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CONTACT: Matthew Bengtson, 215-704-4600;
Publicist, Trish Doll, Publicity Works, 717-445-6377

World-renowned violinist, pianist help launch XM Satellite Radio’s “Classical Confidential”

Musicians Joshua Bell and Matthew Bengtson are classic competitors

Philadelphia, PA - (February 8, 2005) -- Pianist Matthew Bengtson has teamed up with world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell for the premier episode of “Classical Confidential,” XM Satellite Radio’s new interview and performance program dedicated to classical music and its modern day stars. The new series will be hosted by Martin Goldsmith, XM’s classical music program director and on-air personality, and former host of National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

“Classical Confidential” will debut on Wednesday, November 2, 2005 at 8 p.m. on XM Classics (XM Channel 110), XM Pops (XM Channel 113), Fine Tuning (XM Channel 76) and XM LIVE (XM Channel 200).

The program features Bell on the violin, accompanied by Bengtson in performances of Fritz Kreisler’s “Praeludium & Allegro” and “Liebesleid,” Tchaikovsky’s “Melodie,” and Sarasate’s “Introduction & Tarantella.” The show was taped before a studio audience of American Youth Philharmonic students, aged 12 and up, and their teachers.

Encore broadcasts of this episode will air throughout November, exclusively on XM. XM Satellite Radio delivers more than 150 digital channels coast-to-coast, including: 67 commercial-free music channels, plus premiere sports, talk, news and entertainment programming, and 21 channels of comprehensive traffic and weather information.

Bengtson also accompanied Bell on a program of music, which was taped in early September for National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” hosted by journalist Fred Child. The show aired the week of Sept. 20, after the release of Bell’s new recording of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting.

Both performers command rave reviews. The Boston Herald has called Bell “the greatest American violinist active today.” And a recent American Record Guide review of the pianist’s recording of Scriabin Sonatas stated, “Only Horowitz and Richter can compare to what Bengtson achieves on this disc.”

Both performers have excelled in pursuits outside music. Bell was a finalist in a tennis tournament at age 10 and is an avid golfer and tennis player. Bengtson is an internationally ranked chess master who also competes in amateur golf tournaments. On an intellectual level, they also have a similar enthusiasm for Douglas Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach.

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