The career of pianist Jeffrey Biegel has been marked by bold, creative achievements and highlighted by a series of firsts.

He performed the first live internet recitals in New York and Amsterdam in 1997 and 1998, enabling him to be seen and heard by a global audience. In 1999, he assembled the largest consortium of orchestras (over 25), to celebrate the millennium with a new concerto composed for him by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. The piece, entitled 'Millennium Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra', was premiered with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In 1997, he performed the World Premiere of the restored, original 1924 manuscript of George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' with the Boston Pops. Charles Strouse composed a new work titled 'Concerto America' for Biegel, celebrating America and honoring the heroes and events of 9-11. Biegel premiered the piece with the Boston Pops in 2002. He transcribed the first edition of Balakirev's 'Islamey Fantasy' for piano and orchestra, which he premiered with the American Symphony Orchestra in 2001, and edited and recorded the first complete set of all '25 Preludes' by Cesar Cui.

Currently, he is assembling the first global consortium for the new 'Concerto no. 3 for Piano and Orchestra' being composed for him by Lowell Liebermann for 2005-06-07. The World Premiere will take place with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andreas Delfs on May 12-14 2006, followed by the European Premiere with the Schleswig Holstein Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Oskamp, February 6-9, 2007.

Biegel is currently on the piano faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, at the City University of New York (CUNY) and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY).

Visit Jeffrey Biegel's Web Site
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Music accepted after 100 years--why?

In reading this today while in Plymouth, MA, it struck me that many wonderful pieces of music were so ill received in their beginnings--which can be traced back ad infinitum. Check out about the 1904 Sibelius Violin Concerto and the 1943 Shostakovich Eighth Symphony. What's remarkable, is that perhaps our society today, even though people say it's not true, is just as much (if not more) acceptable of new music than 100 years ago. Nobody shouts these days, or yells out 'boos'. If they don't like something, they'll simply clap less vigorously. I'd be curious to see who has knowledge of music composed from 1960-1990s that was shelved and thrown by the wayside, and revived since then for our more tolerable ears of the 21st century. Have the ears of 1904 transcended to our 2005 acceptability? Or, are we returning to a melodic romanticism to please the war-time aesthetics of our society--or just because these things cycle and go through trends? Do composers write today feeling that we are in a war-time society? What was it about the Sibelius Concerto that made it unsuccessful in 1904 and now considered to be a glorious piece of music? Are new works today considered in a similar fashion, hoping to be considered great music in 100 years too?