Dreaming Awake

Dreaming Awake


Artist: Bruce Levingston with Ethan Hawke

Composer: Philip Glass

Format: 2 CDs


Add To Cart

Pianist Bruce Levingston has had a long and celebrated association with Philip Glass and his music. In 2004, the composer wrote his musical tribute to the artist Chuck Close especially for Levingston who premiered the work at New York City’s Lincoln Center. The following year, Glass joined Levingston in the same venue for a series of piano duos in a concert that also featured Levingston’s longtime friend and Chelsea Hotel neighbor actor Ethan Hawke. At that concert, Levingston and Hawke performed Glass’s “Wichita Vortex Sutra” that includes a narration of the Allen Ginsberg poem that inspired the work. Glass and Ginsberg had performed and recorded it themselves, but the composer enthusiastically blessed this performance by a new generation of artists. Glass, Hawke and Levingston then together performed the finale of Einstein on the Beach. Glass later invited Levingston to join him in premiering his complete Études at The Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City in 2014.

Now this extraordinary group of artists is reunited in this Sono Luminus release of Bruce Levingston’s new album Dreaming Awake. Levingston, an acclaimed concert pianist and recording artist whose last album, Heavy Sleep (DSL-92183), was named one the “Best Recordings of the Year” by The New York Times, pays tribute to Philip Glass with an exploration of his music that spans the length of the composer’s career. This release includes the world premiere recording of “The Illusionist Suite”, ten of the composer’s dramatic and deeply moving Études, as well as the richly colored tone poems “Dreaming Awake”, “Metamorphosis No. 2”, and “Wichita Vortex Sutra” featuring Ethan Hawke as guest artist performing the Allen Ginsberg poem with Bruce Levingston.

This new 2-disc album radiates with what The New York Times calls “Mr. Levingston’s mastery of nuance and color” and “his extraordinary gifts as a colorist and performer who can hold attention rapt with the softest playing” (MusicWeb International). It is a very intimate and personal tribute from one of the most sensitive, poetic pianists of our time to one of the most influential and important composers of our era.

Pianist Bruce Levingston is one of the country’s leading figures in contemporary classical music. He regularly appears in some of the world’s most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Royal Opera House of London. Many of today’s most important composers have written music for him and his performances of their works have won notable critical acclaim. The New York Times has praised his “mastery of color and nuance” and The New Yorker has called him “a force for new music.” 

Levingston’s recordings have also garnered numerous accolades. His album Heavy Sleep was named one of the “Best Classical Recordings of the Year” by The New York Times. Gramophone has called his playing “masterly” and praised his “compelling, colourful pianism.” The American Record Guide called Levingston “a pianist’s pianist.” 

Levingston has collaborated with some of the most gifted artists of our time including composer Philip Glass, prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri, dancer Herman Cornejo, actor Ethan Hawke, composer/singer Lisa Bielawa, authors Michael Cunningham and George Plimpton, Colin Jacobsen and Eric Jacobsen and the Brooklyn Rider, and choreographers Jorma Elo and Russell Maliphant. He has also worked with numerous cultural institutions involving art, dance, film and music including American Ballet Theatre, Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Rooftop Films, SFMoMA, Rooftop Films, Alliance Française/ French Institute, Joyce Theater, the Aspen Institute and Aspen Music Festival. 

Levingston is founder and artistic director of the music foundation Premiere Commission, Inc., which has commissioned and premiered over sixty new works, and is the author of Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull, the comprehensive biography and survey of the work of the noted Southern painter.


Track List

1. Étude No. 2    9:05

2. Étude No. 11    7:45

The Illusionist Suite
3. I. The Illusionist     2:56
4. II. The Orange Tree    1:56
5.III. The Locket     3:08
6. IV. Life in the Mountains    3:55

7. Étude No. 16    4:06

8. Étude No. 17    12:45

9. Wichita Vortex Sutra    7:26
[with Ethan Hawke] 

1. Dreaming Awake    7:28

2. Étude No. 1     5:30

3. Étude No. 5    9:41

4. Étude No. 6    5:43

5. Étude No. 12    8:23

6. Étude No. 9    3:09

7. Étude No. 10    6:15

8. Metamorphosis No. 2    10:21

Disc 1 time: 53:09
Disc 2 time: 56:35
Release date: September 30, 2016
UPC: 053479220523

The impeccable command for which Levingston’s become known are again evident...The range of emotional expression and technical command he demonstrates in this performance is exceptional.
— Textura
One of the best Glass piano programs I have ever heard.
— American Record Guide

More from Bruce Levingston