Peter Boyer and Jeffrey Biegel

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel and composer Peter Boyer celebrate the centennial of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which was premiered on February 12, 1924. Boyer has composed a new 17-minute work for piano and orchestra, titled Rhapsody in Red, White & Blue, with Biegel as soloist. Biegel conceived the project and title of the new work, and selected Boyer as its composer.

The commission for Boyer’s Rhapsody has been fully funded by a consortium of foundation and private donors, secured by Biegel, through the American Composers Forum. The lead funder is the Billy Rose Foundation. This unusual funding arrangement provides orchestras large and small an opportunity to participate in the project without the customary requirement to pay co-commissioning fees.

It has secured performance commitments from 54 orchestras in all 50 of the United States. Boyer’s ca. 18-minute Rhapsody was premiered on June 30, 2023, with Biegel and the Utah Symphony conducted by Benjamin Manis, on the opening night of the Deer Valley Music Festival in Park City, Utah. An outdoor audience of more than 3,000 rewarded the new work with a prolonged standing ovation — a reaction which has been repeated by audiences at each subsequent performance, by nine different orchestras to date.

In addition, reaching beyond the United States to achieve an international presence, Boyer and Biegel recorded the new Rhapsody with the London Symphony Orchestra for Naxos which will release this recording on February 23, 2024.yer and Jeffrey Biegel

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