American composer Peter Lieberson was born in New York City on 25 October 1946. He studied composition with Milton Babbitt, Charles Wuorinen, Donald Martino and Martin Boykan. He was also a student of the Tibetan Buddhist master Chogyam Trungpa, and his music is often influenced by Buddhist philosophy.
During the early part of his career, he taught at Harvard and worked for the meditation and cultural programme Shambhala Training. He first became widely known in 1983 when Peter Serkin and the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave the first performance of his piano concerto.
From 1994 onwards, he devoted his professional life to composition.
His second wife was the mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, for whom he wrote his Rilke Songs and Neruda Songs. The latter cycle earned him the 2008 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition.
Lieberson died in Israel on 23 April 2011, aged 64, whilst undergoing treatment for cancer.
A selection of M&V articles about Peter Lieberson
CD Spotlight. Unconventionally Scored - Quartets by Roger Reynolds and Peter Lieberson, heard by Howard Smith. 'These performances can hardly be faulted ...'
Ensemble. Rousing Performance - Mendelssohn, Ravel, Larsen and Tchaikovsky in South Florida, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Ensemble. In Memory - Kelly Ferjutz remembers Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's visit to Cleveland
Three Questions before the First Night - Carson Cooman talks to Tobias Picker about his new opera 'An American Tragedy'
Three Questions before the First Night - Carson Cooman talks to Peter Lieberson about the forthcoming performances of 'Neruda Songs'
Ensemble. Glistening quality - Christian Tetzlaff plays Brahms, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen