Jeffrey Levine has been composing music professionally since his first commission from the Fromm Foundation and Tanglewood in 1967. A widely experienced and eclectic musician, he has drawn upon his musical background of jazz, symphonic and chamber music, and contemporary artmusic, to write pieces that range from the most post-modern-abstract to easily accessible pieces for children. His music has been played by such eminent musicians as Pierre Boulez, Gunther Schuller, and Ursula Oppens, and in such diverse venues as the New York Philharmonic, in the northern reaches of Alaska, and in music festivals throughout America and Europe.

Mr. Levine has written for solo instruments, for voice, for chamber ensembles, for orchestras, jazz bands, and for film. A graduate of Brown University and the Yale University School of Music, he has received many grants and awards, including a Fulbright grant, and a fellowship-grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been commissioned by the Oakland Ballet, by the Empire Brass Quintet, and by many individual musicians, and has written the score for the award-winning documentary, “Margaret Mead; an Observer Observed.” After studying primarily with Gunther Schuller and Mel Powell at Yale, and with Franco Donatoni in Italy, Mr. Levine, in recent years, has developed his own unique harmonic style – one adaptable, but not restricted, to forms and techniques commonly found in the music of the past century and in music from earlier eras as well.

In addition to his activities as a composer, Jeffrey Levine is an accomplished bass player and teacher. He was a founding member of Speculum Musicae, principal bass with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and an original member of the ground-breaking new music group, the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. He has played in orchestras and chamber music groups in the United States and Europe, and, earlier in his career, in jazz ensembles, and big bands. As a teacher, Mr. Levine has been on the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, Rutger’s University, and Bennington College, and The University of Massachusetts.

Mr. Levine’s works, Tapestry, and Variations Romanesca, are recorded on Opus One Records. The main body of his works is published by his own publishing company, Music Door Editions. In addition, some of his earlier works are published by Edizioni Suvini-Zerboni, Milan and by Margun Music.


High School

  • 1958 – joined Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians

  • 1959 – first professional job with the Daphne Hellman Trio in Wellfleet, Massachusetts

  • 1960 – graduates High School


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Discography and Performances

  • Carl Neilsen: “Serenata in Vano”
    with the Lark Woodwind Quintet; Lyrichord, LLST 7155

  • Friedrich Kalkbrenner: “Grand Quintet”
    with Mary Louise Boehm, piano; Turnabout, TV-S 34506

  • Ignaz Moscheles: “Concerto for Piano and Five Strings”
    with Mary Louise Boehm, piano; Turnabout, TV 34678