American and British Works
for Piano and Orchestra

Jeffrey Biegel, Piano
Benjamin Wesner, Clarinet*
Brown University Orchestra   •   Paul Phillips
SEDAKA (b. 1939)
EMERSON (b. 1944)
ELLINGTON (1899–1974)
GERSHWIN (1898–1937)
Manhattan Intermezzo
Piano Concerto No. 1
New World a-Comin’*
Rhapsody in Blue*
Listen to an excerpt from Neil Sedaka’s
Manhattan Intermezzo (track 01)

This programme brings together four works for piano and orchestra by composers best known from the fields of jazz, popular song and progressive rock. Neil Sedaka’s Manhattan Intermezzo explores the New York of today and yesterday with its melting pot of nationalities. Keith Emerson is best known as a founding member of Emerson Lake & Palmer. His remarkably inventive semi-autobiographical Piano Concerto No. 1 fuses his classical training with jazz. Duke Ellington’s sublime New World a-Comin’ is a visualisation of improved conditions for black people in America, while the rarely heard original version of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue represents the quintessential style of New York City in the Roaring Twenties.


About Jeffrey Biegel

Pianist, recording artist, chamber music collaborator, champion of new piano music, composer, arranger and educator Jeffrey Biegel’s recordings include The Complete Piano Sonatas of Mozart, and works by Lucas Richman, Steve Barta, William Bolcom, Dick Tunney, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and Kenneth Fuchs, as well as his own version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for solo piano, César Cui’s 25 Preludes, and compositions of Carolyne Taylor. In 2010 Jeffrey Biegel performed the world première of William Bolcom’s Prometheus for piano, orchestra and chorus, with Carl St.Clair leading the Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Chorale, followed by performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. In addition he gave the world première of Richard Danielpour’s Mirror with the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Carl St.Clair conducting. Jeffrey Biegel’s choral music is published by the Hal Leonard Corporation, Carl Fischer, Porfiri & Horvath and The LeDor Group.


About Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips, Director of Orchestras and Chamber Music at Brown University, and Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, is an award-winning conductor and composer whose honors include First Prize in the NOS International Conductors Course (Holland) and Wiener Meisterkurse (Vienna), and eleven ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. Educated at Eastman, Columbia, Cincinnati, Aspen, and Tanglewood, where he studied with Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, and Seiji Ozawa, Phillips has conducted more than sixty orchestras worldwide, including the San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic. His recordings include Music for Great Films of the Silent Era, Volumes One and Two, with the RTÉ National Symphony (Ireland) for Naxos (8.572567 and 8.573105).

About the Brown University Orchestra

Led by music director Paul Phillips since 1989, the Brown University Orchestra’s membership consists of about a hundred student musicians from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. One of America’s finest collegiate orchestras, the BUO has given concerts in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, toured China and Ireland, and performed a wide repertoire that has earned the orchestra seven ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. Itzhak Perlman, Dave Brubeck, Sergiu Luca, and Christopher O’Riley have appeared as soloists with the orchestra. Composers-in-residence have included Steve Reich, Steven Stucky, Lukas Foss, Joseph Schwantner, and Michael Torke.


“Naxos hits one out of the park with this all-Copland release…”
- American Record Guide


“…This new set of Ellington compositions by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic shows the ducal legacy right at home in the concert hall.”
- BBC Music Magazine


“All these pieces get snappy performances in well-balanced, clear recordings: an enjoyable collection.”
- Gramophone


“Gershwin’s music has to sound sexy, and here it really does. How refreshing!” ”
- ClassicsToday.com