A Brooklyn College professor from Long Island wrote a piano piece dedicated to the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Reflection of Justice: An Ode to Ruth Bader Ginsburg” pays homage to the legal eagle and Brooklyn native through music, according to its composer.
“It’s my way of connecting with her spiritually through music and trying to use music as a way to memorialize her,” said Jeffrey Biegel, an adjunct piano professor and composer who teaches at the college’s School of Visual, Media, and Performing Arts.
Following Ginsburg’s death on Sept. 18 at the age of 87, Biegel decided to pen a piece about the famous Brooklynite, whom he never met but has a family connection with via his in-laws.
“My father-in-law knew her when they were teens in Brooklyn,” said Biegel. “When she passed I felt, ‘I wished I had the honor and opportunity to have known you and to have played for you.’”
Faced with the challenge of translating Ginsburg’s storied life into music, Biegel decided to write the melody using notes corresponding to the letters of her initials “RBG,” her full name, and her nickname “Kiki,” by which she was known as a youngster, according to Biegel’s father-in-law.
While composing the tune over the course of a couple days in October, he also included the opening notes of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” representing Ginsburg’s towering legacy for the country.