Front Row Center

This ten-minute arts interview is produced by Montana Public Radio. Front Row Center features interviews with artists, performers, and nonprofit arts organizations about their upcoming activities. Hosted by Michael Marsolek and guest hosts from Montana Public Radio.

Michael Marsolek talks with Dean Peterson, Director of the Missoula Mendelssohn Club, and John Patterson, a tenor with the group for the past 31 years. Sunday, March 15 marks the group's seventieth annual spring concert, at 7:00 p.m.

"Death and the Maiden" is the title of the February 22, 2015 performance by the String Orchestra of the Rockies. Featured violinist Maria Larionoff and double bassist Barry Lieberman founded the American String Project, a fifteen-member conductorless string orchestra that bears some resemblance to Montana's SOR.

Program:

The Myrna Loy Center presents contemporary media and performing arts; supports the creation of new works by Montana, regional and national artists; and nurtures a lifelong involvement in the arts through arts education and residencies.

Upcoming performances include Mayhem Poets, Marcy Baruch Live! and Caladh Nua.

TEDxUMontana 2015

Feb 6, 2015

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created TEDx, local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Michael Marsolek talks with Gita Saedi Kiely about the 2015 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival.

Michael Marsolek talks with pianist Margery McDuffie Whatley and University of Montana piano professors Steven Hesla and Christopher Hahn about Whatley's January 25 performance in the School of Music's "Celebrate Piano" series.  Whatley's program includes Beethoven's Tempest Sonata, and "all sorts of piano bonbons" -  short works by Chopin, Saint-Saens, Mendelssohn, Debussy, and Liszt.

Michael Marsolek talks with Greg Johnson, artistic director of the Montana Repertory Theatre, and actor Mark Kuntz, about the Rep's touring production of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," adapted for stage by Simon Levy.

Michael Marsolek talks with Arlynn Fishbaugh, Executive Director of the Montana Arts Council, reviewing the council's work in 2014. MAC spearheads a program that teaches professional artists across Montana how to improve their business acumen, and Fishbaugh shares the results of a report about the financial impact of this program on artists' families. The link between cultural tourism and art is also a focus of the council.

Michael Marsolek talks with Tom Bensen and Matt Anglen of the Missoula Cultural Council about First Night Missoula 2014, the largest annual performing arts festival in Missoula. For the 21st year in a row, on December 31, venues downtown and at the University of Montana and Southgate Mall will hum from noon till midnight with activities for all ages.

Andy Meyers, guest director of "Winter Wonderettes" talks about the show, his acting and directing career, and how Missoula Community Theatre compares to other places he's worked.

On Sunday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Cathedral of St. Helena, the Helena Symphony officially begins the Helena holiday season with one performance only of Handel’s Messiah, Allan R. Scott – Conductor.

Flickr user, Holly Wilson

Born in Missoula, living in Brooklyn, NY, Amanda Browder's colorful and collaborative fabric art designs come to the Montana Museum of Art and Culture at the University of Montana-Missoula this fall.

Michael Marsolek talks with Jere Hodgin, Mark Metcalf, and Cohen Ambrose about The University of Montana's adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Performances take place in the Montana Theatre, in the P.A.R.T.V. Building at the University:

November 25 and 29 at 7:30 p.m.; 
November 30 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.;
December 2-5 at 7:30 p.m.; 
December 6 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Moscow Ballet

The Moscow Ballet’s North American tour of "The Nutcracker" includes performances in Great Falls, Missoula and Butte, and features a company of forty professional dancers, clothed in elaborate costumes and surrounded by colorful sets. But it's not just Russian dancers on stage. In each city, many of the ballet's roles are danced by local ballet students.

Michael Marsolek talks with Kathy Witkowsky and Linda Grinde, playwright and director of a new comedy, "No Time For Love." Inspired by a real-life evening spent trying to communicate with a friend obsessed with texting his love interest, Witkowsky describes the plot of "No Time For Love" as "taking that theme to ridiculous extremes. The main character finds herself frustrated as she tries to have authentic relationships with people who are constantly being pulled in many directions."

Michael Marsolek talks with Arlynn Fishbaugh, Executive Director of the Montana Arts Council, about the upcoming Artists' Showcase and Sale, Saturday, November 1, 2014, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Helena's Red Lion Colonial Inn. (406) 444-4700 or online.

(Broadcast: "Front Row Center," 10/26/14. Listen Sundays, 11:10 a.m., or via podcast.)

Michael Marsolek talks with Joe Martinez, Artistic Director of MCT, Inc. / Missoula Community Theatre, about the upcoming production of "Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical," which plays October 31 - November 2 and November 5 - 9, 2014, at MCT Center for the Performing Arts, 200 North Adams Street, downtown Missoula.

Wednesday - Saturday night performances begin at 7:30 p.m.

Kim Anderson, Associate Director of Humanities Montana, talks with Michael Marsolek about the Humanities Montana Festival of the Book. This is the 15th anniversary of one of the biggest cultural happenings in the Northwest.

Michael Marsolek talks with Professor Christopher Hahn of the University of Montana's School of Music about the School's 2014-2015 Celebrate Piano Series.

The 7th annual Pianissimo! Concerts, the  signature events of the series, take place Friday and Saturday, October 10-11, 2014, 7:30 p.m., in the School of Music's Music Recital Hall.

(Broadcast: 9/28/14, Sunday morning at 11:10. Or via podcast.)

Marc Cohn, Christopher O'Riley, Pokey LaFarge and many other amazing performers will be gracing the stage of the Hamilton Performing Arts Center in coming months. Monica Grable, Executive Director of the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council, previews the season with Michael Marsolek in this week's Front Row Center.

The series kicks off with a concert by The Wailin’ Jennys on Saturday, October 4.

Michael Marsolek talks with Fern Glass Boyd, artistic director of the String Orchestra of the Rockies, about the concerts opening the S.O.R.'s 30th season. Sept. 21st and 22nd, the String Orchestra's performances in Missoula and Seeley Lake feature frequent guest soloist and collaborator, cellist Amit Peled. This concert marks Peled's fifth performance with the S.O.R.

Michael Marsolek talks with Greg Johnson, Artistic Director of the Montana Repertory Theatre, about the Rep's production of Broomstick, a one-woman play by John Biguenet, starring Salina Chatlain. The Montana premier of Broomstick is one of four national productions of the play sponsored by the National New Play Network, an alliance of non-profit theaters championing new plays. Here's how the NNPN describes it:

Michael Marsolek talks with Joy French, Director of Missoula's Bare Bait Dance, and choreographer Rachel Oliver, whose new multi-media, multi-generational dance piece, "Settle," opens Bare Bait's fourth season.

Michael Marsolek talks with Helene and Lucien Werner about the quartet's performance at St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival, August 24.

Michael Marsolek talks with David Feffer, Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation Chairman and Founding Director, and 16-year-old guitar prodigy Solomon Hicks about this year's festival.

Jazz vocalist Eden Atwood talks with Michael Marsolek about music, teaching, and her appearance at St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival, Sunday, August 10, at 4 p.m.

St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival is celebrating its 19th season at St. Timothy’s Memorial Chapel,  a superb acoustical venue located at 7000 feet with beautiful views of the Pintler Mountains and Georgetown Lake.

Festival Amadeus

Aug 2, 2014

Michael Marsolek talks with John Zoltek, director of the Glacier Symphony and Chorale's Festival Amadeus, August 3rd - 10th in Whitefish and Bigfork.  The 2014 guest artist lineup includes the Fry Street Quartet, violinist Kinga Augustyn, pianist

Michael Marsolek talks with Monica Huggett, co-founder of the Montana Baroque Music Festival. The 2014 festival takes place Tuesday, July 29th - Thursday, July 31st at Quinn's Hot Springs Resort in Paradise, MT, with concerts starting at 7pm.

Michael Marsolek talks with Allan R. Scott, Music Director of the Helena Symphony, about the 11th Annual Symphony Under the Stars concert and fireworks show, Saturday, July 19th, 8:30pm, on Carroll College's Guadalupe Lawn. Admission is free.

Joshua Pate-Terry, Montana Folk Festival

7/6/14: This week on Front Row Center: Michael Marsolek talks with George Everett, Executive Director of Mainstreet Uptown Butte, the presenting organization of the 2014 Montana Folk Festival, which takes place in Uptown Butte, Friday, July 11th - Sunday, July 13th.  As always, admission is free to all events during the three days of the festival.

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