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Billy Joel Piano Concerto to Premiere at Eastern Music Festival

By Vivien Schweitzer
26 Apr 2006

A piano concerto based on music from pop star Billy Joel's 2001 classical album Fantasies and Delusions will premiere at the Eastern Music Festival on June 24.

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel will perform the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the EMF faculty orchestra. Biegel had initially asked Joel to write him a concerto, but due to time constraints the pop star suggested that some of his solo piano pieces be reworked into a concerto.

In a statement on his website, Biegel, who arranged the piano section, said, "In utilizing the music already published as Fantasies and Delusions, the selections chosen came to my mind as a conception for a cohesive concerto in four movements of various styles and moods."

The concerto is structured in four movements: Fantasy, Sorbetto, Reverie, and Nunley's Carousel Waltz. Joel also approved Phillip Keveren to orchestrate the score.

Stuart Malina, music director of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra since 2000, will conduct. Malina shared a 2003 Tony Award with Joel for the Broadway musical Movin' Out, which makes use of Joel's songs.

The Eastern Music Festival is held annually in Greensboro, North Carolina. The 2006 lineup includes violinist Joshua Bell, mezzo Frederica Von Stade, pianists Garrick Ohlsson and André Watts, and the Canadian Brass.




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