A scene from Abyss, created by Stephen Feigenbaum and director Charlie Polinger based on a story by playwright Matthew George. Abyss tells the story of the apocalypse through edgy classical music and theatrical spectacle. An ensemble of musicians, dancers, and actors weaves the story with film, animation, and choreography. The multimedia spectacle reinvigorates classical music for the modern-day listener.
photographs courtesy of Michiko Tierney
|Stephen Feigenbaum is an award-winning 24-year-old composer of music for the concert hall and the theater. When he was 19, his Serenade for Strings was recorded by the Cincinnati Pops under Erich Kunzel and released on a CD by Telarc. Stephen is a past winner of two ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer awards and the Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2012, he won the Albany Symphony Orchestra's Composer to Center Stage competition, which resulted in a reading of his work and mentoring by John Corigliano. The National Public Radio show From the Top has featured Stephen as a composer, and he has appeared as an a cappella singer on The Martha Stewart Show and NBC's The Sing-Off.
Stephen's music has been heard at Lincoln Center and Le Poisson Rouge in New York, Jordan Hall and the Hatch Shell in Boston, the Green Room in San Francisco, and international venues. It has received performances by the JACK Quartet, TwoSense (Lisa Moore and Ashley Bathgate), and Grammy-nominee violinist Caroline Goulding. Stephen was the 2010 ASCAP Foundation Young Composer Fellow at the Bowdoin International Music Festival and is a past fellow at the Norfolk (Connecticut) Chamber Music Festival.
At Yale, Stephen created several theatrical productions that combined original instrumental music, stage lighting, elaborate sets, and media effects with loose narratives to tell musical stories that attracted diverse audiences. He also wrote the music for a full-length musical, Independents, which won an Overall Excellence Award for Overall Production at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2012. The show's music was commended in the New York Times (“the smooth sailing of the folkish tunes … evoking sea chanteys and a life of plunder”) and the Huffington Post (“consistently … sophisticated and hummable, ranging from sea shanties to romantic duets …”).
A native of Winchester, Massachusetts, Stephen majored in music at Yale College and received a Master of Music from the Yale School of Music. He has studied with Ezra Laderman, David Lang, Martin Bresnick, Christopher Theofanidis, Michael Gandolfi, Samuel Adler, Claude Baker, Kathryn Alexander, and Rodney Lister.
Friction Quartet will perform Strange Dances on January 12, 2014, in The Firehouse Space, Brooklyn, New York, and on January 26, 2013, at the Old First Concert Series, at the Old First Church in San Francisco.
More performances ...
Stephen was awarded Special Distinction by the jury of the 2014 ASCAP Foundation Nissim Prize for My Shade.
In a review in the New York Times (September 6, 2013) of a concert in the series Contagious Sounds at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Greenwich Village, Steve Smith noted that the "Strongest [piece in a set performed by the new quartet t8ts] was Stephen Feigenbaum's "Angel," which gave the impression of a pastel color-field painting approached across a vast room, its placid surfaces only gradually revealing minuscule bubbles, pocks and fissures." An excerpt of the premiere of Angel
at the Bang of a Can summer festival can be seen here: