I am happy to announce the creation of a new orchestra co-commissioning project which will feature a new piano concerto being composed exclusively for me by Daniel Dorff. Maestro Michael Gagliardo and the Etowah Youth Orchestra have agreed to perform the World Premiere of Daniel Dorff’s ‘Concerto for Piano and Orchestra’ with me as piano soloist in Gadsden, Alabama in May, 2007, followed by the New York Premiere in Carnegie Hall in June, 2007. This unique project was created through discussions with Daniel, who is indeed a brilliant composer. He had sent a cd of his music to me and I was extremely impressed with the style and refreshing creativity.

The project goal is to join orchestras (youth, festivals, universities) across the US to commission Daniel to compose a new piano concerto for me to be performed with the co-commissioning orchestras in the 2007-08 season. Daniel has already enjoyed a successful output of works that are regularly programmed for young people’s concerts by major orchestras. His first piano concerto will be an important contribution to the repertoire for pianists, orchestras, and will offer opportunities for the orchestras to be part of a large and visible commissioning project.
Here is Daniel’s personal vision of the work:


Music will be visceral, rhythmic, hormonal; exciting for young players. Harmonic style like my other music – American influenced with some amount of jazz or rock flavor subtlely, but “serious” not crossover; compare Bernstein, Barber, Copland.

Difficulty level for select ambitious youth orchestras. I will not write down for high school orchestra level, but in writing for professional orchestra standards, I’ll be careful about staying practical. See details below.


Woodwinds: by 3’s or 2’s, with Piccolo, EH, Bass Clar available. I’ll avoid other woodwind doublings. Passagework may be difficult, but won’t exceed standard high range or use extended techniques.

Brass: 4331 or less, using C Trumpets, maybe Harmon mutes called for. Writing at adult level, but I’ll be careful about high register.

Harp: yes
Other Keyboard in orchestra: No

Percussion: 3 perc players on standard instruments, nothing weird to rent; plus Timpani with 4 drums

Strings: Maybe solo passages for principals; divisi a2 is fair game, but probably not a3. Passagework may be difficult in spots, but I’ll watch out for high ranges.


Many ensembles find rhythm the hardest element to polish in my music, and a neoprimitive piano concerto is likely to use syncopation and irregular rhythm very strongly. I’ll make a point of keeping these repetitive and clearly notated, with a minimum of irregular changing meter.


I’m tentatively thinking of a 3-movement fast-slow-fast standard concerto form with Concerto as the title; however that might change as I get into the actual writing. Either way, let’s aim for roughly 20 minutes.

My initial concept is Mvt 1: fiery toccata with an arresting opening section grabbing them right from bar 1; lyric B theme keeps driving rhythm at all times, not sentimental, just lyrical. Mvt 2: A-B-A’ based on an original song, maybe as variations; lots of chamber music or wind solos. Mvt 3: Rondo.”

Please feel free to stay in touch with me at sharpnat@aol.com, as it
would indeed be a pleasure to explore this further with you and your
youth orchestras. You can also visit our web sites www.cyberecital.com
(Biegel) and www.danieldorff.com forfurther information.

With kindest regards,

Jeffrey Biegel

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