Pasadena Pops' new conductor Michael Feinstein knows he has big shoes to fill

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Michael Feinstein (L) and Marvin Hamlisch (R) performing together on a San Diego TV program. The Pasadena Symphony and Pops has named Feinstein as its new conductor, after Hamlisch passed away last Tuesday.

The Pasadena Symphony and Pops has named Michael Feinstein as its new principal conductor, who will step in after the Pops' former conductor, Marvin Hamlisch, passed away last Tuesday.

Feinstein is a musician that comes from a varied background; he sings, writes songs, composes music and plays piano.

His latest album The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life revisits the artists who inspired Frank Sinatra.

Feinstein is also a self-appointed guardian of the Great American Songbook. For years, he also worked as an assistant to the late Ira Gershwin, who wrote a passel of standards with his brother, George.

Feinstein says this will be his first time conducting an orchestra.

“I’ve had the experience of working with orchestras for 25 years; that will be a great help for me," he said. "Of course, there’s no question that nobody can fill Marvin’s shoes. I’m well aware of that having worked with him extensively.”

Feinstein and Hamlisch were mutual admirers who shared the stage half a dozen times this year, including at Hamlisch’s final performance last month at the Los Angeles Arboretum.

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