Chamber music by Stephen Siegel
Stephen Siegel‘s epic String Quartet represents a central moment in his creative journey. It is both original and part of a discourse with the great masters of the genre. It is performed by the Vienna Ensemble LUX who are ideal advocates for the music of this composer. “Fire & Fleete & Candlelight” and “Rhapsode” provide occasion for the display of intensely expressive virtuosic artistry.
Diane Pascal, violin
Semyon Fridman, cello
DIANE PASCAL – VIOLIN
SEMYON FRIDMAN – CELLO
Bojidara Kouzmanova, Thomas Wally (violins)
Julia Purgina (viola), Mara Kronick (cello)
This piece was made possible by a grant from the Fromm Music Foundation.
»»»Detailed informations, texts, photos, etc. inside CD (booklet)
Mit deutschem Booklet (36 Seiten) / English booklet enclosed (36 pages)
Gesamtspielzeit / Total Recording Time: 57:01 | Format: 1 Audio-CD | RD: 09/2011
Aufnahme / Recording: 2000, Roy Markowitz’ studio (Rhapsode)
02/2002, Recital Hall of Purchase College, State University of New York (Fire)
10/2008, Weinbergkirche Wien (String Quartet) | Producer: Andreas Bertram
(p) & (c) 2011 SPEKTRAL | Series SPEKTRAL Modern
Ord. no.: SRL4-08041 | GTIN (EAN): 4260130380410
Stephen Siegel was born on New Years Eve 1943 in Birmingham, Alabama, the son of Janet Wilson Parr, a Scottish poet and journalist and Julius Siegel, an American born physician of Rumanian-Jewish descent. Siegel’s parents met at a dance sponsored by the University of Glasgow in Scotland where his father attended medical school. They were married in 1940.
Siegel grew up in Boston where he attended high school at the Boston Latin School the first and oldest (founded in 1635) public school in the U.S. Along with the usual subjects, Latin, ancient Greek and French were a required part of the curriculum. Siegel began his formal music training with violin lessons at the age of 8. At the age of 10 he enrolled in the Preparatory Division of the New England Conservatory, where he studied violin with Ayrton Pinto (then a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and later, concertmaster of the São Paulo State Orchestra) as well as music theory and chamber music playing.
Siegel spent his undergraduate years at Columbia University where he studied composition with Otto Luening, Vladimir Ussachevsky and Charles Wuorinen. In the year following his graduation from Columbia, Siegel worked odd jobs while studying privately with composer Miriam Gideon and attending classes at the Dalcroze School. Of the latter Siegel has said, “The physicality of these Dalcroze classes made a very lasting impression on me and had an important influence upon the way I think about music. Running around a room with one’s feet moving in four while clapping in five and singing in three may appear a little mad, but it imprints such rhythms in a literally visceral way so that they become instinctively felt.”
Siegel completed graduate work at the Juilliard School where he studied composition with Elliott Carter and Vincent Persichetti and orchestration with Jacob Druckman.
After graduation from Juilliard, Siegel continued composing, writing a number of solo and chamber music works and became a private teacher of musical composition and theory. Siegel also worked with choreographer Jamie Cunningham, producing taped musical collages for Mr. Cunningham’s Acme Dance Company.
While musical composition always remained his central endeavor, Siegel simultaneously pursued other interests. His drawings were exhibited at New York’s Weyhe Gallery and his photographs shown at the Focal Point Gallery, the Marcuse Pfeiffer Gallery and the Mosko-Miller Gallery, all in New York City. He has said of this: “My work in drawing and photography never seemed at odds with my music, rather it seemed another aspect of the same impulse – as if I were making music visible.”
Between 1997 and 2004, Siegel taught musical composition, theory and the history of music at Bennington College. As part of his work at Bennington College, Siegel designed and implemented a comprehensive music theory curriculum. “Teaching is a great privilege and joy. I love inviting others into the great discourse of music, helping them acquire the tools necessary for them to become active participants in that discourse. My effort has been rewarded many times over by the energy, imagination and creativity of my students.” At present Siegel lives with his wife, the architect Nina Stern, in New York City where he divides his time between composing and teaching.