Faculty member and pianist Jeffrey Biegel recently sent news announcing the October 7, 2021 “World Premiere of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s new work in tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Joining me and the orchestra will be the amazing mezzo soprano, Denyce Graves. Denyce was also Justice Ginsburg’s favorite opera singer, and performed at the Memorial Service for Justice Ginsburg.

“Since her passing in September, I have worked diligently to raise the funds for the composer and acquire the orchestra for this project. I decided to honor Justice Ginsburg, not only because she knew my late father-in-law while in their Brooklyn teenage years, but because she was a highly respected lawyer and trailblazer for humanity and rights of all peoples – especially advancing women’s rights. Although the current trends lean to support everything diverse, a significant reason for my choosing Justice Ginsburg for this project, is that she represented the laws and ethics of our Constitution, and I approached Ellen to compose this work because she has previously composed two works for me for piano and orchestra spanning two decades.

“Since Justice Ginsburg was from Brooklyn, makes this project more meaningful as I have been a faculty member of Brooklyn College for 21 years. It is my fervent hope that this new musical tribute will help support new music and provide a reminder to present and future generations of Justice Ginsburg’s legacy. In addition, in sharing our college in the press release, I will continue to recruit future students with the knowledge that Brooklyn College supports diversity on all levels. . .

“Here is a mini documentary about the creation and fruition of the tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the Dallas Symphony tomorrow evening. With special pride, the producers acknowledge the generous talents of our past and present piano students, Harrison Sheckler and Zhi Chen at the 11:20 closing credits, set to the beautiful audio demo created by Zhi Chen featuring Harrison’s beautiful orchestration.

“I am so very proud of these students, inspired by them as well, and enjoy helping them to reach ‘out of the box’ as the saying goes, to become part of what is happening in the world of music around them. In some ways, a lesson in life one cannot teach in a studio.”

We salute Jeffrey and his great dedication to bringing this work to fruition.