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Star Bio: Michael Feinstein

Wednesday 07 August 2013

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Michael Feinstein performs at The Palace Theatre this November for one night only, we take a look at the life of the "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook"

Star Bio: Michael Feinstein

For one November date only, The Palace Theatre plays host to Michael Feinstein, Elaine Paige and Julian Ovenden promising a night of great music, lyrics and performance.

For those of you who don’t know about the entertainer dubbed "The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook", here is a quick Bio:

Michael Jay Feinstein, born September 7th 1956, is an American singer, pianist, and music revivalist. He is an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook.

In 1988 he won a Drama Desk Special Award for celebrating American musical theatre songs. Feinstein is also a multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated recording artist.

After graduating from high school, Feinstein worked in local piano bars for two years, moving to Los Angeles when he was 20. Through the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant, in 1977 he was introduced to Ira Gershwin, who hired him to catalogue his extensive collection of phonograph records.

By 1988, Feinstein was starring on Broadway in a series of in-concert shows: Michael Feinstein in Concert, Michael Feinstein in Concert: "Isn't It Romantic" and Michael Feinstein in Concert: Piano and Voice. He returned to Broadway in 2010, in a concert special duo with Dame Edna titled All About Me.

In the early 1990s, Feinstein embarked on an ambitious songbook project wherein he performed an album featuring the music of a featured composer, often accompanied by the composer. These included collaborations with Burton Lane, Jule Styne, Jerry Herman and Hugh Martin.
 
In the late 1990s, Feinstein recorded two more albums of Gershwin music: Nice Work If You Can Get It: Songs by the Gershwin’s and Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin. Feinstein's albums in the 21st century have included Romance on Film, Romance on Broadway, Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic, Hopeless Romantics and The Sinatra Project.

In 2000, the Library of Congress appointed Feinstein to its newly formed National Recording Preservation Board, an organization dedicated to safeguarding America’s musical heritage.

In 2008, the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative located its headquarters in Carmel, Indiana. The Initiative's two-fold mission includes the preservation, research, and exhibition of the physical artefacts, both published and non-published, of the Great American Songbook and educating today's youth about the music's relevance to their lives.

In 2009 Feinstein became the artistic director of The Centre for the Performing Arts. located in Carmel, Indiana. Construction of the $170-million, three-theatre venue was completed in January, 2011. The centre is home to an annual international arts festival, diverse live programming, and the Michael Feinstein Initiative.

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