Cecelia Porter, contributing critic for the Washington Post

“Paul Leavitt’s Requiem…should belong in every chorus’s repertoire.”

“…deeply expressive and skillfully written.”

“… successfully combines the sense of overwhelming grief and consolation that suffuse the requiems of Mozart, Verdi, Brahms and Fauré.”

“consistently fluid…a clear feeling of direction and focus…steeped in rich contrapuntal texture…ethereal serenity.”

“I highly recommend the CD” (conducted by Thea Kano)

Patrick McCoy, DC Performing Arts Examiner, June 2012

Drawing from the ranks within the Choral Arts family, the music of member, Paul Leavitt, came in the manner of his beautiful setting of the “In Paradisium” from his Requiem conducted by Scribner. Soprano soloist Karen Henricson soared into the heavens with a voice of angelic clarity.

Terry Ponick, The Washington Times, March 5th, 2013

This intriguing show was further enhanced by the absolutely spot-on performance of pianist and show music director Paul Leavitt who performed heroically and masterfully throughout, demonstrating his incredible yet understated grasp of Weill’s complex musical idiom.

Jessica Vaughn, DC Metro Theatre Arts, March 2, 2013

Musical Director Paul Leavitt takes to the piano for a spirited rendition of these quick and complicated songs and has guided the singers to great performances.

Donna Shor, Hollywood on the Potomac, December 22, 2012

At the concert another multi-talented musician, a composer, pianist, organist and choral conductor was given a splendid ovation. Paul Leavitt, the organist for the evening, heard one of the choir’s selections, his expressive “ Christmas Madrigal” resoundingly applauded. “It was a joy,” said Leavitt, “for the first time to hear this music I had written backed by the power of a 160-voice chorus.”

Nelson Pressley, The Washington Post, February 4th, 2004

His melodies(David Friedman’s), rendered with supple energy by pianist Paul Leavitt, continually press forward.

Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post, December 2003

Commissioned and performed by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, composer Paul Leavitt’s “Oseh  Shalom” had plaintive eloquence.

Le Monde, September 1993

…avec au piano l’excellent Paul Leavitt…

Johannes Adam, Badische Zeitung, August 8, 1989

…und “Ondine”

Einen sehr schönen Ravel bot Paul Leavitt mit “Ondine” aus “Gaspard de la Nuit”. Eine zarte, weiche, impressionistisch-filigrane Flitterwelt. Da stand selbst eine unbegleitete Melodie nicht verlassen im Raum.

…and “Ondine”

Paul Leavitt offered a very beautiful Ravel with “Ondine” from Gaspard de la Nuit. A sweet and delicate glitterworld in impressionistic filigrane. A melody, unaccompanied though not abandonned, hovered all alone above the hall.

Sentinel-Enterprise, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, Tuesday, October 20th, 1986

Pianist Leavitt shows brilliant interpretation

by Emily Van Hazinga

Fitchburg-Playing in public, as much as practicing, makes a musician’s gifts shine. Paul Leavitt gave a highly polished recital of piano works for a public of some 200 people at Colon Auditorium last Sunday afternoon.

The Bach prelude and fugue that opened the program were precisely rendered, followed by an equally impeccable but understated interpretation of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.

Turning to Chopin, the interpretation and the interpreter came to life. The heart and mind of Leavitt are clearly and profoundly steeped in composers of the Romantic period. The two pieces he chose, the 4th Ballade and the Grande Polonaise were played nothing less than brilliantly. The Variations and Fugue on a theme of Haendel by Brahms rounded out this afternoon’s program.

At 20 years old, he completed a bachelor’s degree in piano at SUNY Purchase.

Leavitt’s career will be one to follow. A piano student from the age of 5 and recipient of several competition honors before the age of 20 (including finalist in the National Chopin Competition at age 17), he is manifestly dedicated to music and will go far as his considerable talent will take him.

Fitchburg is fortunate to have been the starting point and the afternoon stopping point in the rising career of this young pianist.

Edward French, Knickerbocker News, March 5, 1979

Paul Leavitt gave a bravura performance of the first movement of Anton Rubinstein’s “Concerto no. 4 in D minor for Piano and Orchestra”.

Peter Trump, Albany Times-Union, March 6, 1979

From the orchestra’s opening chords the Russian flavor of Rubinstein’s Piano Concerto No.4, op. 70, first movement, was most evident. Fifteen-year-old Paul Leavitt obliged with a close approximation of the late Russian school of piano playing, gleaned from Joseph Fennimore, who comes up from New York City to teach in the area. This was probably the flashiest playing of the afternoon.

Link to Examiner Article


Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2013

Music director Paul Leavitt conducted the onstage string quintet from the keyboard with a sure sense of momentum that was accommodating to both the singers and the needs of the drama.

Rosalind Lacy, DC Theatre Scene, December 3rd, 2013

Musically directed by a master of multi-tasking, Paul Leavitt plays the grand piano with his right hand, while standing up to left-handedly conduct a string quintet of two violins, a viola, cello and string bass. Patton’s music is atonal, repetitive, unnerving and difficult. Yet the singers and instrumentalists are excellent, technically secure, and perform with fervor.

Roger Catlin, MD Theatre Guide, Dec. 6th, 2013

Musical director Paul Leavitt does a splendid job in simultaneously conducting the string quintet and adding keyboard to music that is challenging and dissonant at first and warms to richer harmonies — as family reunions often do.