#56 Jeffrey Biegel musical artist as pianist, composer,arranger and musical teacher interviewed (Featured)

Written on:February 5, 2011
Last modified on: July 14, 2012 @ 6:46 PM
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Word Count: 1494
Takes: 3 minutes and 55 seconds to read

Jeffrey Biegel is a dedicated musician in the art of playing the piano & composing music. Making his own unique sound and giving the piece he plays so much more impact to its listeners. Jeffrey is a very talented artist who has done very remarkable things in his career thus far. Having organized:  the first live internet recitals (enabling him to be seen and heard by a global audience.) and also assembled the largest consortium of orchestras (over 25), to celebrate the millennium 2000. Much more about this artist of information can be found @ Jeffrey Biegel’s personal website.

During reading you could listen to Prokofiev Piano Concerto no. 3, first movement:

(At 00:47 Jeffrey starts playing)

1/Max Pen: At what age did you get the feeling you had talent? What are you most good at? (composing, conducting,...)
Jeffrey: 5. I liked playing and related to music as a language. Firstly, I am a pianist, then a composer.

2/Max Pen: What are the pros and cons between teaching face to face and virtual teaching?  Like you show in this vid: Jeffrey Biegel Using Skype to Teach Piano Lessons
Jeffrey: Teaching directly is always best. However, when someone lives too far away and it is too expensive to travel, the Skype lesson is the next best thing to being there!

3/Max Pen: Gave conducting you more insights in teaching music? When did you start with conducting and why, how hard is it compared to other parts of the musician life?
Jeffrey: I do not conduct. I compose. Being a creator of music certainly adds a dimension of appreciation for the amazing efforts it took the great composers to create what they did.

4/Max Pen: In 1985 you won the international piano competition in Washington DC. How was the competition of the other candidates? And how much did you prepare for this competition to win it eventually? Also after winning this your professional career started. How did your musical career progress from the point of being the winner of that competition until the years after wards and finally until the present?


Jeffrey: The competition was enormous. There were winners of major competitions in that particular year, because it was the first largest cash prize until that time, and, the final round was with the National Symphony Orchestra in the Kennedy Center. It certainly helped to add to my resume that I had won the First Prize. But then, one must always continue on a strong and honest path to succeed in the long term.

5/Max Pen: Who was the first famous musician to recognize your potential and your talent to get far? Did this person or someone else in time influence you to over reach your boundaries?
Jeffrey: Leonard Bernstein. He wrote a short but influential letter to The Juilliard School, which helped in many future endeavors. Also, the pop music writer and producer, David Foster, has inspired me to compose more in the popular vein. The choral music composers, Knut Nystedt, Randall Thompson and Healy Wilan, were influential in my own choral compositions.

6/Max Pen: Your personal site (Jeffrey Biegel ) is designed by Terry Williams. What did he do, was it what you expected when he was done? Did you look on the Internet to other comparable services to make your personal site with? In what way did you find out about: Classical Matters?
Jeffrey: I found Classical Matters through Facebook, I believe. Terry did a fantastic job, and he is a wonderful person to know. The web site is terrific!

7/Max Pen: The highest number of visitors to a concert of you so far? What is a type of style if people would speak about it, will immediately refer to you?
Jeffrey: My style is very varied, and I like for people to see me for the variety of repertoire. I have had several thousand people at my outdoor concerts–very exciting!!

8/Max Pen: Like shown in the vid in question 2, you really care and feel the music if its played correct on the piano or not. How far would you go to make your student be able to play the piano well? Are you strict, demanding to wards your students? And have you had any students who completed the course you gave and are now a musician on there own?
Jeffrey: My students need to learn how to listen to the sound they produce; the tempi they choose, the touch and rhythm. Many of them have gone on to teaching and performing.

9/Max Pen: Composing music is something you to do. At home or in a studio? If during sleep or a walk you get out of the blue inspiration, have there been times you dropped the current thing you where doing and went to compose it?
Jeffrey: When I am involved in writing something, it almost takes over everything else I am doing. That’s the way I write. I write at the piano in my home, or, on an airplane where there are no interruptions!

10/Max Pen: From this article: Live Video Is Joining Sound on the Web Was the performance a success and how many saw it live + online? Its important for you to reach so many type of audiences as possible. How do you manage to not lose people who saw you live at a concert or listened to your music but then out of a sudden stop? (As in how do you make sure there stays a connection between you and the audience.)
Jeffrey: At first, there was a 3 hour delay, but then we repeated the internet concert with different repertoire, and it worked perfectly well at my son’s school, and, in other parts of the world.

11/Max Pen: The person who educated you on the musician part was Adele Marcus. What do you still remember about her and her way of teaching? Have you meet some of the other pianists she educated and maybe been in class with some who are famous in the present?  Did you pick her or was it random that she became your teacher?
Jeffrey: Adele Marcus had the most beautiful sound–she could produce so many singing sounds, energetic sound, amazing playing. Everyone wanted to play like her, and get the sound she did. Even Vladimir Horowitz asked her, “How do you get that sound??” So, I learned to make my own way at the piano and get the sound I want which is uniquely my own.

12/Max Pen: You own and manage with Judy Kang, and Robert deMaine: Trio-21 What is the story behind that project and what is its goal? What can we expect from the trio in the future? Terry Williams designed this site to, where you so pleased with his previous work you asked him to do this to?
Jeffrey: I decided in early 2010 that I wanted to create a piano trio dedicated to traditional repertoire and new music. Judy was suggested to me by composer, Richard Danielpour. I knew Robert from when I performed with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Robert was their Principal Cellist. They are fantastic players, and I am sure our combination will be exciting and wonderful. Terry, again, created a fantastic and attractive web site for us!

13/Max Pen: Is the musical world a small one, as in you meet alot of artists,composers,pianists during a career of any musician?
Jeffrey: The world is small. But there are still many conductors I would like to work with in concert, and many cities I have yet to perform in.

14/Max Pen: Has music been in the family, do you your parents play any or still a musical instrument?
Jeffrey: My mother sang, for fun, but had a beautiful coloratura voice. My grandmother’s cousin was a pianist and professor, and there was another cousin whom I never met, who studied with Leopold Godowsky in Vienna!

15/Max Pen: If you had the choice to change 1 thing that didn’t go (well,positive,rather negative) of direction of your career. In what year would you go back and change something?
Jeffrey: I think perhaps staying with one managing agency and not leaving because someone had left and wanted to help me in my career–but couldn’t. My loyalty was in the wrong place and I was fooled.

16/Max Pen: Finally what can we expect from you in the future, will you hold any major events or projects?
Jeffrey: I am premiering Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s new concerto, “Shadows” with several orchestras from around the world. I am still assembling this wonderful commissioning project titled, ‘Global Harmony’! Also, I plan to record another cd for Steinway’s new record label, and start a new commissioning project for a new concerto for piano and orchestra soon.

Thanks for your interest in being interviewed by me and thus by IY. You got alot of care and dedication put into your work and I look forward to see you achieve more things. May everyone have a good hear on the vid and a nice read. -Max Pen

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