'Unless you absolutely have to be a musician because it’s the only thing you can do and you can’t stop yourself, don't do it'
Legendary pop song composer Neil Sedaka has composed a piano concerto, included as a bonus track on his latest album.
Neil Sedaka has composed a piano concerto and released it as a bonus track on his new album, The Real Neil. 'Manhattan Intermezzo' is a 19-minute work that nods to the singer-songwriter's time at the Juillard School in New York.
Sedaka told The Guardian about his history of playing classical piano: "I played a vast repertoire of Rachmaninov, Schumann, Chopin and Bach." In 1956, Sedaka was accepted at the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow, but was disqualified due to his burgeoning songwriting career that was "associated with writing American capitalistic rock 'n' roll."
'Manhattan Intermezzo' is the first classical piece that Sedaka has ever released on record, and features Sedaka himself performing the soloist part.
Sedaka also acknowledged the influence of composers like George Gerswhin who managed to bridge the gap between classical music and pop song composition. Previous Sedaka hits include '(Is This The Way To) Amarillo', 'Breaking Up Is Hard To Do' and 'Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen'.