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Kevin Cole

Langue disponible : anglais
Pianist Kevin Cole is a noted specialist in the music of George Gershwin and other composers of the 1930s. As a young musician, he worked with some of the composer's surviving associates, and he has collaborated with leading vocalists in performances and on recordings of Gershwin's music. Cole was born in 1959 in Bay City, Michigan. At four, he was already amazing audiences with his piano talent. He sang in choirs and played piano and organ around various churches in the area. By the time he was 15, he had outstripped the offerings of local piano teachers and headed for New York, hoping to meet living songwriters of the Gershwin era. At first, he had no luck, but he was befriended by George Gershwin biographer Edward Jablonski, who was also from Bay City. Through Jablonski, he met and played for such figures as Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen, as well as close Gershwin associate Kay Swift. She was one of several people who told Cole that his piano playing had an uncanny resemblance to Gershwin's. Cole began to land major orchestral engagements, appearing with such groups as the Los Angeles Philharmonic (at the Hollywood Bowl), the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In 2013, he appeared with the Albany Symphony at New York's Carnegie Hall. Cole began to find himself in demand as an accompanist for classical and musical theater vocalists, including Sylvia McNair, Dawn Upshaw, and Brian d'Arcy James. He has served as the musical director for productions at the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, the Pasadena Playhouse, and the Michigan Ensemble Theatre. In 2017, he underwent surgery for a golf ball-sized tumor near his right ear. He feared that his life was following the course of Gershwin's (the composer died of a brain tumor), and the operation cost him his hearing in that ear, but he recovered and continues to perform. In 2004, Cole released the solo album, Cole Plays Gershwin. In 2020, he was heard on a Naxos recording of Gershwin's Concerto in F with the National Orchestral Institute Philharmonic. He has given master classes in musical theater at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan and the North Carolina School of the Arts. Cole serves as the artist-in-residence at Michigan's Saginaw Valley State University, near his hometown of Bay City.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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