Archive for July, 2006

In 1997, internationally respected American pianist Jeffrey Biegel envisioned and performed the first live internet recitals in New York and Amsterdam, enabling him to be seen and heard by a global audience. These unedited live, ‘historic’ recitals have been saved in digital recording, resulting in the first classical cd with a web address for its title: cyberecital.com. The cd is now licensed for non-exclusive worldwide digital distribution by Turmic Records www.turmicrecords.com Included are works by Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Biegel’s signature encore, ‘By the Beautiful Blue Danube’ arranged by Artur Schulz-Evler.

In 2006, Jeffrey Biegel has combined his performing and arranging gifts in the new ‘Symphonic Fantasies for Piano and Orchestra’ based on four of Billy Joel’s classical compositions from ‘Fantasies and Delusions’. Mr. Biegel created the virtuosic transcription of the solo piano pieces, assisted by Phillip Keveren in the orchestration. The World Premiere took place with the Eastern Music Festival, Stuart Malina conducting, and was followed by performances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Boris Brott Festival in Canada. A 2007-08 tour is being planned.

He also 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’ premiered with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2000. He has performed the World Premiere of the restored, original 1924 manuscript of George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ with the Boston Pops. In 2001, Tony winning composer Charles Strouse composed a new work titled ‘Concerto America’ for Mr. Biegel, celebrating America and honoring the heroes and events of 9-11. Mr. Biegel premiered the piece with the Boston Pops in 2002. He also 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. Mr. Biegel recently assembled the first global consortium for Lowell Liebermann’s ‘Concerto no. 3 for Piano and Orchestra’ composed for him by Mr. Liebermann for 2006-07-08. The World Premiere was with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andreas Delfs on May 12-14, 2006, and is followed by the European Premiere with the Schleswig Holstein Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Oskamp in February 2007 along with orchestras in the US through 2008.

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 been accepted into the class of the great Leopold Godowsky in Austria. Mr. Biegel’s grandmother’s cousin, Dr. Sonia Slatin, was a graduate of Columbia University who actively performed and also taught Schenkerian analysis at Brooklyn College.

Mr. Biegel has recorded the World Premiere of veteran composer Lalo Schifrin’s ‘Piano Concerto No. 2 – The Americas’ with the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich Radio Orchestra) for the motion picture soundtrack, ‘Something to Believe In’, as well as Leroy Anderson’s ‘Concerto in C’ with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin conducting (for 2007 release on the Naxos label).

Leonard Bernstein said of pianist Jeffrey Biegel: “He played fantastic Liszt. He is a splendid musician and a brilliant performer.” Jeffrey Biegel was the unanimous recipient of the First Grand Prize in the Marguerite Long International Piano Competition and First Prize in the William Kapell/University of Maryland International Piano Competition. He studied at the Juilliard School with the legendary Adele Marcus, herself a pupil of Josef Lhevinne and Artur Schnabel. Mr. Biegel continues to perform globally with the world’s finest orchestras, and teaches at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He resides in New York with his wife, Sharon, and sons Craig and Evan. Please visit Mr. Biegel’s website www.cyberecital.com for more information.

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