Friday, October 21, 2005

World-renowned Violinist, Pianist Help Launch XM Satellite Radio's 'Classical Confidential'

Musicians Joshua Bell and Matthew Bengtson Are Classic Competitors
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Pianist Matthew Bengtson has teamedup with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell for the premiere episode of"Classical Confidential," -- XM Satellite Radio's new interview andperformance program dedicated to classical music and its modern day stars.Martin Goldsmith, XM's classical music program director and on-airpersonality, and former host of National Public Radio's "Performance Today"will host the new series. "Classical Confidential" will debut on Wednesday,November 2, 2005 at 8 p.m. on XM Classics (XM Channel 110), XM Pops(XM Channel 113), Fine Tuning (XM Channel 76) and XM LIVE (XM Channel 200).

The program features Bell on the violin, accompanied by Bengtson inperformances of Fritz Kreisler's "Praeludium & Allegro" and "Liebesleid,"Tchaikovsky's "Melodie," and Sarasate's "Introduction & Tarantella." The showwas taped before a studio audience of American Youth Philharmonic students,aged 12 and up, and their teachers.
Encore broadcasts of this episode will air throughout November,exclusively on XM. XM Satellite Radio delivers more than 150 digital channelscoast-to-coast, including: 67 commercial-free music channels, plus premiersports, talk, news and entertainment programming, and 21 channels ofcomprehensive traffic and weather information.

Bengtson also accompanied Bell on a program of music, which was taped inearly September for National Public Radio's "Performance Today," hosted byjournalist Fred Child. The show aired the week of Sept. 20, after the releaseof Bell's new recording of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto recorded with theBerlin Philharmonic with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.

Both performers command rave reviews. The Boston Herald has called Bell"the greatest American violinist active today." And a recent American RecordGuide review of the pianist's recording of Scriabin Sonatas stated, "OnlyHorowitz and Richter can compare to what Bengtson achieves on this disc."

Both performers have excelled in pursuits outside music. Bell was afinalist in a tennis tournament at age 10 and is an avid golfer and tennisplayer. Bengtson is an internationally ranked chess master who also competesin amateur golf tournaments. On an intellectual level, they also have asimilar enthusiasm for Douglas Hofstadter, author of "Godel, Escher, Bach."

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