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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

Levi's Latest

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

Prokofiev Classical and Poulenc Babar tour with the Magical Theatre Company.  Check out the cast!  April 21, 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

Am with Runnicles and Spano in Atlanta this week, and after years of studying it, the Rite of Spring now feels like a (towering and foreboding) old friend.  Instead of fearing it, I now revel in Stravinsky's perversity.  March 10, 2014

Beethoven on my desk, but looking forward to funk band Get On Up tonight.  Beethoven can be funky, right?  March 4, 2014

Dug up the 18th century "Gypsy" tunes that served as Kodaly's models for Dances of Galanta.  February 21, 2014

Reading Barzini's The Italians and came across this fabulous passage: "Italians on their death beds, in rooms facing especially noisy squares or streets, are known to have renounced leaving their last wishes and advice to weeping relatives, being too weak to make themselves heard."  February 12, 2014

Starting off my re-study of Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream by re-reading the Shakespeare.  February 4, 2014

Kodaly's Dances of Galanta...a distinctly Hungarian joie de vivre...I love this music!  January 6, 2014

I've fallen in love with the little E-flat Serenade of Mozart!  December 21, 2013

Arias of Donizetti, Mozart, Offenbach, Rossini and Strauss.  November 19, 2013

Shakespeare's As You Like It and Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis.  November 4, 2013

Fauré and Ravel Pavanes, Puccini and Mascagni Intermezzi.  October 28, 2013

Spending much of this week with Sibelius 7.  The complexity and beauty and rightness of this work astounds me.  October 21, 2013

Recent review:

"Levi Hammer led a stirring performance from memory.  The ASO musicians gave Hammer a fraternal solo bow when he was called back to stage."

"I want to create an environment where beauty is fostered through music"  -LH

Recent review: 

"Though the baton is alluring, Hammer should keep a hand or two on the piano as his career advances. He’s good at it."

From Sung Cha, parent of Akron Youth Symphony musician Alex Cha: 

"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."