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
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Season of New Music and Standards

After performing for over twenty years, I am looking forward to traversing the US to orchestras in a variety of repertoire. I always feared that new music would lose a place in society due to inaccessibility amongst the wary audience. Fortunately, there are composers aplenty who have revived the lush neo-Romantic style coupled with a breath of fresh air in harmonic, melodic and rhythmic textures.

In addition to recording Ellen Taaffe Zwilich works for piano and orchestra in 2009, this season will bring out a remarkable piano concerto by Keith Emerson, who was the electrifying keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, plus many performances of Lowell Liebermann's Third Piano Concerto. The Liebermann project began in 2003, and it is only now that I will be able to sit at the piano and enjoy the performances with the co-commissioning orchestras.

At long last, Leroy Anderson's 2008 centennial is upon us. Since 1992, I have embraced his delightful piano 'Concerto in C', and the Naxos recording I did with Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Concert Orchestra will be jubilantly released in January 2008. On a personal note, I cannot begin to express the utmost pleasure and distinct honor to have worked with Maestro Slatkin. We met over twenty years ago--all I can remember was that I played the 'Islamey Fantasy' for him in a room at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. I had only dreamed of working with him, and the reality of that dream was well worth the long wait. Earlier this season, after another long wait, I had the pleasure to work with Andrew Litton and the Colorado Symphony with Liebermann's Third Concerto. As a pianist as well, Maestro Litton grasped the score and understood every nuance and every move I made, which made for a wonderful first collaboration--and, he is one heckuva guy and musician!

Naturally, a fear is always to become stereo-typed, and fortunately, I have made sure not to allow myself to lose my love for the standard repertoire. I will include the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto and Prokofieff Third Concerto this season, along with Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto.

I look forward to meeting new people throughout the US, and will be better at posting new blogs during the season.