Born in New York City, Paul Orgel has concertized throughout the United States and Eastern Europe as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and chamber musician. He has given notable concerts in such venues as New York's Merkin Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Jordan Hall, and the Gardner Museum in Boston, the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, and the San Francisco Conservatory. Critics have praised his playing for its “subtlety and attention to nuance” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “rare pathos” (New York Times), and “brilliant technique, sense of humor and fantasy” (Bridgeport Post).
A versatile musician with wide-ranging interests and an extremely varied repertoire, Orgel has been associated with many composers including Messaien, Cage, Rochberg, and T. L. Read. He can be heard on recordings of music by Louis Moyse (Works for Flute and Piano) on the CRI label, a 2003 Grammy nominee, and on Capstone (Keyboard Fantasies by Curt Cacioppo). His solo recording, Music of the Holocaust featuring music by Karel Berman, Pavel Haas, Gideon Klein, and Viktor Ullmann, was released on the Phoenix USA label in 2005.
Orgel has specialized in Czech music, performing programs of the complete piano music of Janacek and music from Terezin; and, as a scholar of classical performance practice, he has given recitals of Haydn and Beethoven on the Viennese fortepiano.
As a chamber musician, Paul Orgel has been associated with the Yellow Barn Festival, was a founding member of the Interlochen Trio, and a long-time member of Music at Eden's Edge, an ensemble based in Boston's North Shore. He has collaborated with such artists as Jaime Laredo, the Chicago String Quartet, and the Quartetto di Venezia.
Orgel was educated at Oberlin, the New England Conservatory, and Boston University. He holds a doctorate in piano performance from Temple University. Among his piano teachers were Russell Sherman, Lillian and Irwin Freundlich, and Harvey Wedeen. He is currently a member of the music faculty at the University of Vermont and is director of the Humanities Program Concert Series at Saint Michael's College.