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In the fall of 2011, Lembit Beecher was appointed for a three-year term as the first Composer In Residence of the Opera Company of Philadelphia in collaboration with Gotham Chamber Opera and Music Theatre Group of New York. Born of Estonian and American parents, he grew up under the redwoods in Santa Cruz, California, a few miles from the wild Pacific. Since then he has lived in Boston, Houston, Ann Arbor, Berlin and New York, earning degrees from Harvard, Rice and the University of Michigan. This varied background has made him particularly sensitive to place, ecology and the strong emotional relationships that people forge with patterns in nature. He is also interested in memory and the various ways we tell stories, from emotional personal narratives to crisp and clean documentaries. Recent pieces have focused on reflections of the immigrant experience and the integration of recorded interviews with music.  While a fellow at the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities (2008 – 2009), Lembit wrote And Then I Remember, a multi-media, documentary oratorio based on the World War II stories of his grandmother.  And Then I Remember won the 2010 Opera Vista competition leading to a fully staged production in March of 2011 in Houston, Texas. Active also as a pianist and conductor, his work has been performed at the Tanglewood, Aspen and Cabrillo Music Festivals and he has received awards and grants from the American Music Center, ASCAP, New York Youth Symphony, NewMusic@ECU, Society for New Music and Austin Peay State University. Lembit served as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Denison University for the fall of 2009.

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Biography