Levi Hammer, Piano, guest artist
Known for his remarkable range and versatility, conductor Levi Hammer appears regularly as symphonic and operatic conductor, concerto soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and art song collaborator. His current season includes performances across Europe, including conducting the new Barrie Kosky production of Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) at the Berliner Ensemble, conducting Cabaret at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, appearances as symphonic conductor and solo pianist and working as assistant conductor and pianist at the Staatsoper Berlin, the Bayerische Staatsoper and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival for a new production of Tristan und Isolde conducted by Simon Rattle and directed by Simon Stone.
Upon relocating to Germany in 2016, Hammer spent three seasons in the German opera house system, first at the Komische Oper Berlin, where he was entrusted with repertoire spanning the historical and modern canon and continuing at the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, where he conducted notable operatic performances and debuted as a ballet conductor. In 2018 Hammer joined Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium Artists, working alongside Hannigan with orchestras and projects in Munich, Stockholm, Paris and Hamburg, notably including Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and Pulcinella.
A protégé of Lorin Maazel, Hammer served as Associate Conductor at the Castleton Festival, where he shared symphonic programs with Maazel, conducted new productions of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins and prepared Carmen, Il Trittico and orchestral programs for Maazel. As Associate Conductor at Central City Opera (Colorado), he led performances of Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Ned Rorem’s Our Town, a work he studied with its composer. For four seasons he was also on the staff of Cincinnati Opera, first as Assistant Conductor, then Resident Conductor, in which capacity he conducted the Cincinnati Symphony. On the music staffs of theaters in both Europe and North America he has conducted performances, played numerous song recitals and worked on every aspect of theatrical production, amassing a repertoire of over fifty operas with an emphasis on Mozart, Wagner and 20th century classics.
Hammer was Associate Conductor of the Akron Symphony for five seasons; there he conducted over 100 concerts and led the preparation of all theatrical collaborations. As a recipient of the Ansbacher Conducting Fellowship, he spent a summer with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival and appeared in recital with concertmaster Rainer Honeck. He was the Zander Conducting Fellow at the Boston Philharmonic, where he conducted an acclaimed concert of Mahler and Schoenberg. Hammer has acted as assistant conductor for some of the most esteemed conductors of our time, including Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, Lorin Maazel, Roberto Abbado, Matthias Pintscher, Oliver Knussen, Barbara Hannigan, Asher Fisch and Ludovic Morlot.
In addition to the standard repertoire, Hammer is adept in both baroque and contemporary music, with a special interest in expressionism and the Second Viennese School. Also a “pianist of commanding technique, with a keen sense of color and texture,” he has recently performed concerti of Ravel, Mozart and Gershwin, played with the Munich Philharmonic, the New World Symphony and Mercury Baroque and has performed Aaron Copland’s complete music for piano on several occasions.
Hammer studied conducting, piano, composition and languages at the University Mozarteum Salzburg, Rice University, Arizona State University, and he recently completed a doctorate in orchestral conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His dissertation project, an arrangement of Schoenberg’s Pelleas and Melisande in the tradition of Schoenberg’s Society for Private Musical Performance, has been published by Universal Edition. His mentors include Barbara Hannigan, Lorin Maazel, Dennis Russell Davies, Kurt Masur, Mark Gibson and Christopher Wilkins.
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ASU Katzin Concert Hall
50 E Gammage Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85281