Dreams of the Fallen: A tribute to veterans


World-renowned pianist and Lynbrook resident Jeffrey Biegel, accompanying the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, will bring attention to veterans’ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at the “Honoring Our Heroes” concert at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, with guest conductor James Paul. Actor John Goodman will also take part, and will narrate Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait.”

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the museum are producing the concert, which features the world premiere of composer Jake Runestad’s “Dreams of the Fallen.”

“These were ordinary people, drafted and called. It’s the end of the line — a sacrifice, but for a worthy cause. These are extraordinary men and women doing that job. This is a way of honoring the veterans of a really essential war, one that changed the world,” said actor John Goodman said in an interview with The Associated Press.
Runestad’s piece will put the Brian Turner poems about the war in Iraq to music, performed by piano, orchestra and chorus.

“I’ve been doing commissioned programs since 1998, and have raised a half a million dollars in funds,” said Biegel. “I was in Minneapolis a few years ago, and met composer Jake Runestad, now 27, who was living there at the time. After just ten minutes, I said to him, ‘Everything I hear coming from you triggers me to say that you are the next composer in my commissioning project.’”

Biegel wanted to give Runestad a voice with piano, orchestra and chorus, and they went back and forth with ideas.

“So he finally came up with an idea of veterans returning from war and bring attention to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with “Dreams of the Fallen.”

“As the pianist, I am required to become the soldier” Biegel continued, “… it’s a very powerful piece of work. I think it will be one of the most significant pieces of music of the century because its something that’s never been done before.”

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