Ep 80-Jeffrey Biegel On Why Commissions Are About Everyone

Ep 80-Jeffrey Biegel On Why Commissions Are About Everyone

On February 22, 2015, Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters upon Mr. Biegel, for his achievements as a world-renowned pianist, recording artist, chamber music collaborator, champion of new piano music, composer, arranger and educator. With a list of recordings and collaborations that is extensive (and impressive) he leaves a legacy that is hard to match.

He is a pioneer of commissioning projects joining multiple orchestras as a model for commissioning new music in the 21st century, Mr. Biegel created the first largest consortium of orchestras in 1998 for Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s ‘Millennium Fantasy’ premiered with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in 2000, followed with 26 orchestras in the USA.

Leonard Bernstein said of Jeffrey Biegel’s piano playing, “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 third recipient of the Juilliard William Petschek Piano Debut Award, in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. He studied at The Juilliard School with Adele Marcus, and is currently on the piano faculty at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College.

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Pianist Jeffrey Biegel explains how commissions are about the composer, the performers and the audience, and how you can expand your network, build consortiums, and get more performances.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Jake Runestad
  • Reflecting the society you live in
  • Commissions aren’t about the composer
  • The audience has to like it
  • Making sure new music stays alive
  • Forming consortiums
  • Analyzing ensembles and doing research
  • Getting a contract
  • Knowing yourself
  • Knowing your voice
  • Getting into the trenches
  • Making sure the performer is a good fit for you and your music
  • Removing the walls between composer and performer
  • Increased accessibility
  • Developing friendships


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