December 28, 2007 Alfred Branch Jr.
“Piano Man” Billy Joel will make his first major orchestra appearance when he performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra on Jan. 26, to celebrate the 151st anniversary of the Academy of Musicin Philadelphia. Blue Man Group will show their colors, too, in an original work with the orchestra. On the classical front, soprano Dísella Làrusdóttir and pianist Conrad Tao will also showcase their repertoire. MSNBC’s Chris Matthewsis the evening emcee.
The concert will not only showcase Joel performing a selection of songs from his 30-year career, but will also mark the world premiere of the new orchestration of “Waltz No. 2” that Joel composed. Joel, his band and the orchestra will also perform songs from his repertoire specially orchestrated for the event.
A portion of the event’s proceeds will support The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Billy Joel Endowment Fund for Education, which Joel created for the first time with an orchestra. He has previously made significant donations to the music programs at New York University, the Juilliard School, Syracuse University, Eastman School of Music, the State University of New York at Purchase, the New England Conservatory, Tanglewood Music Center, and the Boston Symphony’s Academy for Advanced Musical Study.
The Anniversary Concert is created and produced by Wayne Baruch and Charles F. Gayton, who also produced last year’s event. Concert tickets are $150 and can be purchased at www.philorch.org/academyofmusic.