Re-imagining Sondheim from the Piano
Liaisons is a landmark concert project bringing together many of the world's foremost contemporary composers to create solo piano pieces based on songs by Stephen Sondheim.
Concert pianist Anthony de Mare, together with Sondheim, selected an impressive list of composers to participate, including Steve Reich, Jason Robert Brown, David Shire, Wynton Marsalis, and yours truly! I was commissioned to create a concert arrangement of "You Could Drive a Person Crazy," which I used as an opportunity to examine what might drive a pianist crazy.
Anthony de Mare’s dazzling virtuosity and originality at the piano have helped establish him as a true champion of contemporary music. He has inspired and premiered the creation of new work by composers of all generations and styles and has commissioned and collaborated with many of the world’s most esteemed musical artists. Praised for his “muscularly virtuosic, remarkably uninhibited performance [and] impressive talents” (NY Times), his performances continue to draw praise from leading music critics for breathing new life into the recital format.
"Eric Rockwell's tangy take on "You Could Drive a Person Crazy" would have done Victor Borge proud. It's so welcome to see humor in piano and new music performances, which too often share nothing but an overabundance of solemnity."
-Oregon Arts Watch
"I also can't help but mention the very entertaining You Could Drive a Person Crazy by Eric Rockwell. This clever piece of theater brings the best of Victor Borge into the 21st century."
-Concert Review by Scott Pender