THE WHO are getting ready to embark on the second leg of their 29-date North American ‘Moving On’ Symphonic Tour where a local symphony orchestra will join The Who nightly with selections from ‘Tommy’ and ‘Quadrophenia’ along with greatest hits and some long-awaited new tunes.
The tour is conducted by renowned composer and conductor, Keith Levenson, who has led major symphonies including The Boston Pops, The Chicago Symphony and The Cleveland Orchestra.
But Levenson is known more in the rock world for conducting and creating arrangements for KISS, Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, Yes, and The British Rock Symphony which featured Peter Frampton, Paul Rodgers, Darlene Love and Nigel Kennedy, Roger Daltrey and Ann Wilson. Pete Townshend says of Keith, “He is our leader and musical director, the man who holds it all together.”
‘The Who’s TOMMY Orchestral’ album, was just released on the UMe label and the album debuted as Number One on Billboard’s Classical Charts. It was recorded in Budapest and Bethel Woods in upstate New York, the scene of the first Woodstock Festival 50 years ago, where ‘Tommy’ was performed live. The album was produced by Roger Daltrey and Keith Levenson who conducted The Budapest Scoring Orchestra featuring new orchestrations by David Campbell.
The first leg of the ‘Moving On’ Symphonic Tour’ played to sold-out audiences in venues like Madison Square Garden and The Hollywood Casino Amphitheater. And in July they played to a massive crowd at Wembley Stadium in London.
The touring band includes Simon Townshend, Zak Starkey and violinist extraordinaire Katie Jacoby, whose searing solo on ‘Baba O’Riley’ is a highlight in concert.
The Who and Levenson are receiving major national press including articles in Billboard and Rolling Stone. Roger Daltrey says, “I’ve worked with Keith Levenson since 1994 and he is very experienced in working with rock bands and Orchestras, he feels the same as I do, that you are working in a giant rock band!”
Keith Levenson has also conducted the musicals ‘Annie’ with Nell Carter, ‘Grease’, ‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ with Ann Margaret and the Grammy Award-winning musical ‘Dreamgirls’.