In the fall of 2006, Steve performed a concert of his music with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at Winnipeg's Centennial Concert Hall. Mike Janzen (Steve's long-time piano player) brilliantly orchestrated 13 of Steve's most celebrated songs and the response was so enthusiastic that Steve and manager Dave Zeglinski decided to go into the studio with the WSO. The result of those recording sessions is this outstanding album; a uniquely beautiful, majestic capturing of the musical and lyrical themes of each song.
Making of the Symphony Sessions:
For many Canadian independent artists, Steve's past album successes would be a track record sufficient to suggest that it was time to rest on the laurels of the past. Instead, Steve’s inspired beginning and accomplished mid-stretch is leading him into a season marked by growing vision, passion and skill.
On the musical front, this stage of Steve’s career has been deeply impacted by his collaboration with symphony orchestras.
Bell says, “It wasn’t on anybody’s radar that I would be doing concerts with orchestras or recording an album with the symphony. When the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra contacted my office to ask if we would consider doing a concert with them, I was a little stunned. My first thought was that perhaps they didn’t know what kind of music I did. As it turned out, they were familiar with my music, and following the recommendation of some of the orchestra members they had concluded that doing a concert together would be a good idea. Once we got past the shock of being asked, we realized that we were very excited about the proposal. Mike Janzen did a brilliant job of setting my songs into stunning orchestral settings, and six months later we performed the world premiere of thirteen of my songs together with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.” As it turned out, the collaboration was a very good one. The Manitoba Centennial Concert Hall was sold out, the concert received excellent reviews, and before the night was over plans were being formed for a series of Christmas concerts with the WSO the following year. The surprise invitation from the WSO led to an orchestral album (Steve Bell – Symphony Sessions) and an initial thirteen-engagement tour with major Canadian symphony orchestras in 2007. Since that time Steve has continued to perform concerts with various orchestras, both within and beyond Canada.