Discipline: Music Composition

Lembit Beecher

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2015, 2023

Estonian-American composer and animator Lembit Beecher writes music that stems from a fascination with the way memories, histories, and stories permeate our contemporary lives. Threading together fragments of family lore, distantly experienced legends, imagery, and songs from Estonian folk culture, and explorations of place, migration, natural processes, and ecology, he strives to create musical worlds full of fragile lyricism, propulsive energy, and visceral emotions.

Recent premieres include “Tell Me Again” for cellist Karen Ouzounian and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, “100 Years Grows Shorter Over Time” for the Juilliard String Quartet, and “Sky on Swings,” an opera written with Canadian playwright Hannah Moscovitch which traces the relationship of two women diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Commissioned by Opera Philadelphia, the opera starred Frederica von Stade and Marietta Simpson in its 2018 premiere. Beecher spent three years as composer-in-residence of Opera Philadelphia and three years as the composer-in-residence of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Much of his work since then has focused on creating intimate and theatrical pieces, often with interdisciplinary or collaborative elements.

At MacDowell in 2015, Beecher completed "Small Looking Up," a chamber work for violin and cello, as well as sketching a bassoon and marimba duo. During his 2023 Fellowship, he worked on a new quartet commissioned by the Lydian String Quartet at Brandeis for premier in the fall of 2024. Lembit also worked on fine-tuning a small surround-sound speaker system for a collaboration with cellist Karen Ouzounian.


Delta Omicron

Lembit Beecher worked in the Delta Omicron studio.

Delta Omicron Studio was funded by members of the international musical fraternity in 1927. The building design is somewhat medieval in character, with an unusual cedar shingle pattern, a steeply pitched slate roof, intersecting gables, and small windows. After a 2016 deep-energy renovation, Delta Omicron is now one of the most energy efficient studio on the property…

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