BY DEBBIE DIAMOND / AJT //
Grammy-nominated singer and pianist Michael Feinstein will join Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for an evening of favorites from the American Songbook at 8 p.m. on both May 24 and 25 in Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center.
A multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer, Feinstein is widely recognized for his commitment to preserving the legacy of America’s popular song. He performs more than 200 concerts each year and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House and the Hollywood Bowl, as well as at the White House and Buckingham Palace.
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The roots of his work began in Columbus, Ohio, where a young Feinstein began playing piano by ear as a 5-year-old. After graduating from high school, he worked in local piano bars for two years before relocating to Los Angeles at the age of 20.
It was there, in July 1977, that the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced Feinstein to Ira Gershwin. The young artist subsequently became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded.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 has evolved into one of the country’s finest interpreters of music legends like Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Duke Ellington and Harry Warren. He has also become a popular performer, composer and arranger of his own original music.
He also sits on the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board and serves as the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series for New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center and as the artistic director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Ind. He hosts the public radio program “Song Travels” and is the subject of the PBS special “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook.”
In addition, Feinstein has also received three honorary doctorates; andis new book, “The Gershwins and Me,” is a tribute to the brothers who most influenced his career.
Single ticket prices for these performances are $29 to $65 and available online at atlantasymphony.org; by calling (404) 733-5000; or at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet.