Artistic Director | Piano
Pianist Max Levinson, Artistic Director of the San Juan Chamber MusicFest in Ouray, Colorado, is an active chamber musician, and is known as an intelligent and sensitive artist with a fearless technique. The Washington Post writes, “You can hear gasps in the audience – Max Levinson displays technical wizardry. His playing has solid, assured technique, clarity of vision and a sense of the permanent values in music that underlie surface variations.” He has performed widely as soloist throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Levinson also is an active chamber musician, and has collaborated with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, the Tokyo, Vermeer, Mendelssohn, and Borromeo Quartets, and regularly appears at major music festivals including Santa Fe, Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Killington and Switzerland’s Davos Festival.
Born in the Netherlands and raised in Los Angeles, Levinson began studying piano at age five. His first teachers were Bruce Sutherland and Aube Tzerko, and as a child he also studied cello, composition and conducting. He attended Harvard University, graduating cum laude with a degree in English Literature, and later completed his graduate studies with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory of Music, receiving an Artist Diploma and the Gunther Schuller Medal, an award given to the school’s top graduate student.
Levinson has performed as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Oregon Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Boston Pops, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland among others. He has worked with such conductors as Robert Spano, Neemi Järvi, Uriel Segal, Joseph Swensen, Jeffrey Kahane and Alasdair Neale. Recital appearances include Washington Performing Arts Society’s “Kreeger String & Hayes Piano Series” at the Kennedy Center, Tonhalle Orchester Zurich’s “Competition Winner Series,” Ravinia’s “Rising Stars,” Lincoln Center’s “What Makes it Great” and the FleetBank Boston “Emerging Artists Series.”
His debut recitals at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall as the Guardian Competition winner were critical successes and received standing ovations. He performed ambitious programs, which included works by Bartók, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Schönberg, Schubert and Kirchner. Of the New York debut performance, The New York Times wrote that Levinson’s “quietly eloquent conceptions, formidable technique and lovely touch left little else to be desired.”
Levinson’s most recent recording is of the Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano, with violinist Stefan Jackiw (Sony Classical). He has also recorded the Brahms Horn Trio with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival for the Stereophile label, and the violin sonatas of Debussy, Janácek, and Prokofiev with violinist Andrew Kohji Taylor for Warner Classics. Upcoming recording projects include the complete piano music of Bruce Sutherland.
Strongly committed to nurturing young audiences, Levinson has been a participant in the Grammy-in-the-Schools program throughout the United States and in other outreach performances in numerous cities. He has experimented with Internet broadcast, served as Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University’s Lowell House for four years, and has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and “A Note to You.” Levinson serves on the boards of the Aube Tzerko Piano Institute and AMRON (Artists Musicians Recital Opportunity Network). In 2000, he was asked by the Millennium Committee of Ireland to design a National Education Initiative, and gave a televised masterclass as part of the project. He has also taught masterclasses at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Harvard, MIT, Brigham Young University, Rutgers, the University of Washington, UCLA, the Colburn School, Boston University, the Music Teacher’s Association of California annual convention and in various cities throughout the U.S. In 1997, he was named “Best Debut Artist” by The Boston Globe and was added to Steinway’s distinguished roster of artists.
Levinson is Chair of the Piano Department at the Boston Conservatory, and is also a faculty member at the New England Conservatory. He was formerly on the applied music faculty of Brown University. He has recently become active as a conductor, and his performances as conductor of the Killington Music Festival and Foulger Chamber Orchestra have resulted in standing ovations and return engagements. He lives in Boston with his daughters Natalie and Jessica.
Harumi Rhodes is the second violinist of the internationally-renowned Takács Quartet, performing 80 concerts a year worldwide. Acclaimed by The New York Times as a “deeply expressive violinist,” Rhodes has gained recognition as a multi-faceted musician with a distinctive musical voice. Originally from New Jersey, she was born into a family with Japanese, American, Russian and Romanian roots. After studying at the Julliard School and the New England Conservatory, she co-founded the Naumburg Award-winning ensemble Trio Cavatina, served as artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society, and performed extensively with Music from Copland House, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the East Cost Chamber Orchestra and Musicians Marlboro.
She is Associate Professor of Violin, Artist in Residence and Ralph E. and Barbara L. Christoffersen Faculty Fellow at the University of Colorado Boulder. Rhodes combines her performing career with a passionate commitment to guiding young instrumentalists, composers and ensembles. For more information, please visit:
Cellist Alice Yoo has been warmly hailed for her sensitive musicianship, expressive nuance and passionate commitment to teaching. She has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. Co-Founder and Co-Artistic director of the Denver Chamber Music Festival, she and cellist Matthew Zalkind have created a new chamber music festival in Denver that features the world’s most sought-after chamber musicians in world-class chamber music summer concerts all around the city of Denver.
Ms. Yoo is currently on the chamber music faculty at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. She was the guest cello professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder during the 2018-2019 school year and the University of Denver as a sabbatical-replacement in 2020. For more biographical information, please visit: