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.

The Montana Film Festival runs from Oct. 1 - 4 at the Roxy Theater in Missoula.
Courtesy Montana Film Festival

Mike Steinberg, executive director the the Roxy Theater joins Michael Marsolek to preview the upcoming Montana Film Festival in Missoula. The festival, in its first year, runs October 1 - 4 at the Roxy Theater, and it has a Montana focus:

Headwaters Dance Company

“Beginnings and Endings”
Oct. 1-3, Thursday through Saturday
7:30 pm nightly + Saturday matinee at 2
MCT Center for the Performing Arts, Missoula, MT

CLICK here for Tickets

String Orchestra of the Rockies kicks of their 31st season with a concert titled "Sweet" Italianne, featuring cellist Matt Haimovitz. The performance will take place Sunday, September 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall on the University of Montana Campus.

Montana Book Festival dates: September 10 - 12.

Through its annual literary festival and related events, The Montana Book Festival Association seeks to foster interest in literature for people of all ages, perpetuate a sense of literary community, and provide a vibrant, compelling forum for the literary arts.

David Feffer, Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation Chairman and Founding Director joins Michael Marsolek to preview the sixth annual Crown Guitar festival. This year's festival runs from August 30 to September 6 at the Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork, Montana.

Chris Hahn and Karen Beres are the CanAm Piano Duo
Josh Burnham

The CanAm Piano Duo have been presenting innovative programs of duet and two-piano repertoire since 2002. They stopped by MTPR to give us a taste of their varied repertoire and talk about their upcoming performance at the St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival.

Monroe Crossing warming up before an interview at Montana Public Radio
Josh Burnham

This week Monroe Crossing will play three performances of "The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass" in collaboration with Dolce Canto, Missoula's premier vocal ensemble. They stopped by MTPR to play a few songs and talk about their upcoming shows.

A scene from the 2014 Montana Baroque Music Festival.
Courtesy Montana Baroque Music Festival

The Montana Baroque Music Festival begins July 21. Enjoy three baroque concerts in a beautiful setting, just steps from the Clark Fork River in Paradise, Montana. Artistic Director Adam Lamotte joins MTPR's Michael Marsolek to talk about the exceptional musicians and exciting performances at this year's festival.

St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival
Courtesy photo

Michael Reynolds, of the Muir String Quartet, talks about their annual performance with others from the Montana Chamber Music Society, at the St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival.

Muir quartet will play at St. Timothy's Chapel above Georgetown Lake, Sunday, July 12th at 4:00 p.m. Reynolds spoke with Michael Marsolek about the festival and their upcoming show.

Luca Rodoni, a 17-year-old trumpeter from Bozeman, MT will be kicking off the St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival on June, 28 along with performers Craig Hall and Bob Nell. Luca spoke with Michael Marsolek about his musical background and his upcoming show.

Party On The Bus!

May 23, 2015
Those Guys 119

In Missoula, Saturday, May 30, 4 - 6 p.m.

Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres on your way to see dance performances in three site-specific (surprise) locations during a two-hour bus adventure. You'll stop along the way to watch the dances specially choreographed for each site. And don’t forget to look out the windows to catch dance snapshots along the way.

It’s a blast!

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.


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.

15th Annual Montana Festival Of The Book

Oct 1, 2014

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.)