(born Pinchas Schoenfeld, 1947) is a classical
composer. He is known for combining popular, folk, and classical music
Schoenfeld was born in 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. He began to take
piano lessons at the age of six, and wrote his first composition a
year later. Among his teachers were Julius Chajes, Ozan Marsh and
Rudolf Serkin. He holds a B.A. degree from Carnegie-Mellon University
and a Doctor of Music Arts degree from the University of Arizona.
Schoenfeld was formerly an active concert pianist, as a soloist and
with groups including Music from Marlboro. With violinist Sergiu Luca
he recorded the complete violin and piano works of Béla Bartók. He
gave the premiere of his piano concerto Four Parables with the Toledo
Symphony in 1983.
recorded the work in 1994 with John
Nelson and the New World Symphony. Also on the Argo CD are Vaudeville,
Schoenfeld's concerto for piccolo trumpet, played by Wolfgang Basch,
and Klezmer Rondos, concerto for flute, baritone and orchestra,
performed by flutist Carol Wincenc. Critic Raymond Tuttle called the
CD: "Some of the most life-affirming new music I've heard in a long
time", while he characterized Four Parables as "wild silliness in the
face of existential dread."
gave the European premiere of Four Parables in 1998 with
the Dresdner Sinfoniker and Jonathan Nott, a live performance which
was issued on the Athene Records label in 1999. In 2008 the work was
released on Black Box Classics with
and the Prague
Philharmonic led by JoAnn Falletta. Also on the CD Russo plays Four
Souvenirs with violinist James Ehnes and the piano trio Café Music
with Ehnes and cellist Edward Arron. Café Music was commissioned by
the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and inspired by Schoenfeld's turn as
house pianist at Murray's steakhouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It
received its premiere during an SPCO chamber concert in January, 1987
with Schoenfeld at the piano.
In 1994, the same year he was awarded the Cleveland Arts Prize, an
evening of Schoenfeld's pieces was presented at Reinberger Hall by
violinist Lev Polyakin and other members of the Cleveland Orchestra
with the composer at the piano.
gave the world premiere of Schoenfeld's viola concerto
Schoenfeld's two-act opera, The Merchant and the Pauper, was
commissioned by the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and given its
premiere there in 1999. Its libretto is adapted from a tale fashioned
and first told in 1809 by one of the most significant personalities in
Hassidic history, philosophy, and lore- Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav
(1772-1811), the founder of the Bratslaver Hassidic sect.
Schoenfeld's song cycle Camp Songs was commissioned by Seattle's Music
of Remembrance (MOR). It was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2003. The
song cycle Ghetto Songs, commissioned by MOR, was recorded in 2009 by
In 2010 Schoenfeld's sonata for violin and piano was premiered at
Lincoln Center with Cho-Liang Lin, violin, and Jon Kimura Parker,
Schoenfeld is a Professor of Composition at the University of
Michigan. Mr Schoenfeld is also a dedicated scholar of the Talmud and
^ Fischer, Heinz Dietrich (2010). The Pulitzer Prize Winners for
Composer Biographies, Premiere Programs and Jury Reports. Peter
Lang. ISBN 978-3-631-59608-1.
ISNI: 0000 0000 6309 0681
BNF: cb139599197 (data)