top of page
Sophia's Wide Awake Dreams (Lembit Beecher)
Aizuri Quartet
Blueprinting: New Amsterdam Records
I Have No Stories to Tell You - Scene 4-Lembit Beecher
00:00 / 03:08
I Missed the BeginningLembit Beecher
00:00 / 03:32


"I am a composer, pianist and animator who strives to create collaborative work that is dramatic in scope and intimate in its sense of expression. I grew up in the woods just north of Santa Cruz, California, speaking Estonian with my mother and English with my father (and translating between the two until I realized that my mother spoke English!). My childhood was filled with family stories of homeland, migration, and displacement. Until I was 10 years old, my mother’s birthplace of Estonia was under Soviet occupation and an imagination of this strange and surely wondrous place that was home but that I had never seen, formed much of my childhood. My grandmother’s stories of growing up in Estonia, her escape during World War II, and her immigration to the United States made a particularly strong impression on me. Later in life I developed a strong interest in documentary and my work has increasingly drawn its impetus from a fascination with the way memories, histories, and stories permeate our contemporary lives. Many of my pieces use recorded audio interviews woven into the fabric of the music, while others draw formal inspiration from the repetitive, non-linear storytelling of families: the way bits of stories float around each other, dancing effortlessly across decades. There are few things stronger to me than smells drawn from my childhood, particularly those of trees, the damp forest floor, and windy, cold beaches: a sense of ecology, natural processes, and the emotional connections we develop to places is always lingering behind the music I write. Whether I am writing chamber or orchestral music, choir pieces or opera, I want the audience to be drawn into a world full of physicality, yearning emotion, joy, and moments of unexpected humor, but above all, a world that feels intimate, personal and filled with life, like a kitchen table, an overgrown backyard, or the taste of a forgotten favorite food.


Opera has become a focus of my recent work. From 2011-2014 I was the inaugural composer-in-residence of Opera Philadelphia and my operas "I Have No Stories To Tell You" (2014) and "Sky on Swings," (2018) both with librettos by Hannah Moscovitch, were produced by the company. Starring Frederica von Stade and Marietta Simpson, “Sky on Swings” depicted the growing relationship between two women with Alzheimer’s disease. Supported by a major grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, I wrote the chamber opera "Sophia’s Forest" (2017), about the imaginary world of a young girl who recently immigrated to the United States. A collaboration with Drexel University's ExCITe Center, the opera featured 9 sound sculptures which formed the centerpiece of the opera’s set and sonic world."

bottom of page