Bio

You’re a hopeless romantic.

-Leonard Bernstein to Joel Feigin at a private composition lesson at Tanglewood in 1981

Joel Feigin’s compositions have been widely praised for their “strong impact, as logical in musical design as they are charged with emotion and drama.” (Opera Magazine). Feigin’s most recent opera, Twelfth Night, based on Shakespeare’s comedy, has been performed in North Carolina, Chicago, and southern California, where it was hailed as a “glittering masterpiece” by critic Dan Kepl. Previously, excerpts had been heard at New York City Opera’s VOX Showcase series and Opera America’s New Works Sampler.

Feigin’s music has been extensively performed throughout Europe, Asia, and America. Mysteries of Eleusis, Feigin’s first opera, commissioned and premiered by Theatre Cornell, was produced again at the Moscow Conservatory while Feigin was there on a Fullbright Fellowship, and later at the Russian-American Operatic Festival. Other commissions include a Fromm Commission for Aviv: Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra, written for Yael Weiss, piano works for Margaret Mills and Leonard Stein, two orchestral works for the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony, and many chamber works. CDs include Transience, a 2-CD set of his works on the North/South Recordings, as well as two major piano works performed by Margaret Mills in Meditations and Overtones on Cambria Master Recordings and by Robert Cassidy on Pathways on MRS Classics. Feigin’s large chamber work, Lament Amid Silence, has been recorded by violist Helen Callus.

Dr. Feigin studied with Nadia Boulanger at Fontainebleau and with Roger Sessions at The Juilliard School. Early in his career, as an Aaron Copland-ASCAP fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Feigin received the Dimitri Mitropoulos Prize in Composition. An accomplished pianist and accompanist, Feigin studied with Rosina Lhevine, and worked at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with Nico Castel.

The Joel Feigin Collection at the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center opened in 2011. A student of Zen Buddhism, Feigin is Professor Emeritus of Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara.