"Uninhibited emotional expression...skillful instrumentation" (New York Times), "quite sensuous" (Boston Herald), "compelling and dynamic" (Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA), all describe Paul Alan Levi's music. His many works written for chorus, solo voice, piano, chamber ensembles, and orchestra feature a combination of lyricism, drama, intelligence, and energy, often with an underlying or overt sense of humor. He has a taste for quirky and unusual texts for his choral and vocal works, including the prose of Mark Twain, works of poets Robert Burns, Sally Fisher, Randall Jarrell, Toni Mergentime Levi and others, as well as passages from the Old Testament and Holocaust writings.
He is also the composer of the iconic PBS logo that ran for twelve years, 1972-1984.
Recent works include
Light at Play for orchestra
Venetian Mazes for solo piano
Dateless Calendar for chorus and chamber ensemble
Ebullience for solo piano
Levi writes, “I try to compose with a comedian’s sense of timing, even in non-comedic works. I think of my music as a gift to a community consisting of the composer, the performers, and the listener.”
Like many composers, Mr. Levi has written memorial works, but also has composed a piece celebrating birth, In the Womb, for chorus with electronic accompaniment. His most significant works, both for chorus, orchestra, and soloists, include the comedic Mark Twain Suite as well as his gripping and dramatic Passover Oratorio, Dayenu, both premiered in Carnegie Hall.
Paul Alan Levi currently resides in Washington, DC.