Main content

Regina Spektor ’01 Re-Releases Formative Album 11:11

Spektor wrote and recorded 11:11 as a student in the Studio Composition program.

“Purchase was the perfect incubator for her work—a school full of artsy kids hyperfocused on their chosen disciplines, and all for the sake of art itself.” —

The Genesis

Regina Spektor ’01 wrote the songs for 11:11 while attending the Conservatory of Music and recorded them with the help of fellow students. Ritchie Castellano ’01, MM ’03 produced the album, and Chris Kuffner ’02 played the bass.

And it was her classmate, Jack Dishel ’98 who suggested she pay to have 1,000 copies of the CD pressed to sell after her shows. (Spektor married Dishel years later.)

The Conservatory is proud to have played a role in Spektor’s journey to explore, nurture, and hone her artistry. The album 11:11 will forever be part of its legacy.

The Return

Playing open mics in New York City to audiences of no more than a few people soon evolved into a recording contract. In the years since the CDs have become a hot commodity among her most ardent fans. But she hoped to bury some of her earliest songs, written at the tender age of 16.

Twenty years later, she revisited the music and made peace with her younger artist self. The songs from 11:11 are available again on streaming platforms and in an anniversary box set. She’s also releasing early performance footage recorded by her father.

In her liner notes, “She writes that it was ‘healing’ to realize that this past girl she’d cringed at had indeed worked very hard,” reports

Castellano remembers the first time she performed in class.

“Regina was very quiet, and one day she sat at the piano for [composition] class and she played the song ‘Braille,’ and all of our jaws hit the floor. I just remember, personally, I melted in my chair when she did that: it was obvious that we were hearing something very unique and special.” Castellano currently plays in the rock band Blue Öyster Cult.

Excerpted from, The True Story Behind Regina Specter’s Lost Debut Album, 11:11