Concert pianist Anthony de Mare will perform an evening of music from Stephen Sondheim, one of the 20th century’s most influential composers, in “Liaisons: Re-imagining Sondheim from the Piano” at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18. The musician worked with some of the world’s foremost contemporary composers, who reinterpreted Sondheim’s songs as solo piano pieces for the concert.

Presented by the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, the performance will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. 

“Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano” is a landmark commissioning and concert project that represents de Mare’s vision to expand both the repertoire and the audience for contemporary music. A creator, performer, and co-producer of the project, de Mare commissioned 36 composers to bring the work of Sondheim into the concert hall. Composers hail from seven countries, range in age from 30 to 75, and represent more than 44 Pulitzers, Grammys, Tonys, and Academy Awards.

Chosen in consultation with Sondheim, the works selected by the composers span the classical, jazz, opera, pop, musical theatre, and film worlds, resulting in a new repertory that reveals Sondheim's influence across multiple genres and generations. The entire collection now stands as a celebration of Sondheim and the composers who rose to the challenge of adding their voices to his, a creative collaboration that affirms that his work is as much at home in a concert hall as on a Broadway stage.

De Mare’s performance will include reinterpreted selections from a variety of Sondheim’s musicals, including “Anyone Can Whistle,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Company,” “Follies,” “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” and “Into the Woods,” which was adapted into an American musical drama film of the same name in 2014.

In conjunction with his visit, de Mare will lead a lecture and question-and-answer session with participants in the inaugural class of Virginia Tech’s Lifelong Learning Institute. The institute is a member-driven, volunteer organization that draws on the wealth of academic and community resources in the New River Valley to provide intellectual, cultural, and social experiences for adults age 50 and older. De Mare will also lead a piano techniques workshop with Virginia Tech piano and music students.

Currently professor of piano at Manhattan School of Music and New York University, de Mare’s commitment to education is evidenced by his residency work at universities across North America, inspiring a whole new generation of pianists and contemporary music advocates, encouraging them to initiate creative strategies as innovative entrepreneurs.


Tickets are $25-$55 for general public and $10 for students and youth 18 years old and under. Tickets can be purchased online; at the Moss Arts Center's box office, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday; or by calling 540-231-5300.

Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to the event.

The Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech presents renowned artists from around the globe and from close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The Center for the Arts and the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology, with which the Center for the Arts is uniquely partnered, are housed in the Moss Arts Center. The Moss Arts Center is a 147,000-square-foot facility that includes the Street and Davis Performance Hall and its 1,274-seat Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre; visual art galleries; the four-story, experimental venue the Cube; and research studios.

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