Oscar-Winning French-Armenian Composer Michel Legrand To Perform in Boston


Michel Legrand

Michel Legrand

BOSTON — Michel Legrand, the multiple Academy Award-winning French-Armenian pianist will play a rare Boston engagement at Symphony Hall on Wednesday, November 18, at 8 p.m.

He will be joined by French singing sensation Mario Pelchat and five-time Grammy Award-winner Dionne Warwick. They will be accompanied by a quartet of musicians including Catherine Michel (harp), a soloist with Opéra de Paris. The concert is a mixture of classical movie tunes by Legrand, as well as jazz and Hollywood hits, built around the romance and nostalgia of the French “chanson.”

An amazingly versatile virtuoso pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, director, producer and singer, Legrand is a three-time Oscar winner (out of 13 nominations) and five-time Grammy winner.

He released his first album, “I Love Paris,” in the 1950s; it became one of the best-selling instrumental albums ever released. He has composed more than 200 scores for iconic films including “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Yentl” and “The Three Musketeers.” Legrand has also authored television scores, composed several musicals and made well over a 100 albums. His memorable songs, How Do You Keep the Music Playing, What Are You
Doing the Rest of Your Life? and The Windmills of Your Mind are included in the list of America’s Greatest Movie Songs by the American Film Institute.

He has collaborated with a tremendously varied list of artists, including Maurice Chevalier, Miles Davis, Kiri Te Kanawa, Edith Piaf, Johnny Mathis, Neil Diamond, Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Aretha Franklin, James Galway, Ray Charles, Lena Horne and Barbara Streisand, to name just a few.

Warwick is a New Jersey native and humanitarian activist who has, over an illustrious four-decade career, established herself as an international musical star. Warwick received her first Grammy Award in 1968 (for the classic Do You Know the Way to San Jose?), and in so doing, became the first African-American solo female artist of her generation to win the prestigious award for Best Contemporary Female Vocal Performance. Her hits like Anyone Who Had a Heart and Walk on By brought success and visibility around the world. With her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Warwick continues to work tirelessly with various organizations dedicated to empowering and inspiring others.

Pelchat is a multi-platinum Québec recording star whose sexy velvet voice is familiar from the musical “Nôtre Dame de Paris.” He made his album debut with “Je Suis un Chanteur” (1982) as a teenager. He has been the star of several musicals, “La Vie en Bleu” (Paris and Monte Carlo), “Nôtre Dame de Paris” (France, Italy, Canada, Lebanon, Switzerland, Belgium) and “Les Dix Commandements” (Canada), and is the recipient of numerous Felix awards (the Québec equivalent of the Grammy). He and Legrand worked together on an album, released this March 2009, where Pelchat interpreted Legrand’s world-famous songs. After a sensational show in Paris, the chemistry was such a success, that the Canadian and now a three-city American tour were launched.

For tickets, www.bostonsymphonyhall.org.