Welcome to the personal website of conductor Levi Hammer, a musician of remarkable range and versatility who is invigorating the world of classical music today. Here you can follow Levi's diverse activities, learn about his life, read the latest written by and about him, and stay in touch with him through the web!
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On Levi's Desk
So many Peters in music: Peter Grimes, Peter and the Wolf, Petrushka, Pierrot Lunaire (the latter two being diminutives.) Other Peters?!
Reading Messiaen's analysis of Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin. "...the palpable modesty with which Ravel allows a glimpse of a neutral seventh or ninth chord. He stays on the edge of the picture and dreams of the castle into which he dare not enter..." WOW! July 31, 2014
Haydn 88: both rustic and metropolitan, witty and serious, effortless yet complex, confounding yet reassuring. And the second movement is SUBLIME - no wonder Brahms wanted his 9th Symphony to sound like this! July 21, 2014
Study retreat at the home of Joe and Connie Tasker in Rappahannock. June 30, 2014
Returning from the League of American Orchestra's conference in Seattle with a renewed gratitude for the industry that makes our art possible. June 6, 2014
Unable to sleep after the Cleveland Orchestra's stunning Cunning Little Vixen. My jaw was on the floor for the entire performance. May 19, 2014
Conclusion: Dvorak's New World is NOT a symphony of triumph; it is NOT a "Siegensymphonie." The shift to major comes too late, and it's still inflected with sorrow - see the high melodic minor sixths in the first violins! A sense of melancholy remains even in the smile of the final wind chord. April 28, 2014
Beethoven 5 never gets old, always feels fresh. And the scherzo's phrasal twists and turns feel like Beethovenian M.C. Escher. And Rossini's Stabat Mater - what a masterpiece! April 7, 2014
Quickly reviewing Schumann 4 in anticipation of Dohnanyi's rehearsal in Cleveland. March 24, 2014
Beethoven's Seventh this week. I rarely do this, but I'm following an inner, invented program: First movement - Creation of the cosmos, the pervasive rhythmic motive is the dancing of the gods. Second movmement - Somber and sublime, the scene focuses on earth. Third movement - The mind of the genius; Beethoven's schizoid scherzo. Fourth movement - Enter the humans (us!), a rustic hoedown. March 17, 2014
PRESS RELEASE: Levi Hammer has been promoted to the position of Associate Conductor of the Akron Symphony
"Levi Hammer led a stirring performance from memory. The ASO musicians gave Hammer a fraternal solo bow when he was called back to stage."
"Though the baton is alluring, Hammer should keep a hand or two on the piano as his career advances. He’s good at it."
"We don't often have a chance to convey this, but I think the kids are very fortunate to have such an articulate, passionate, and accomplished conductor at the helm." -Sung Cha, parent of Akron Youth Symphony cellist Alex Cha