Billy Joel debuts with orchestra in concert featuring his songs

Thursday, January 3, 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- The Piano Man will make his Philadelphia Orchestra debut this month.

Billy Joel will perform with the orchestra Jan. 26 to celebrate the 151st anniversary of the Academy of Music, it was announced last week.

The program, led by music director Christoph Eschenbach, will also include the Blue Man Group, soprano Disella Larusdottir and pianist Conrad Tao.

Joel, 58, will play a selection of his own songs, and the orchestra will present the world premiere of his classical composition "Waltz No. 2 (Steinway Hall)" in a new orchestration.

The Academy of Music was the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1900 to the opening of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in December 2001.

A portion of the concert proceeds will support the orchestra's Billy Joel Endowment Fund for Education.

Joel released "Fantasies & Delusions," an album of classical piano compositions, in 2001.

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