Born in Los Angeles but raised in Switzerland, Lieberman expressed her feelings early on in journals and in song. One of three sisters, her early musical influences began with Donovan, Francoise Hardy, and Dionne Warwick, but her inspirations shifted when her sister returned from college in Maine, and gifted Lori with her favorite music from U.S. which included Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, and Tom Rush. “I finally felt at home with their musical sensibilities and their writing really reached into my heart, “ she says. She began to write her own material, playing in high school bands and later, in college in Boston, before landing her first record deal with Capitol Records in the early 1970s.
Lieberman went on to record five more albums for Capitol (Lori Lieberman, Becoming, A Piece of Time, Straw Colored Girl, and The Best of Lori Lieberman), which featured a young Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Merry Clayton, and members of the LA Express, to name a few. She toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe, along with Billy Joel, Randy Newman, John Sebastian, and others. However, it was her association with a little known New York–based record label, Millennium/RCA, that she was most encouraged to step away from the mainstream. Under Jimmy Ienner’s guidance, she wrote one of her most candid collections of songs entitled Letting Go.
As the styles of the music industry changed from James Taylor to disco, Ms. Lieberman struggled to create music that fit in. “One awful meeting led to another until the day I walked into a publisher’s office,” she says, recalling the moment she called it quits. “He put his hand up as if to say, ‘hold on’ while he continued to discuss his dinner plans. I waited, got up, and left. I remember thinking, ‘I’m done.’ And I was.” With a mischievous laugh, she adds, “The same publisher is now a realtor and has friend-requested me on Facebook… I think I’ll make him wait!”
Lieberman focused on her family life, the mother of three children (Em, Daniel, and Will), and stayed away from the music business for the next 15 years. She regards that time as one of the happiest and most fulfilling of all, and yet, she secretly kept on writing songs that no one heard, in her small studio in the upstairs corner of her home.
Her music took a backseat until producer and audiophile, Joseph Cali, coaxed a reluctant Lieberman out of the shadows, and got her singing again. In the time spent away from the music business, Cali was surprised to find that she had continued writing, putting her thoughts and music in her secret archive. He had an idea to involve his former partner in Cello Music and Film, engineer Mark Levinson, to create a two-mic live experience with Lieberman for the audiophile community.
The Matangi Quartet
was founded in 1999 by four young musicians then studying at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and the Conservatory of Rotterdam and has since developed into a regular performer in the Dutch chamber music scene and abroad. They shared the stage with various top-class classical musicians such as Miranda van Kralingen, Tania Kross, Ivo Janssen, Paolo Giacometti and Severin von Eckardstein.
The quartet has also been invited to perform in various festivals, including the Delft Chamber Music Festival, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Carthage Festival in Tunisia, the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, the International Conservatoire Festival in St Petersburg and the North Sea Jazz festival in the Netherlands.
Matangi regularly participates in innovative crossover projects and has performed in collaboration with artists such as cabaretiers Herman van Veen and Youp van ’t Hek, bandoneon player Carel Kraayenhof, jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans, jazz pianist Michiel Braam, DJ Kypski, jazz vocalists Mathilde Santing and Renske Taminiau, singer songwriters Lory Liebermann and Tom McRae. These pioneering excursions beyond the borders of classical music have resulted in Matangi winning an enthusiastic new public for the string quartet. No less important, this has provided a source of inspiration for infusing performances of the rich classical repertoire built up over the past 250 years – from Haydn to Adès – with new élan. For essentially, the Matangi are focused on just one thing: letting the audience palpably experience the energy, passion and excitement that is inherent in all good music.
In 2002 Matangi was awarded the prestigious Kersjes van de Groenekan Award, an annual prize awarded to exceptional chamber music talent in the Netherlands. In 2008 the quartet won third prize at the International Joseph Joachim Chamber Music Competition in Weimar.
The Matangi Quartet released several CDs issued by Challenge Records International which all received great critical acclaim. The latest releases were the CDs ‘Mendelssohn’ (2009), ‘Candybox’ (2010) and ‘Haydn’s Nature’ (2013). Together with viola da gamba player Ralph Rousseau the quartet won the Edison Audience Award 2009, for their CD ‘Chansons d’amour’ (Challenge Records 2008). The CD ‘Testimoni’ with Martin Fondse (composition and vibrandoneon) and Eric Vloeimans (trumpet) was awarded the Edison Jazz prize 2012.
In 2003 Matangi completed the two-year, full-time course at the Netherlands String Quartet Academy under the direction of Stefan Metz (cellist, Orlando Quartet). At the Academy, the Matangi Quartet had the opportunity to take lessons from international renowned musicians, including the members of the Amadeus Quartet. The quartet also received intensive mentoring from Henk Guittart (violist, Schönberg Quartet) for several years.
All four musicians perform on instruments of Dutch workmanship. The cello and first violin have been provided on loan by the Dutch National Musical Instrument Foundation.