In an age when many artists' fortunes begin with a meteoric ascent and quickly cool with the inexorable freefall, pianist Jeffrey Biegel has managed to buck that trend, fashioning a career of steady success studded with concerts at major venues like Avery Fisher Hall and with front-rank ensembles like the Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston Pops. He has also appeared on such television programs as Good Morning America, and he's blazed a few trails, too: in July 1997 Biegel was the first pianist to give a live Internet recital; that same year he performed the rarely heard original 1924 version of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Boston Pops, an event receiving coverage on ABC television, CNN, and NPR. Biegel's repertory is as bulky as it is eclectic, taking in concertos and solo works by Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and scores of contemporary composers, like Keith Emerson and William Bolcom. Many composers have written works specifically for him, like Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (Millennium Fantasy, for piano and orchestra) and Richard Danielpour (Mirrors, for piano and orchestra). Biegel is also a composer, arranger, and music editor, and teaches at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.
A corrective surgery at age three cured Jeffrey Biegel of deafness and his inability to speak. Biegel studied music at Juilliard with the iconic Adele Marcus.
In 1985 Biegel won the William Kappell International Piano Competition, and four years later captured first prize at the prestigious Paris-based Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Competition. Biegel's first recording was issued in 1993, a Marco Polo disc of César Cui's 25 Preludes, Op. 64 (later reissued on Naxos). Biegel's growing fame was further boosted by his pioneering Internet recital, a CD of which was issued by the Angelok label. In 2000 Biegel premiered Zwilich's Millennium Fantasy with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Other such high-profile premieres followed, including Biegel's first performance of Lowell Lieberman's Concerto No. 3, with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on May 12, 2006.
That same year Biegel recorded the rarely heard and unjustly neglected Leroy Anderson Piano Concerto, issued in 2008 on an acclaimed all-Anderson Naxos CD. Biegel, no stranger to chamber music, formed Trio21 in 2010, with violinist Kinga Augustyn and cellist Robert deMaine. Biegel's recordings include the 2010 Bach on a Steinway on the Steinway & Sons label.