Saturday, May 23, 2009

Elton & Ray Coming to London


Elton will return to London's Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 for a very special evening of entertainment in aid of the Royal Academy of Music.

Joined by percussionist Ray Cooper, Elton will perform in the intimate surroundings of one of the world's finest concert halls. The performance will give friends and fans alike the opportunity to savour the peerless musicianship of both these extraordinary artists, as well as enjoying their incredible showmanship and onstage rapport of this legendary show.

Elton and Ray Cooper will be joined on this spectacular bill by special guest Teddy Thompson, the Royal Academy Musical Theatre Company, instrumentalists from the Royal Academy of Music and compere for the evening, actor and comedian Stephen Fry.

Since 2002, Elton has supported Royal Academy of Music students through the Elton John Scholarship Fund. Countless young musicians have now been able to study at the Academy because of the essential support that they have received from this fund. Now, Elton has turned his attention to improving essential facilities at the Academy. Funds from the concert will help to purchase and install a brand new organ for the Academy's main concert hall.

This latest event with the Academy is another example of Elton's tradition of leading by example. It is hoped other philanthropists will follow his lead in supporting his 'home' educational institution - making it possible for more talented young musicians, whatever their backgrounds, to fulfil their dreams by studying at the Royal Academy of Music.

Elton and Ray Cooper famously performed in St Petersburg in 1979, a historic date in the former Soviet Union which was broadcast by the BBC. Following the success of Elton's idea to collaborate, their first tour in 1979 saw the pair go on to play over 122 shows worldwide. This reunion will be the first time that they have performed together since 1995.

Elton himself studied at the Royal Academy of Music, along with many of the world's greatest musicians. A then young Reginald Dwight was awarded support as a 'Junior Exhibitioner'. Elton is now repaying his debt by supporting new generations of musical stars through their studies at Britain's longest-established institution for music education, the Royal Academy of Music.

Elton says, "I have always regarded my training at the Royal Academy of Music as vitally important to the development of my career as a musician."

Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, says: "Sir Elton John's identification with the life and mission of the Royal Academy of Music is an inspiration. It has been nurtured through memorable collaborative concerts, both in the UK and USA, leading to his legendary generosity in providing scholarships for our most needy and able students. Now he's decided to raise money for a fantastic new organ which will transform our wonderful, elegant Duke's Hall. Above all, Elton is a supreme advocate for what the Academy represents in British cultural life, in the broadest sense."

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