Jeffrey Biegel

Jeffrey Biegel

Instrumentalist

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Bio

Considered one of the great musicians of our time, Jeffrey Biegel has created a multi-faceted career as a pianist, recording artist, chamber music collaborator, composer and arranger. His electrifying technique and mesmerizing touch have received critical acclaim and garner praise worldwide. His most recent venture is the creation of the Dicterow-DeMaine-Biegel piano trio, joined by violinist Glenn Dicterow and cellist Robert DeMaine. Known for his standard-setting performances of the standard repertoire, Mr. Biegel recently performed two premieres: Lucas Richman's 'Piano Concerto: In Truth' with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and, Jake Runestad's 'Dreams of the Fallen' with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony Chorus of New Orleans at the National WWII Museum on Veterans Day 2013. A specialist in the music of George Gershwin, Mr. Biegel is a member of the touring ensemble for, "Here To Stay: The Gershwin Experience" with Sylvia McNair, Ryan VanDenBoom and David Snyder, taking the show to symphony orchestras. In ongoing commissioning projects of new works for piano and orchestra, Mr. Biegel performed two world premieres with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Carl St. Clair: Richard Danielpour's 'Mirrors for Piano and Orchestra', and, William Bolcom's 'Prometheus for Piano, Orchestra and Chorus'. Mr. Bolcom's work was also featured in a 'live' global webcast with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Slatkin conducting, with Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy". Extending into the pop world, he regularly performs his adaptation of pop legend Neil Sedaka's 'Manhattan Intermezzo' for piano and orchestra, and performed the World Premiere of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's 'Shadows' for piano and orchestra, with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, commissioned by eight orchestras. New commissions continue through 2018 with concerti by Kenneth Fuchs, Jeremy Lubbock, Lera Auerbach, Dick Tunney and Peter Tork. He will record Lucas Richman's Piano Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Richman conducting, in February 2015, and a Naxos recording featuring concerti by Neil Sedaka, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Keith Emerson with the Brown University Orchestra, conducted by Paul Phillips. In 2014, GPR Records released Mr. Biegel's all-Chopin recording, "Life According to Chopin", distributed worldwide by Naxos. His recent recordings include 'A Grand Romance' (2013), 'A Steinway Christmas Album' (2011) and, 'Bach On A Steinway' (2010) for the Steinway & Sons label; Leroy Anderson's 'Concerto in C', conducted by Leonard Slatkin with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's 'Millennium Fantasy' and 'Peanuts Gallery', a solo cd of Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' for Naxos; 'Classical Carols' for Koch and the Complete Sonatas by Mozart on the E1 label. 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, whose 'Millennium Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra' was premiered with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2000. 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. 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 three, Mr. Biegel could neither 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. Mr. Biegel performed Leroy Anderson's 'Concerto in C' with the Boston Pops conducted by Keith Lockhart in Boston's Symphony Hall, as well as with the New York Pops in Carnegie Hall for the New York premiere of this work and the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton. In 1997, he performed the original 1924 manuscript of Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' with the Boston Pops (covered by CNN, ABC-TV, NPR, CBC Canada, Associated Press and USA Today) and performed the first global real audio/video online piano recital in 1997 from New York's Steinway Hall (featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Report syndicated TV feature). He subsequently performed the first European real audio/video online piano recital from Amsterdam. In 1985, Leonard Bernstein said of pianist Jeffrey Biegel: "He played fantastic Liszt. He is a splendid musician and a brilliant performer." These comments helped to launch Mr. Biegel's 1986 New York recital debut, as the recipient of the coveted Juilliard William Petschek Piano Debut Award, in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' Alice Tully Hall. Jeffrey Biegel was the unanimous recipient of the prestigious First Grand Prize in the 1989 Marguerite Long International Piano Competition and the First Prize in the 1985 William Kapell/University of Maryland International Piano Competition. He studied at The Juilliard School with the legendary artist/teacher Adele Marcus, herself a pupil of Josef Lhevinne and Artur Schnabel. He made his New York orchestral debut performing Prokofiev's 'Concerto no. 2 in g minor' with the Juilliard Philharmonia, in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. 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 in New York with his wife, Sharon, and their sons Craig and Evan.
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