Wednesday, March 13, 2019

It's almost concerto time!

At last, a proper press release! (You'd think one would have appeared long before now...)

Reprinted here, in its entirety:


Lee Mendelson Film Productions announces the world premiere of the first-ever Peanuts Concerto for Piano and Orchestra based on the legendary music of Vince Guaraldi, arranged by Grammy-winning composer, Dick Tunney, featuring pianist Jeffrey Biegel with Orchestra Kentucky, led by Music Director, Jeff Reed. 

This moving arrangement sets Guaraldi's classic music from the Peanuts specials, into a three-movement work for piano and orchestra. It will be a wonderful introduction for families to hear the jazz writings of the late Vince Guaraldi, in a 21st century symphonic landscape.

Vince Guaraldi wrote and performed the music for the first 15 animated Peanuts specials, until his untimely death in 1976. The album A Charlie Brown Christmas is the second most popular jazz album in history, with more than 4 million copies sold.  

Guaraldi started writing music for 1963's never-aired documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown, which Lee Mendelson produced. When Mendelson, animator Bill Melendez and Charles Schulz created A Charlie Brown Christmas, they turned to their friend Guaraldi, to write the music for the special. A Charlie Brown Christmas has aired every Christmas season since 1965, and the music from that special has become a timeless part of our culture and the holiday season.

Guaraldi wrote the music for the next 14 animated specials, and some of those themes have been incorporated into this concerto.  

Lee Mendelson Film Productions has been producing television and films since 1964, winning 11 Emmys along with 45 nominations, 4 Peabody awards, and Oscar and Grammy nominations. Lee Mendelson Film Productions is the publisher of Guaraldi's musical works. 

The premiere takes place at 7:30 p.m. March 23, 2019, at the SKYPaC in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Biegel is one of the most respected pianists of our time, performing and recording classic repertoire and new works in contemporary classical, and works of all styles. His performance of Kenneth Fuchs' Piano Concerto: Spiritualist helped the recording win the 2019 Grammy Award for Best Classical Compendium, alongside the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, and produced by Tim Handley. Biegel is professor of piano at Brooklyn College, and has commissioned many composers to write new works for piano and orchestra.

Tunney and his wife, Melodie, have received 10 Dove Awards, and a Grammy Award for “How Excellent Is Thy Name,” recorded by Larnelle Harris. They have recorded eight albums together, and Dick has recorded five solo instrumental albums. The couple has penned more than 150 songs, many recorded by other Christian artists.  

Maestro Jeff Reed has conducted the orchestras of Alabama, Augusta, Charleston, Detroit, Knoxville, Louisville, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland (ME), Quad Cities (IA), Sacramento, South Bend and Winston-Salem. He has twice appeared with the Royal Philharmonic at London's Royal Albert Hall, at the specific request of Neil Sedaka.

Visit these websites for further information:

Jeffrey Biegel:

Jeffrey Reed:

Dick Tunney:

Orchestra Kentucky:

Lee Mendelson Film Productions, Inc.: