Arts & Culture Interviews

Hosts Hans Ahlstrom and Kurt Hauswirth discuss what is happening in the area regarding arts, music and cultural events in and around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

*Link to submit arts & culture features via voice memos/recorders here*

NMU Vinyl Record Club

Jon Teichman came to our studios to talk about the Ore Dock Vinyl Show, a five-day event at the Ore Dock Brewing Company.

Pine Mountain Music Festival / Pine Mountain Music Festival

In their 29th season, the Pine Mountain Music Festival returns with "Classic Roots, Fresh Growth."  This festival brings classical and world music to the communities of Marquette, Iron Mountain, Crystal Falls, Houghton/Hancock and Calumet.

This year, multiple performers of numerous talent bring music to the Upper Great Lakes region.  The resident classical group, the Bergonzi String Quartet, morphs into The Bergonzi Trio, bringing Scott Flavin and Ross Harbaugh back along with pianist Lindsay Garritson.  Another addition to the Festival lineup is well known in traditional, world, and choral music, with Moira Smiley performing along with guitarist/accompanist Jefferson Hamer, a singer/songwriter and talent in his own right.

Along with those acts, the UPstarts also return, but in a new format; youth performers will be joined by world-class musicians through mentoring and touring together.  The new iteration of UPstarts will also perform a free concert at Marquette's Presque Isle Bandshell, as a finale of Marquette's Artweek celebrations.

Kurt Hauswirth spoke with the director of the festival, Douglas Day, about the excitement being generated for this year's festival:

Craig Swanson is a pianist who is very familiar with Johann Sebastian Bach's French Suites, and is particularly fond of the Fourth suite in Eb Major.  He dreamed about the idea of "The French Suite Kit" since hearing Glenn Gould talk about the possibility of a "New Listener," who would control participation in the listening process.

Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth spoke with Craig about his experience with the music of J.S. Bach, his thoughts on Glenn Gould's philosophy, and his thoughts on how a listener can experience music:

May the Fourth for the 4th Facebook page / Marquette Area Fourth of July Celebration Committee

How are fireworks and Star Wars related to the downtown Marquette area?  The Marquette area is known to have a spectacular Fourth of July celebration at the Mattson Lower Harbor Park every July 4th.  The fireworks have considerable cost to put together the show every year; a group called the 501st Legion (an official screen-accurate Star Wars costuming group) and local photographer Daniele Carol Co. are teaming up to fundraise for the downtown Marquette fireworks.  Fans will be able to get a high-quality photo with their favorite intergalactic characters, and have the opportunity to bring their own props and scenarios.  The photography fee will be donated entirely for the Fourth of July celebration.

Mike Forester is with Northern Michigan University's Marketing and Communications Department, but he is also a self-proclaimed Star Wars fanatic:

Gernot Wolfgang is a composer, born in Austria, who moved to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a film composer.  He started his life in Austria in the jazz scene, but also began composing.  Over the years, he became well-versed in jazz, chamber music, and film score music; his newest album, "Vienna and the West," reflects this background through his compositional output.

Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth had an opportunity to speak with Gernot on the phone about his new collection, dubbed "Groove Oriented Chamber Music."

Superior Arts Youth Theater Facebook Page

The Superior Arts Youth Theater is a nonprofit organization in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan that provides opportunities for youth ages 3-18 to get involved in theater productions, on stage and behind the scenes.  The next performances happen May 3rd through 5th with the second annual Play Festival, with three different plays highlighted.  The classic German folk tale "Hansel and Gretel" (directed by Nathan Morgan), Shakespeare's "As You Like It" (directed by Teagan Sturmer), and "Brave Little Tailor" (directed by Taylor Koski) are all featured in performance at both the NMU Forest Roberts Theatre and the NMU Panowski Black Box Theatre.

All three directors, as well as the executive director and producer Jalina McClain, joined Kurt Hauswirth during Classiclectic to talk about their experiences preparing the companies for performance, as well as challenges and surprises along the way:

Public Radio 90

If you are interested in music, art, jewelry, t-shirts, video name it, it will most likely be at the Spring NMU Vinyl Record Show, Saturday, April 27th at the Whitman Hall Commons. 

Geoff Walker, Michigan record maven, and Jon Teichman, advisor of the NMU Vinyl Record Club, came to our studios to speak about what will be offered at more than 30 tables in the Whitman Hall:

Crossover Media

"The White Crow" is a 2019 biopic from director/actor Ralph Fiennes, which studies the drama of the ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev and his defection from the Soviet Union.  The score of the film, by British composer Ilan Eshkeri, is the next collaboration of music and film between Eshkeri and Fiennes, with two previous films together.  The soundtrack (on Deutsche Grammophon) also features solo violinist Lisa Batiashvili, representative of Nureyev and his love of solo violin music.

Classiclectic host Kurt Hauswirth was afforded the opportunity to speak to Eshkeri by phone about the composition process, his collaborative history with Ralph Fiennes, and the meaning behind the score:

Bonifas Arts Center

Our monthly update from the Bonifas Arts Center brings events and classes for all ages, along with a special dinner combined with artists and theater.  Sue Roll, Executive Director of the Bonifas, spoke with Public Radio 90 about "On 7th & Ludington," along with an upcoming concert and reception in May, as well as explaining what Wet Felting is!

Marquette Choral Society / Travel Marquette

This April 2019, the Marquette Choral Society presents "Russian Nights," music of Rachmaninoff & Chesnokov.  The concert consists of Russian music, mostly of Orthodox traditions.  Pieces featured are Sergei Rachmaninoff's "All Night Vigil, Op. 37" in Church Slavonic, Pavel Chesnokov's "Let Thy Good Spirit" and "Salvation is Created," in English, as well as a Russian folk song "Veniki". 

Hear more about the experience putting this concert together in an interview with the director of the choral society, Dr. Erin Colwitz: