ABOUT WILLIAM WEIGEL
I am a composer--and erstwhile trumpet player--living in Brooklyn, New York. My compositions include a variety of chamber music works, vocal and liturgical scores and a short operetta. My principal teachers were Harold Seletsky and Berge Kalajian, who trace their musical lineage through Josef Schmid to Alban Berg and Arnold Schönberg.
It has been my very good fortune to have my music performed by some wonderful musicians, including Brandt Fredriksen, Bettina von Hindte, Judith Mendenhall, Brandon Ridenour, Jessica Lee, Ismar Gomes and Wan Chi Su, among others. My works have been played in various venues in New York City, around the east coast and in the midwest. In 2014 I was composer in residence at the Three Bridges Chamber Music Festival in Duluth, Minnesota. On March 11, 2018 my song cycle based upon Wallace Stevens poems received a very successful premiere performance at Carnegie Hall.
Recent works include a Divertimento for Trombones and song cycle based on poems of Rainer Maria Rilke.
I supported myself for many years as a practicing lawyer in New York City. Having another profession has sometimes made it difficult to focus completely on music. I believe, however, that working in an intense intellectual environment with highly talented colleagues has greatly broadened my perspective. And I take some encouragement from the lives of great artists who have managed dual careers, Alexander Borodin, Charles Ives and Wallace Stevens among them.
I am interested in harmonic sophistication, and my work often is based upon a 12-tone row. I generally do not employ that row, however, in a severely atonal style reminiscent of the Viennese school of Schönberg, Webern et al. Instead, I tend to look for diatonic resonances within the 12-tone row. Coherence of musical drama is important to me, and hence my music includes much regular rhythm and many recognizably repeated melodies. Music is a public art, and putting all of this together, my hope is always that my music is unique and interesting, but also accessible to non-specialists. At best it should speak both to the head and the heart.