The Elie Siegmeister Society

c/o The Prof. Edgar H. Lehrman Memorial Foundation
for Ethics, Religion, Science & the Arts

33 Court Street, Valley Stream, NY 11580
Tel.: (516) 825-2939


In March 2010, Scarecrow Press published
Elie Siegmeister, American Composer: A Bio-Bibliography
by Leonard J. Lehrman & Kenneth O. Boulton.
Click here to order the book from the publisher.
Click here to read a review written by Howard Pollack about the book.
Click here for the list of corrections of post-publication errors found by the authors, to date.

Elie Siegmeister (Jan. 15, 1909-Mar. 10, 1991) was, in the words of Robert Sherman,
"one of our giants." The composer of 9 operas, 9 symphonies, ballets, chamber works,
and over 100 songs, he was also the inspiring teacher of numerous composers, including
Stephen Albert, Sy Brandon, Tom Cipullo, Herbert Deutsch, Daniel Dorff, Barry Drogin,
Gerald Humel, Lauren Keiser, Stephen Lawrence, Leonard Lehrman, Roger Nierenberg,
Joseph Pehrson, Michael Shapiro, Richard White, and many others.

On the occasion of his 90th birthday, in January, 1999, The Elie Siegmeister Society
was founded by Leonard Lehrman and Helene Williams. Members were invited to contribute
$10 a year (or more) in support of the following goals, as many as possible to be achieved by
January 15, 2009, the date of The Elie Siegmeister Centennial:

1) publication & distribution of a complete catalog of works by and about Elie Siegmeister
including scores, books, articles, letters, recordings, tapes, videos, and oral histories
2) premieres and recordings of all unperformed and unrecorded Siegmeister works
3) completion and publication of an authorized biography of Siegmeister
4) preparation and publication of a critical edition of Siegmeister's works
5) an annual report on performances, recordings, and publications of Siegmeister's works
and progress toward all of the above.

In honor of the centennial of his birth, the following proclamations and citations were issued:
[Click on the underlined words to see each individual proclamation/citation in its entirety.]
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz declared Jan. 2, 2009
"Elie Siegmeister 100th Birthday Celebration Day in Brooklyn, USA";
Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi declared Jan. 15, 2009
"Elie Siegmeister Day" in Nassau County;
Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto and the Town Board declared Jan. 15, 2009
"The Centennial of Elie Siegmeister's Birth Day" in the Town of Oyster Bay;
the Mayor, the Board of Trustees, and the residents of the Village of Massapequa Park
awarded a citation to honor the centennial of Elie Siegmeister Jan. 15, 2009;
the members of the Town Board of the Town of Huntington declared Jan. 19, 2009
"Martin Luther King/Elie Siegmeister Day" in the Town of Huntington;
and Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy personally paid tribute to the works of Elie Siegmeister,
both with a proclamation and with a personal appearance
at United Methodist Church of Huntington/Cold Spring Harbor
for the Jan. 19, 2009 Suffolk premiere of the cantata I Have A Dream.
And on Mar. 29, 2009 New York's Governor David Paterson conferred a
"Special Citation" honoring "The Centennial Celebration of Elie Siegmeister."

Press coverage has included articles by
Karen Lipson in the N.Y. Times Long Island Section Jan. 4, 2009
and Steve Parks in the Jan. 16, 2009 Newsday.
The Jan. 11, 2009 concert was reviewed by Leo Kraft in The New Music Connoisseur, v.17 #1, pp.7-8.
See also Leonard Lehrman's Jan. 20 , 2009 column for the 2008-09 issue of The New Music Connoisseur - online at
and his Feb. 10, 2009 article for the American Music Center magazine,

For a list of Siegmeister performances and recordings by the founders of the Society, please go to

Click here for the latest issue of the Elie Siegmeister Society Newsletter.

In 2008, we offered the following premiums:

Capstone CD #CPS-8667 Helene Williams Sings More Songs of Love (1999), incl. 3 of Elie's;
Original Cast CD #OC 6055 Abel Meeropol Centennial Concert (2003), incl. 8 numbers by Elie;
Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus Concert at Great Neck House, 2/26/06 CD, incl. 4 by Elie;
Manhattan premiere of "I Have A Dream" & world premiere of "Lonely Star" 1/15/89 DVD.
This last item has been generously licensed by Carl Fischer, with fees waived.

For a donation of any amount over $10, we offer you a copy of
Original Cast CD # OC 6235 The Elie Siegmeister Centennial CD
including 28 songs, 16 first recordings, on texts by
Edward Eager, Vachel Lindsay, Rosemary & Stephen Vincent Benet, Leo Israel,
Langston Hughes, Norman Rosten, Edward Mabley, Miriam Waddington, and Kim Rich
with Helene Williams, Lars Woodul, and The Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus,
conducted from the piano by Leonard Lehrman

Click here for contents. Click here for texts.

Hearing the CD, Robert Sherman wrote (12/13/08):
I thought I knew ES's folk-oriented output fairly well, but obviously I didn't. This Centennial CD introduced me to well over a dozen pieces, including songs about such American heroes of life and legend as Abraham Lincoln, Nancy Hanks, Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed. There's an absolutely gorgeous "Lazy Afternoon," which apparently preceded the more famous Jerome Moross song by a decade or so, a couple of delectable Irish-flavored theatre pieces, even a zippy little tribute to E.S. himself by Leonard Lehrman, the pianist on the CD. In short, here's a timely album of varied and eminently worthy discoveries.

Tax-deductible checks should be made out to:
The Prof. Edgar H. Lehrman Memorial Foundation -
with the memo: Elie Siegmeister Society

Leading up to the centennial celebration in 2009,
the Great Neck Choral Society performed the world premiere
of the choral version of Siegmeister's "Nancy Hanks"
Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008 at 4:00pm
at St. Paul the Apostle Roman Catholic Church
2534 Cedar Swamp Rd., Brookville, Long Island

In 2009, the following performances of Siegmeister works took place:

Fri. Jan. 2 8pm BargeMusic: music by Elie Siegmeister & his students
----Stephen Albert, Herbert Deutsch, Daniel Dorff, Stephen Lawrence,
----Leonard Lehrman, Joseph Pehrson, and Michael Shapiro
----voice & piano recital: Helene Williams & Leonard Lehrman

*Sun. Jan. 4 2:30pm Great Neck House
----voice & piano recital: Helene Williams & Leonard Lehrman

Sat. Jan. 10 10:15-11:45am National Opera Association convention, Washington DC
----presentation by Elizabeth Kirkpatrick Vrenios, Jerome Barry, George Shirley,
----Helene & Leonard - and Alan Mandel
----Music by Elie Siegmeister That Was Sung Onstage - Or Could Have Been
----Capitol View Ballroom, Key Bridge Marriott Hotel, Arlington VA

*Sun. Jan. 11 2:30pm Great Neck Library choral & solo vocal concert
----including I Have A Dream cantata
----Ivan Thomas, Lars Woodul, Helene Williams
----Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus;
----conducted by founder/director Leonard Lehrman

*Thu. Jan. 15 7:30pm Massapequa Library (Bar Harbor) American Chamber Ensemble
---Elie at 100--A Master of American Music
----music for woodwinds, piano and voice -
----Naomi Drucker, Denise Lozano Healey, Lynne Cohen, Braden Toan, Marilyn Lehman
----plus guest artists Helene Williams & Leonard Lehrman

**Mon. Jan. 19 8pm United Methodist Church of Huntington/Cold Spring Harbor
----choral & solo vocal concert: including I Have A Dream cantata
----Ivan Thomas, Lars Woodul, Helene Williams
----Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus;
----conducted by founder/director Leonard Lehrman

*Thu. Jan. 22 2pm Bethpage Public Library
----voice & piano recital: Helene Williams & Leonard Lehrman

Sun. Jan. 25 3pm Downtown Music Productions: repeat of I Have A Dream cantata
----Ivan Thomas, Lars Woodul, Helene Williams, Linda Thompson-Williams
----Metropolitan Philharmonic Chorus;
----conducted by founder/director Leonard Lehrman;
----Mimi Stern-Wolfe, pianist & series producer
----at St. Marks-in-the-Bowery, 2nd Ave. & 10th St., Manhattan

Thu. Feb. 12 8pm Music for Piano & Voice Honoring the Birthdays of
----Elie Siegmeister & Abraham Lincoln,
----Gault Recital Hall, Scheide Music Center, College of Wooster, Ohio

Tue. Feb. 17 12:30pm Levenson Recital Hall, Gershwin Building Brooklyn College
----voice & piano lecture/recital: Helene Williams & Leonard Lehrman

*Sun. Mar. 8 3pm Syosset Public Library
----voice & piano recital: Helene Williams & Leonard Lehrman

Thu. Mar. 12 4pm Long Island Arts Council at Freeport
----2009 Nassau Grants for the Arts Awards Reception
----Helene & Leonard performed Two Songs of the City

Mon. Mar. 16 7pm Lincoln Festival at National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC
----Janice Eteme, sop., Alan Mandel, pno, performed Siegmeister's 3 Lincoln Songs

Sat. Mar. 21 11:15am-12N voice & piano lecture/recital by Leonard & Helene
----at Society for American Music Convention, Marriott Hotel, Denver, Colorado

Sat. & Sun. Mar. 28 & 29 Andrew Clark & The Providence (RI) Singers performed
----Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight

*Sun. Mar. 29 2pm Hofstra Celebrates Elie Siegmeister at 100
presented by Hofstra Cultural Center
as part of the Joseph G. Astman International Concert Series: Musical Tributes
Performances by Hofstra faculty, staff and guest artists
----Robert Spiotto narrates "Dick Whittington & His Cat." Other performers included
----Blanche Abram, Donna Balson, Chandler Carter, Herbert Deutsch, Nancy Deutsch,
----Naomi Drucker, Tammy Hensrud, Gregory Mercer, Marilyn Sherman Lehman,
----Leonard Lehrman, Helene Williams
at Monroe Lecture Center Theater, California Ave., South Campus

Sun. Mar. 29 3pm Alan Mandel performed Piano Sonata #2 at National Gallery recital

Sun. Mar. 29 3:30pm Colgate Memorial Chapel, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY
----Marcus DeLoach, baritone & Grant Loehnig, piano performed "Ballad of Adam & Eve"

Sat. Apr. 4 8pm Woodwind Treasures - at Monroe Auditorium, Hofstra
----American Chamber Ensemble program included 4 Minutes for 4 Players

Sun. Apr. 19 3pm Queens College (Choral Room)
----solo vocal & piano music by Elie Siegmeister & his students
----Stephen Albert, Tom Cipullo, Herbert Deutsch, Jack Gallagher, Stephen Lawrence,
----Leonard Lehrman, Joseph Pehrson, Michael Shapiro and Richard White

Sat. Apr. 25 8pm New Wind A-Blowin' sung in "Young Land" program,
a recital by Julia Oesch, mezzo-soprano; Jens Barnieck, piano
Erbacher Hof, Grebenstr. 24-26, 55116, Mainz, Germany
part of the Atlantic Academy project: AUFBRUCH NACH AMERIKA 1709-2009
300 years of mass emigration to the US from Rhineland-Palatinate

Sat. May 9 8pm Hofstra Orchestra, cond. David Ramael, performed Ozark Set
[repeated by him, with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra in Chengdu, China, Fri. July 10]

Sun. June 7 3pm American Society for Jewish Music concert at Center for Jewish History
----included Siegmeister's String Quartet #3 "On Hebrew Themes"

Sun. June 7 8pm Moshe Bear sang "As I Was Goin' Along"
----on cantorial concert at Dix Hills Jewish Center, accompanied by Leonard Lehrman

Fri. June 26 8pm repeat of Apr. 25 program, Theodor Zink-Museum, Kaiserslautern, Germany

Sat. June 27, 2009 3:00pm
Annual Court Street Music Recital
Performances by voice, piano, and composition students
of Helene & Leonard
featuring music by Elie Siegmeister performed by
Ijeoma Merenini, George Mirra, Diana Parau & Jordan Witter
Reservations required: 516-825-2939

Sun. July 19, 2009 4pm WFUV 90.7 FM Woody's Children with Bob Sherman
Burl Ives' 90th-Elie Siegmeister's 100th Birthday Program
excerpts from "Sing Out, Sweet Land!"
and the Elie Siegmeister Centennial CD
including the song "Elie Siegmeister"

Thu. Aug. 6, 2009 7:30pm
Naturist Songs "en franglais" III
featuring music by Elie Siegmeister in honor of his centennial
at the Eastern Canadian Naturist Festival, Bare Oaks, Ontario
Go to OMTSIGofTNS'History.html for a history of
The Naturist Society's Opera/Musical Theatre Special Interest Group

Sat. Aug. 8, 2009 7:00PM Northeast Naturist Festival
featuring music by Elie Siegmeister in honor of his centennial
in the 20th Anniversary Naturist Concert Extravaganza of
The Naturist Society's Opera/Musical Theatre Special Interest Group
dedicated to the memory of Lee Baxandall
Empire Haven, Moravia NY

Sun. Aug. 9 1:30pm
NY Green Fest Celebrates the Elie Siegmeister Centennial
and Other Music Relevant for Our Time
with Helene Williams, soprano & Leonard Lehrman, piano
Nevins Theater, Powell Campus Center, Alfred University, Alfred NY
Info: 607-569-2114

Sun. Aug. 16 3:00pm Jewish Fellowship of Hemlock Farms, Lord's Valley, PA
Thu. Aug. 20 7:30pm Bryant Library, Roslyn, NY
60th Birthday Celebration Concerts
Music of Charles Osborne & Leonard Lehrman
who also performed Siegmeister's "Ballad of Adam and Eve"
which they premiered at Carnege Recital Hall Jan. 17, 1989
[Concert repeated at Beth Haverim Shir Shalom, Mahwah NJ, Sun. Aug. 8, 2010 2pm]

Thu.-Fri. Oct. 15-16 Louisiana Music Teachers Association Convention
University of Louisiana at Lafayette, LA
Ken Boulton lecture recital on Siegmeister's solo piano music for students

Sun. Oct. 18 Jeannine Otis sang "Chalk Marks on the Sidewalk"
accompanied by Mimi Stern-Wolfe at Downtown Music Players Benefit

Thu. Oct. 22 6pm Jeannine Otis sang "Chalk Marks on the Sidewalk"
(and Marcia McNair's & Leonard Lehrman's "Long Island Just Isn't Long Enough"),
accompanied by Leonard Lehrman;
Hofstra University Conference on Suburban Diversity
Opening banquet, Mack Student Center, North Campus

Fri. Oct. 23 8pm Paramount Theatre, Middletown, NY
SUNY Orange Symphonic Band, Kevin Scott, cond., was to perform
Five American Folk Songs

Wed. Oct. 28 8pm 30 Waverly, corner University, New York University
music by Elie Siegmeister & his students, presented by Michael Beckerman:
----Stephen Albert, Tom Cipullo, Herbert Deutsch, Gerald Humel, Stephen Lawrence,
Leonard Lehrman, Joseph Pehrson, Michael Shapiro, Richard White

Sun. Dec. 6 2pm
Robert Spiotto narrated Dick Whittington & His Cat
with Herbert Deutsch, Helene Williams & Leonard Lehrman in
Music by Siegmeister, Deutsch & Lehrman
Connetquot Library, 760 Ocean Ave., Bohemia NY
Tel. 631-567-5079
Telecast on Woodbury Area Channel 20
THU. JAN. 28 [Pt 1] & THU. FEB. 4 [Pt 2] 10:30pm

Sun. Dec. 6 & Mon. Dec. 7 First Presbyterian Church in Hilton Head Island, SC,
Christmas Is Coming conducted by Mary Woodmansee Green

*This program is made possible, in part,
with public funds from the N.Y. State Council
on the Arts' Decentralization Program, administered
by the L.I. Arts Council at Freeport.
**Co-sponsored by Maldeb Foundation.
All Siegmeister Centennial concerts co-sponsored by The Puffin Foundation.

Click here for the transcript of Bruce Duffie's March 1987 interview with Siegmeister.

Click here for photographs of the 1989 French premiere of Siegmeister's opera, The Mermaid in Lock No. 7.

Click here for a complete list of currently available recordings of music by Elie Siegmeister.

© 2012 Leonard Lehrman | last update Jan. 19, 2012

Free Space Provided by Artists-In-Residence