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Rocker Kip Winger Releases Classical Music Tribute to Vaslav Nijinsky

By Philip Trapp on Apr 29, 2016 04:03 PM EDT
Kip Winger Singer Kip Winger opens for Whitesnake at the House of Blues on August 15, 2003 in Orlando, FL. (Photo : Kellie Warren/Getty Images)

Musician Kip Winger, best known for '80s hits like "Seventeen" and "Hungry" with his eponymous hair metal band, Winger, will release a classical album this spring.

The premiere, three-suite collection features the artist's tribute to Russian dancer Vaslav Nijinsky, "Conversations with Nijinsky." The album also includes "Ghosts," Winger's ballet that was previously performed by Christopher Wheeldon and the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

The album's honoree, Vaslav Nijinsky, is often recognized as one of the 20th century's greatest male ballet dancers. Born in the Russian Empire to touring dancer parents, Nijinsky emerged from a deep family history of ballet performance. He became a soloist at the age of 18 and later gained renown as a choreographer for itinerant Paris ballet company Ballets Russes.

As reported by Loudwire, 96-year-old Dame Tamara Nijinsky, the youngest daughter and only living child of the famed dancer, spoke fondly of Winger's classical salute to her legendary father:

"Kip Winger has captured my father's heart and soul. Many have been inspired by Nijinsky in words and dance, but no one, until now, in music. Nijinsky was inspired by the music he heard. And now, Kip Winger reminds us of Nijinsky's genius with his work."

Winger's first classical album is sure to be a thrill for both the songster's former heavy metal fans and contemporary classical lovers. Although this is the musician's debut collection of classical material, Winger has been composing the music for nearly 10 years -- the aforementioned "Ghosts" was begun in 2007.

In an interview with Grantland, Winger spoke of his compositional aesthetic:

"[M]y brain works like a classical musician. I'm more interested in the really complex stuff. Like, when I hear really complicated counterpoint, a fugue, or something like that, it turns my brain on. Like, 'Wow, what the f*ck is that?' I latch onto it and I can track it really well."

The album -- Conversations With Nijinsky, Ghosts, A Parting Grace -- is available on May 27 from Varseau Music.

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TagsKip Winger, Vaslav Nijinsky