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, and champion of new piano music, composer, arranger and educator. He recently recorded Lucas Richman’s ‘Piano Concerto: In Truth’ with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer (release September 2015), Steve Barta’s ‘Symphonic Arrangement’ of Claude Bolling’s ‘Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano no. 1’ with jazz flutist, Hubert Laws (release August 2015), William Bolcom’s ‘Prometheus’ for piano, orchestra and chorus with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Chorale led by Carl St. Clair (release November 2015), George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’, Duke Ellington’s ‘New World A-Coming’, Keith Emerson’s ‘Concerto no. 1’, and Neil Sedaka’s ‘Manhattan Intermezzo’ with the Brown University Orchestra with Paul Phillips conducting (release 2016), Dick Tunney’s ‘Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: The Monkees’ with Orchestra Kentucky with Jeff Reed conducting, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s ‘Millennium Fantasy’ and ‘Peanuts Gallery’ with the Florida State University Orchestra, Kenneth Fuchs’s ‘Falling Trio’, Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ (solo piano by Mr. Biegel), Cesar Cui’s ’25 Preludes’, Carolyne Taylor’s ‘Classical Carols’, “Life According to Chopin”, ‘Bach On a Steinway’, ‘A Steinway Christmas Album’ and ‘A Grand Romance’. In 1997, he created and performed the first live audio/video recitals on the internet from historic Steinway Hall in New York, which cd recording is preserved bearing the website name at the time, ‘cyberecital.com‘. This recording completes the cycle of Mozart’s Sonatas for piano solo.
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. This was followed with Tony award winning composer Charles Strouse’s ‘Concerto America’ with the Boston Pops, conducted by Keith Lockhart in 2002. 17 orchestras in the USA and 1 orchestra in Germany commissioned Lowell Liebermann’s ‘Concerto no. 3, Opus 95’, premiered with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra with Andreas Delfs in 2006. In 2010, Mr. Biegel performed the World Premiere of William Bolcom’s ‘Prometheus’ for piano, orchestra and chorus, with Carl St. Clair leading the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Chorale, followed with performances by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, and the Calgary Philharmonic and Chorus representing Canada. In addition, Mr. Biegel gave the World Premiere of Richard Danielpour’s ‘Mirrors’ with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Carl St. Clair conducting. During the 2015-16 season, Mr. Biegel performed the premiere of Kenneth Fuchs’s ‘Piano Concerto: The Spiritualist’ based on three paintings by American abstract artist, Helen Frankenthaler, with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MA) and other orchestras in the USA. For the 2016-17-18 seasons, Mr. Biegel will premiere pop music icon Jimmy Webb’s new work for piano and orchestra with Orchestra Kentucky, as well as PDQ Bach’s ‘Concerto for Very Grand Piano and Orchestra’ by Peter Schickele with orchestras throughout the USA. An avid composer, Mr. Biegel’s choral music is published by the Hal Leonard Corporation, Carl Fischer, Porfiri & Horvath and LeDor Publishing.
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 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, herself a pupil of Josef Lhevinne and Artur Schnabel, and is currently Coordinator of Piano Studies at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, a City University of New York (CUNY).