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Press Releases

Leroy Anderson Concerto Premieres in Poland

June 11, 2018 | By Leroy Anderson Foundation

The American pianist, Jeffrey Biegel, and the Szczecin Philharmonic Orchestra in Poland performed the Poland premiere of Leroy Anderson's Piano 'Concerto in C' on June 1, 2018 in a concert titled, "American Dream".  One of Anderson's few long-form works, the piano concerto was presented along with works by Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and George Gershwin.  At the podium was guest conductor, Roger Kalia, the Assistant Conductor of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, next to their Music Director, Carl St. Clair.  Jeffrey Biegel recorded the Anderson piano concerto in 2006 with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin for the Naxos label's complete Anderson catalog. "It is a very special honor and privilege to bring this beautiful composition to Poland for the first time," said Jeffrey.

Leroy Anderson completed his Piano Concerto in C in 1953.  The work received its premiere on July 18 of that year in Chicago by the Grant Park Symphony with Anderson as conductor and Eugene List as the soloist.  Anderson conducted additional performance of the concerto in Cleveland and St. Louis in 1954.  After these performances, he withdrew the composition with intentions to revise it.  He later remarked that he thought the composition had great merit, but that it could be slightly improved.  Although he never got around to making the intended changes, the Anderson family released the work posthumously (unrevised) in 1988.  Pianist Stewart Goodyear recorded the piano concerto with Erich Kunzel leading the Cincinnati Pops in 1992.  Since the publication of the concerto, Jeffrey Biegel has, of all the soloists who have performed Anderson's piano concerto, performed the work more than any other pianist.  Accordingly, he has earned the admiration and appreciation of the Anderson family.

In the words of the composer's son, Rolf Anderson, "Congratulations, Jeffrey, on your successful concert in Poland performing the Leroy Anderson Piano Concerto.  The Anderson family is proud and very grateful for your excellent work in presenting Leroy Anderson's music around the world and with great response from audiences everywhere. Bravo!"

 

Jeffrey Biegel

Considered the most prolific artist of his generation, Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, conferred the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters upon Mr. Biegel, for his achievements in performance, recordings, chamber music, champion of new music, composer, arranger and educator.  Mr. Biegel recently poerformed the World Premiere of Giovanni Allevi's 'Concerto for Piano and Orchestra' with Orchestra Kentucky conducted by Jeffrey Reed, and in Milan's Teatro dal Vermes with Maestro Reed, recording released in 2017 with Orchestra Sinfonica Italiana.  In August 2018, Naxos releases Kenneth Fuchs's "Concerto: Spiritualist" featuring Mr. Biegel with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Falletta, and, Grammy award composer, Dick Tunney unveils the new "Peanuts Concerto" for piano and orchestra based on music by Vince Guaraldi.  In November 2018, Christopher Theofanidis's "Concerto no. 2 for Piano, Strings, Harp and Percussion" will receive its premiere with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Stuart Malina conducting.   Equally championing pop music icons, Mr. Biegel has brought Jimmy Webb's "Nocturne for Piano and Orchestra" to the public with Orchestra Kentucky, Neil Sedaka's "Manhattan Intermezzo" and Keith Emerson's "Piano Concerto no. 1" in a Naxos recording released in 2016. He also premiered P.D.Q. Bach's "Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra" by Peter Schickele with the Colorado Symphony.  A leading pioneer of concerto 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 in 2002 with Tony Award winning composer, Charles Strouse's "Concerto America" with the Boston Pops, Lowell Liebermann's "Concerto no. 3, Opus 95" premiered with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (2006), William Bolcom's "Prometheus" for piano, orchestra and chorus, with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Chorale (2010), Richard Danielpour's "Mirrors" with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra (2010), Ellen Taaffe Zwilich's "Shadows" (2011) with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Jake Runestad's "Dreams of the Fallen" (2013) with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, Lucas Richman's "Piano Concerto: In Truth" (2013) with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, recorded in 2014 with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Kenneth Fuchs's "Piano Concerto: Spiritualist" (2016) with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (MA).

An avid composer, Mr. Biegel's choral music is published by the Hal Leonard Corporation, Carl Fischer, Porfiri & Horvath, and The LeDor Group.  Leonard Bernstein said of pianist Jeffrey Biegel: "He played fantastic Liszt. He is a splendid musician and a brilliant performer." These comments launched Mr. Biegel's 1986 New York recital debut, as the third recipient of the Juilliard William Petscheck 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 on faculty at the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, a City University of New York (CUNY).

For more information about Leroy Anderson, please visit www.leroyandersonfoundation.org

For more information about Jeffrey Biegel, please visit www.jeffreybiegel.com


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