions included Remembering JFK: An American Elegy for the National Symphony Orchestra, The World in Flower for the New York Philharmonic; Remembering Schumann for Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax, The Coming of Light; a song cycle for baritone, oboe, and string quartet; the orchestral Suite from Ashoka's Dream; and Songs of Love and Sorrow for Gerald Finley and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His music is published exclusively by Associated Music Publishers.

Further listening:

Drala, Ziji, Fire, Raising the Gaze, Accordance,Three Songs, Free and Easy WandererCleveland Orchestra, London Sinfonietta,ASKO Ensemble, Oliver Knussen (DG)