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Keith Emerson and the South Shore Symphony

The classical legacy continues at Madison Theatre in Rockville Centre


An eclectic audience of music lovers filled Madison Theatre at Molloy College in Rockville Centre last weekend as the South Shore Symphony welcomed rock legend and composer Keith Emerson as guest musical director, and world-renowned musician and Lynbrook resident Jeffrey Biegel as featured pianist.

Emerson, best known as keyboardist with rock group “Emerson, Lake & Palmer” — a group that sold 40 million albums — is one of the most influential musicians in the progressive rock movement, combining rock ‘n’ roll with a other styles of music, including classical and jazz. He’s hailed as “ modern wizard” of electronic and acoustic keyboards.

This concert was billed as Emerson’s 70th birthday celebration (his real birthday is Nov. 2).

“I haven’t done anything like this for about a year,” said Emerson in an exclusive video interview with the Herald after the concert. “I was very apprehensive, but I couldn’t believe the support I got from the orchestra, Dr. Scott, and our friend Jeffrey Biegel — it was his idea … he’s a very energetic musician … it’s an honor for somebody else to be playing my music — it will be hard to top this!”

“Bringing Keith Emerson to our own South Shore Symphony Orchestra audiences and extended audience comprised of many fans of this legendary icon of Progressive rock, was something I believed in doing since the successful visit by pop star Neil Sedaka last year with the orchestra,” said Biegel. “With the help of the orchestra and management, the dream became a reality. Mr. Emerson gave his time graciously, to the orchestra and to the lineup of fans, who traveled from as far as San Francisco, Florida, New Hampshire and more. His music making brought everyone tremendous joy and excitement, as he displayed his trademark keyboard skills and improvisations. The orchestra had a blast, and it was truly an honor to perform his Piano Concerto and share the same stage with him.”

To see the video, visit http://bit.ly/EmersonMalloyinterview or to see a short video of the concert, http://bit.ly/SymphonyEmersonBiegel.