Jeffrey Biegel is one of today's most revered artists having created a multi-faceted career as a pianist, composer and arranger. His electrifying technique and mesmerizing touch has received critical acclaim and garners praise worldwide. Known for his standard-setting performances of the standard repertoire, Mr. Biegel stepped in on short notice on April 24/25 to perform Tschaikowsky's Piano Concerto no. 1 with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Bogota in Colombia, with Muhai Tang conducting. His recent recordings include Leroy Anderson's 'Concerto in C', conducted by Leonard Slatkin with the BBC Concert Orchestra on the Naxos label, and 'Classical Carols' on the Koch International Classics label. His recording of Vivaldi solo transcriptions for Naxos sees its release in 2009 along with the first installment of the complete Mozart Piano Sonatas on the E1 label. Richard Danielpour composes a new concerto for Mr. Biegel, which will be premiered with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra in February, 2010, Carl St. Clair conducting, and, during the 2010-11 season, he premieres William Bolcom's 'Prometheus for Piano, Orchestra and Chorus'. Mr. Biegel is currently assembling a commissioning project for Roberto Sierra's 'The Planets: An Odyssey for Piano and Orchestra' for the 2011-12 season. Spring 2009 also sees the release of Mr. Biegel's 'Hanukah Fantasy' for SATB/piano, published by the Hal Leonard Corporation.
The career of pianist Jeffrey Biegel has been marked by bold, creative achievements and highlighted by a series of firsts: He initiated the first live internet recitals in New York and Amsterdam in 1997 and 1998, and, in 1999, assembled the largest consortium of orchestras (over 25), to celebrate the millennium with a new concerto composed for him by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. The 'Millennium Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra' was premiered with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2000, which will be recorded for Naxos in 2009 with the orchestra of Florida State University. He performed the Boston premiere of the restored, original 1924 manuscript of George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' with the Boston Pops. He also transcribed Balakirev's 'Islamey Fantasy' for piano and orchestra, premiered with the American Symphony Orchestra in 2001, followed with Charles Strouse composing a new work titled 'Concerto America' for Mr. Biegel, premiered with the Boston Pops in 2002. He further arranged the piano part for Billy Joel's 'Symphonic Fantasies' in 2006, with performances at the Eastern Music Festival, the Boris Brott Festival and with the Indianapolis, Harrisburg, and other US orchestras. His new editions for Schirmer's Performance Editions include Schumann's 'Scenes from Childhood' and a new 'Sonatina Album' with accompanying audio cds.
Mr. Biegel joined 18 co-commissioning orchestras for Lowell Liebermann's 'Concerto no. 3 for Piano and Orchestra' composed exclusively for him for the 2006-07-08 seasons. The World Premiere took place with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andreas Delfs, and the European Premiere featured the Schleswig Holstein Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Oskamp.
Until the age of 3, Mr. Biegel was unable to hear nor speak, until corrected by surgery. The 'reverse Beethoven' phenomenon can explain Mr. Biegel's life in music, having heard only vibrations in his formative years. Born a second-generation American, Mr. Biegel's roots are of Russian and Austrian heritage. A Russian cousin, pianist Herman Kosoff, emigrated to the United States in the early 20th century, and had studied with the great Leopold Godowsky in Austria.
Mr. Biegel, with his son, Craig, composed 'The World In Our Hands', published by the Hal Leonard Corporation. Also published through Hal Leonard are 'Christmas In A Minute', a choral setting of Chopin's 'Minute Waltz', an arrangement of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', and 'Hey Ho, the Wind and the Rain' from William Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'. Carl Fischer also publishes 'Ho Ho Hanukah! Ho Ho Christmas!' and 'Different Kind of Hero' in 2008, and, Earthsongs includes Mr. Biegel's 'Elegy of Anne Boleyn' in their catalogue. Mr. Biegel is also an exclusive recording artist for PianoDisc (www.pianodisc.com).
Leonard Bernstein said of pianist Jeffrey Biegel: 'He played fantastic Liszt. He is a splendid musician and a brilliant performer.' He won the First Grand Prize in the 1989 Marguerite Long International Piano Competition and First Prize in the 1985 William Kapell/University of Maryland International Piano Competition. He studied at The Juilliard School with Adele Marcus, herself a pupil of Josef Lhevinne and Artur Schnabel.
Mr. Biegel is currently on the piano faculty at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, a City University of New York (CUNY), and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). he resides outside New York City with his wife, Sharon, his sons, Craig and Evan. His web site is www.jeffreybiegel.com
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