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BURT BACHARACH - What’s It All About?
An Ashford University Summer Pops Concert (Subscribe Now!)
Sunday, August 5, 7:30pm

Burt Bacharach, conductor and piano

Josie James, vocals
John Pagano, vocals
Donna Taylor, vocals

He’s one of the most accomplished composers of all time. He’s the incomparable Burt Bacharach. It’s an evening of love, romance, magic and memories. Surrounded by his lush orchestrations, his trio of singers will perform his cornucopia of hits including "I Say a Little Prayer," "The Look of Love," "Walk on By," "Always Something There to Remind Me"...and so, so many more! 

 CLICK HERE to read U-T San Diego's feature story about Burt Bacharach's recent honors awarded by the President at a special White House ceremony!


Sunday, August 5 - Bacharach


Six decades into one of songwriting’s most successful and honored careers – marked by 48 Top 10 hits, nine #1 songs, more than 500 compositions and a landmark 50+ year run on the charts, Burt Bacharach’s music continues to set industry records and creative standards. Bacharach’s global audiences span several generations, and he is viewed as the unique combination of one of the greatest composers of all time and the ultra-cool cult hero of the contemporary music set who often has several songs on various music charts in many countries simultaneously.  His many concerts are SRO, as he tours the United States and the world conducting orchestras and with his own musicians and singers performing his music. 

Bacharach’s Grammy®-award winning musical, Promises, Promises, returned to Broadway in 2010 and earned four Tony® nominations. His two years of sold-out concerts in Australia resulted in Burt Bacharach Live at the Sydney Opera House, an international hit in 2008.   At This Time, his 2005 album, which won the Grammy® for Best Pop Instrumental Album, broke new ground with Bacharach’s first-ever lyrical collaborations, supplementing the melodies which reflect the pioneering Bacharach sound. 

A recipient of three Academy Awards® and eight Grammy® Awards (including the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award and 1997 Trustees Award with collaborator Hal David), Burt Bacharach revolutionized the music of the 1950s and 60s and is regularly bracketed with legendary names, ranging from Cole Porter to Sir George Martin, as one of a handful of visionaries who pioneered new forms of music from the second half of the 20th Century and continued into the 21st Century. 

When The Recording Academy awarded Bacharach the Lifetime Achievement Award in February, 2008, he was proclaimed music’s “Greatest Living Composer.” The proud father, on tour in Australia, had his three children (Cristopher, Oliver, and Raleigh) accept the award on his behalf.

Burt Bacharach Live… was his first-ever live concert CD and was recorded during the concert tour to Australia (and Japan) in 2008.  Released in October, 2008, Burt Bacharach Live at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony contains 32 favorite Bacharach songs, with Bacharach conducting and his singers and band accompanying the Symphony. 

In 2011, Bacharach teamed up with award-winning lyricist and writer Steven Sater and wrote songs for a new musical Some Lovers based on the O. Henry story “The Gift of the Magi.” The production will receive its World Premiere November 2011 at The Old Globe Theatre. A cast recording of the new production of Promises, Promises (featuring Kristin Chenowith, Sean Hayes and Katie Finneran) was released in 2010. In 2009, Magic Moments: The Definitive Burt Bacharach Collection, was released. Singer Steve Tyrell recorded a Bacharach tribute CD, Back to Bacharach, in 2008. The composer last produced, arranged and conducted an album of his own songs sung by R&B icon Ronald Isley, Here I Am: Ronald Isley Meets Burt Bacharach, in 2003. 

Bacharach has been a special guest four times (including season finale in 2006) on the top-rated television series American Idol, with many of his songs performed by the young stars on the show.  He was also a guest artist on ABC-TV’s Dancing with the Stars in 2006.

Bacharach’s songs have been recorded by legendary singers such as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Dionne Warwick and Franklin. Other tributes to the diversity of Bacharach’s music have been paid by, among others, Elvis Costello (“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “God Give Me Strength”), REM, Diana Krall, Barenaked Ladies, Sheryl Crow, Wynonna Judd and Myers. In 2006, the UCLA Student Alumni Association awarded Bacharach its “George and Ira Gershwin Award for Musical Achievement,” and the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery honored Bacharach with the “Icon Award” during the 2010 Visionary Ball. Also, USC awarded Bacharach the USC Thornton Legacy Award for extraordinary achievement in the arts, recognizing his contributions to music.

Bacharach has also enjoyed a celebrated career in film as well.  His compositions include “Alfie” (1966); “What’s New Pussycat?” (1965; the title song was a million seller for Tom Jones); “The Look Of Love” from 1967’s Casino Royale; “Arthur (Best That You Can Do)” (1981, the Academy Award® winner for Best Song); and the film for which Bacharach received two Academy Awards® and a Grammy® award, Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969), in which “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” first appeared. The Platinum-selling soundtrack from My Best Friend’s Wedding featured several Bacharach songs, with Diana King’s recording of “I Say A Little Prayer” hitting the top of the charts. Mike Myers considers Bacharach his lucky charm, and cast him in all three Austin Powers films. 

Most of Burt Bacharach’s songs have been collaborations with wordsmiths, including many written with Hal David.  That particular pairing resulted in scores of Top 10 records – with Dionne Warwick alone – Bacharach and David scored an incredible string of 39 chart records in ten years.  “That’s What Friends Are For” won a Grammy® Award and holds a special place in Bacharach’s heart for another reason: the writers and artists involved donated all the proceeds from the song to the American Foundation for AIDS Research, with funds raised exceeding $1.5 million.

Bacharach started taking piano lessons while in elementary school.  An avid fan of bebop music, Bacharach was influenced by such legends as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Bacharach studied at McGill University, the New School for Social Research in New York and Mannes School of Music.  His training included music composition with such famous teachers as Darius Milhaud.

He began his career as a conductor and arranger, and toured widely for three years as accompanist conductor for the legendary Marlene Dietrich beginning in 1958. By the late 1950s some of his songs were hitting the charts in performances by artists from different segments of the popular music field.  Perry Como had a hit with “Magic Moments.” He wrote a number of country rock classics for Gene Pitney and Marty Robbins.  Soon afterwards, he established himself as one of the music industry's top writer/producers.

Although his first love remains writing, Bacharach feels performing is another bonus of his illustrious career. He continues to do scores of concerts around the world each year, and makes annual appearances at Summer Pops.  He is one artist who will always remain in the limelight no matter what endeavor he pursues.


Watch & Listen,

August 5, 2012

Online sales for this performance have now been discontinued. Please call the Ticket Office at 619.235.0804.

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