Press and Testimonials


I have known Levi Hammer as a very worthy young conductor since he first participated in the Castleton Festival in 2010. His natural conducting talent I watched develop and strengthen in the repertoire assigned to him. I feel certain he will enjoy and merit a fine career.
— Lorin Maazel
with LM.jpg
Levi Hammer is a multi-faceted musician with a zest and passion for music. He is an excellent colleague and working with him is a real pleasure. We expect a great future for Levi.
— Barrie Kosky
Levi’s musicianship is very wide and very deep. He is a conductor with excellent hands and a real elegance on the podium. All of the elements of great musicianship are evident: impeccable rhythm, stylistic understanding, and a deep feeling for dramatic expression. A leader of the highest integrity, he is admired as much for who he is as for what he has accomplished.
— Christopher Wilkins
Levi Hammer is one of the most outstanding young musicians I have come across. He is extraordinarily intelligent with a vast range of musical knowledge and interest. There seems to be no subject that does not spark his imagination.
— Benjamin Zander
Hammer found steady ground between the two worlds. His earnest and precise direction balanced a romantic articulation of the structure with a modernist’s adherence to rhythm and color. Hammer’s nuanced rendering...electrified the room. Hammer conducted an interpretation that was both spacious and warm without neglecting the underlying cynicism of Mahler’s nostalgia. Hammer’s passionate interpretation neither rushed nor dawdled, but instead relished each variation.
— Boston Musical Intelligencer
Levi Hammer led a stirring performance from memory. The ASO musicians gave Hammer a fraternal solo bow when he was called back to stage.
— Cleveland Classical
Levi Hammer gave a performance of Afternoon of a Faun that was completely riveting.
— Cleveland Classical
This was inspired programming that realized the curatorial intentions of the artist as well in performance as it did on paper. Of course, this could only work if the artist has the ability, technically and musically, to pull it off. So how was Mr. Hammer’s performance? One word: Magnificent.
— Cleveland Classical
Though the baton is alluring, Hammer should keep a hand or two on the piano as his career advances. He’s good at it.
— Cleveland Classical
Levi’s musicianship is virtually unparalleled. I have yet to meet a young conductor so committed to the score and the composer’s intentions. His enthusiasm is so clearly evident when he has visited local schools as a conductor and clinician. There is no mistake that Levi is a pure musician, whose heart and soul pour through every note he conducts. He has served as an inspiration to all who have had the pleasure of working with him.
— Paul Jarrett, Akron Symphony Executive Director
Levi has always been a willing participant in any Board of Trustees activities, from educational talks and seminars to fundraising activities. The range of talents and knowledge that Levi possesses is unparalleled. He has impressed us with his leadership on the podium, his programming skills and engaging manner with the young audiences of our “Concerts for Kids,” and his expert direction of the Akron Youth Symphony. Levi is an incredibly valuable resource to our organization.
— Renée Pipitone, Akron Symphony Past Board President

Gershwin & The Great Tradition