FL: These two contemporary men surprise and delight audiences
with their classic affections. Michael Feinstein The
Ambassador of the Great American Songbook will perform
American standards from his Grammy nominated Sinatra
Project on Tue. Jan. 31 @ 8 PM. Classical music superstar,
violinist Joshua Bell will dazzle the Van
Wezel Performing Arts Hall audience on Thur.
Feb. 2 @ 8 PM.
MICHAEL FEINSTEIN, the multi-platinum-selling,
five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador
of the Great American Songbook,” is considered one of
the premier interpreters of American standards. More than
Feinstein is nationally recognized for his commitment to celebrating
America’s popular song and preserving its legacy for
the next generation.
The roots of all this work began in Columbus, Ohio, where
Feinstein started playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After
graduating from high school, he worked in local piano lounges,
moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. The widow of legendary
concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin
in July 1977. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant
for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished
Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.
Gershwin’s influence provided a solid base upon which
Feinstein evolved into a captivating performer, composer and
arranger of his own original music. He also has become an
unparalleled interpreter of music legends such as Irving Berlin,
Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren.
Among his many accomplishments, Feinstein earned his fifth
Grammy Award nomination in 2009 for The Sinatra Project,
his Concord Records CD celebrating the music of “Ol’
Blue Eyes.” His PBS series Michael Feinstein’s
American Songbook, in which he uncovers treasures of
classic American music, kicks off its three-part second season
this February. Recently, he released The Power Of Two,
collaborating with “Glee” and “30 Rock”
star Cheyenne Jackson, and Cheek To Cheek, recorded
with Broadway legend Barbara Cook. Feinstein’s Van Wezel
performance will focus on his October 2011 release, The
Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life.
JOSHUA BELL is the 1713
Gibson ex Huberman Stradivarius toting violinist who has enchanted
with his breathtaking virtuosity and tone of rare beauty.
An Avery Fisher Prize recipient and Musical America’s
2010 Instrumentalist of the Year, Bell is The Academy of St.
Martin in the Fields’ newly named Music Director. Bell
came to national attention at age 14 in his debut with Riccardo
Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Today he is equally at
home as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestra leader and
composer who performs his own cadenzas to several of the major
Besides this U.S. recital tour 2012 includes a tour with the
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields in the U.S. Bell tours
Europe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir
Jurowski and in recital with Jeremy Denk. An exclusive Sony
Classical artist, French Impressions, his new album of French
sonatas with Jeremy Denk was released this month, featuring
works by Ravel, Saint Saëns and Franck.
Since his first LP recording at 18, Bell has recorded more
than 36 CDs garnering Mercury, Grammy, Gramophone and Echo
Klassik Awards. Recent releases include At Home With Friends,
the Defiance soundtrack, Vivaldi’s The
Four Seasons and The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
with the Berlin Philharmonic. He has recorded critically
acclaimed performances of Sibelius and Goldmark and the Beethoven
and Mendelssohn concertos both featuring his own cadenzas;
and the Oscar winning soundtrack, The Red Violin.
Joshua is featured on the soundtrack to the film Flower
of War starring Christian Bale opening in February. Accompanying
Josh at his Van Wezel appearance will be critically acclaimed
British pianist, Sam Haywood.
Michael Feinstein The Sinatra Project --Tues. Jan.
31, 2012 @ 8:00 PM. Ticket prices range from $30-$70.
Sponsored Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine/Bradenton
Joshua Bell --Thurs. Feb 2, 2012
@ 8 PM. Ticket prices range from $10-$55. Sponsored
by Van Wezel Foundation & WSMR 89.1
For more information and to buy tickets,
contact the Van Wezel Box office at (941) 953- 3368
or log onto www.vanwezel.org