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Sheer Virtuosity

February 9, 2019      8:00 pm

The Third Piano Concerto of the Russian composer, conductor and pianist Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff is considered one of the most challenging pieces in the piano repertoire. Josef Hoffman, the great pianist to whom the work is dedicated, never dared to perform it. The concerto was first performed by the composer himself, accompanied by the New York Symphony Society under the baton of Walter Damrosch — the second was under the baton of Gustav Mahler. Years then passed before the great Russian pianist Vladimir Horowitz finally made the concerto widely known. Today, the concerto is performed only by the greatest and most intrepid of virtuosos.

Among the select few is Long Island’s own Jeffrey Biegel, a favorite soloist of the South Shore Symphony. The list of concertos that Mr. Biegel has performed with maestro Scott Jackson Wiley and the South Shore Symphony includes the third piano concertos of Saint-Saens and Prokofiev, the Leroy Anderson Concerto, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and the second piano concertos of both Brahms and Rachmaninoff.

Virtuosity itself is a hallmark of the compositional technique of Lowell Liebermann. His command of form, rhythm, harmonic and melodic language, and orchestration are matchless. Liebermann’s works have been performed to universal acclaim by the world’s greatest orchestras and soloists. Himself a virtuoso pianist, his music requires the highest instrumental skill to be performed. The Concerto for Orchestra, a genre pioneered by Bela Bartok, is a symphonic composition in which the individual sections and members of the orchestra are challenged to the utmost.


Piano Concerto N. 3 in D minor, opus 30
Sergei Rachmaninoff

Jeffrey Biegel
Piano Soloist

Scott Jackson Wiley
Conductor and Music Director

Concerto for Orchestra
Lowell Liebermann