Pacific Symphony logo

Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

Swing and sway to Sinatra hits when “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook” Michael Feinstein opens Pacific Symphony’s Pops season celebrating Maestro Kaufman’s 25th Anniversary

Orange County, Calif. — October 23, 2015

Michael Feinstein

Relive the swanky, sultry, swinging hits of Frank Sinatra when “Ambassador of the American Songbook” Michael Feinstein joins Pacific Symphony to launch the 2015-16 Pops season with “A Sinatra Centennial.” Celebrating Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman’s 25th anniversary with the Symphony, the gala season, filled with stars and some of music’s finest moments, kicks off with Feinstein. This multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer is also one of the premier interpreters of Great American standards. Taking place shortly before Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, this opening concert features standards made famous by the legendary tunesmith and his famous Rat Pack pals. For this centennial celebration, the pianist-singer-revivalist delivers favorite hits including “New York, New York,” “Luck Be a Lady,” “Time After Time,” “My Kind of Town,” “For Once in My Life,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “What Kind of Fool,” “Lady is a Tramp,” “From Here to Eternity,” “Brazil,” “Cheek to Cheek” and many others.

Feinstein has dedicated his career for more than three decades to bringing the music of the Great American Songbook to the world. From recordings that have earned him five Grammy Award nominations, to his Emmy-nominated PBS-TV specials, to his acclaimed NPR series to concerts spanning the globe, his work defines him as one of the most important musical forces of our time. A local celebrity, Feinstein has served as principal pops conductor of Pasadena POPS since 2013. He joins Pacific Symphony on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7, at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35-$165. For more information or to purchase tickets call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“The music and lyrics of the Great American Songbook are a distinct and exciting voice in the history of American culture,” says Maestro Kaufman. “Michael Feinstein has been a driving force in the study, preservation and performance of this specific musical genre. An evening in the concert hall listening to Michael performing Sinatra’s beloved songs is a very special experience.”

Along with Sinatra standards, Kaufman shows off the Symphony’s talented musicians with a first half that features beloved songs from Broadway, including Bernstein’s Overture to “Candide.” Gifted soprano Jessica Rivera joins in to sing Gershwin’s “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess,” “Til There Was You” from “The Music Man,” “Art is Calling for Me” from “The Enchantress,” “I Am Home” from “Concerto Para Mendez, “This is My Beloved” from “Kismet” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from “The Sound of Music.”

“Jessica Rivera possesses a truly amazing voice that is matched by her exciting personality,” says Kaufman. “I am thrilled that she will bring those gifts together to perform some of the most memorable songs from Broadway and the concert stage for the first half of our first Pops concert.”

Feinstein’s dazzling career as an interpreter of, and an anthropologist and archivist for, the repertoire known as the Great American Songbook has brought him to iconic venues around the world including The White House, Buckingham Palace, the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House. He serves as the artistic director of the Palladium Center for the Performing Arts in Indiana, home to the Great American Arts Festival. Since 1999, he has served as artistic director in collaboration with ASCAP for the popular series at Carnegie Hall, “Standard Time with Michael Feinstein,” and is also the director of the Jazz and Popular Song Series at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center. His nightclub in San Francisco, Feinstein’s at the Nikko, has presented the top music talents since 2013. His newest club in New York, Feinstein’s/54 Below, debuted this October. His first venue in New York, Feinstein’s at the Regency, featured major entertainers from 1999 to 2012.

After graduating from high school, Feinstein moved to Los Angeles and the widow of legendary concert pianist-actor Oscar Levant introduced him to Ira Gershwin. Feinstein became Gershwin’s assistant for six years, which earned him access to numerous unpublished Gershwin songs, many of which he has since performed and recorded. His affinity for Sinatra music has proved to be another hit with audiences. Putting on more than 200 shows a year, Feinstein is not only singing the standards, but also preserving music legacies for generations to come.

The Symphony’s 2015-16 Pops Season is filled with even more star entertainers joining the orchestra to celebrate Kaufman’s anniversary, including Cirque de la Symphonie, Bernadette Peters, Stewart Copeland of “The Police” in “Ben-Hur,” Martin Short, Chris Botti and Classical Mystery Tour.

“This season, as in every Pops season,” says Kaufman, “I hope that our audiences will experience a variety of world-class performers and exciting musical genres, and that their souls will be touched in some significant way that will help them forget the challenges of the world and everyday life for at least a brief time.”

This appearance by Michael Feinstein is generously sponsored by Jean Moriarty and Ruth Ann Moriarty. The Symphony’s Pops series receives additional support from Avenue of the Arts Wyndham Hotel, PBS SoCal and K-Earth 101.