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
Friday, October 13, 2006
William Bolcom to pen Choral Fantasy

During a dinner meet with the gifted conductor, Kenneth Kiesler, we discussed repertoire--old and new. I shared with Ken that I was interested in a new Choral Fantasy for Piano, Orchestra and Chorus. I love choral music, and penned some of my own. Ken's first response was, 'You should ask Bill Bolcom'. And so I did--he's charming, down-to-earth and a helluva composer. When we spoke, I had not known that he won a total of 4 Grammy awards in 2006 for his 'Songs of Innocence'. He agreed to write the piece for me for the 2009-10 season. Doesn't that sound like eons away? Alas--it is practically around the corner. I am now raising $$ to support his fee and am gathering interest from multiple orchestras--perhaps a global venture as well. Sometimes I think, why do I do these things? It's tough to raise $$ for new piano concerti--but after it's done, and I perform the new works with all the co-commissioning orchestras, it's a good feeling and the fact is there's new music for future generations. I was able today to get a sizable private grant and a major orchestra to say 'yes'. It's a start--it's like in real estate--you sell a house, and you think, 'Hey, this is pretty good--it might even be fun!' I believe the piece will be something very special--there hasn't been a Choral Fantasy since Beethoven. Maybe pairing the Beethoven and Bolcom will work--who knows. I have a good feeling about the project--and Bill has lots of fans of his music.