MTPR

Michael Marsolek

Program Director

Michael Marsolek is the program director of Montana Public Radio. He also hosts Tuesday Freeforms and Thursday Morning Classics. 

Ways to Connect

I-90 Collective. Carrie Krause, Paul Dwyer, John Lenti, Adriane Post.
Courtesy I-90 Collective

Carrie Krause and John Lenti are part of the I-90 Collective quartet.  They'll play St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival August 20 at 4 p.m. Krause and Lenti joined MTPR's Michael Marsolek to preview their upcoming performance, and talk about what drew them to baroque music.

Listen in for baroque lute and violin music live from Studio B at Montana Public Radio.

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Singer Brice Todd and pianist Jodi Marshall join MTPR's Michael Marsolek for a live studio session ahead of Todd's August 6 performance at St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival.

Listen in to hear Todd sing selections from Puccini, and Tosti, live from Studio B at Montana Public Radio.

Tom Bensen of Arts Missoula joins MTPR's Michael Marsolek with a report on the economic impact of non-profit arts organizations in Missoula County — a whopping $54 million according to a new report from Americans for the Arts.

"These are numbers that validate what people already know," Bensen says, "that the arts and culture organizations and people contribute a lot to our economy."

The 2017 Montana Folk Festival is July 7-9 in Butte, Montana. Tune in to Montana Public Radio to hear music live from the festival Friday and Saturday.
Courtesy photo

There's a lot going on in Butte this summer, from the Big Bang fireworks extravaganza to the Montana Folk Festival, and even a Folk Feast, which is part fundraiser and part art event.  George Everett, executive director of Main Street Uptown Butte joins MTPR's Michael Marsolek to give you a preview of the summer fun coming up in Butte.

The Travelin' McCourys at the 2014 Montana Folk Festival
Michael Marsolek

"I just think that Americans, now more than ever, need to be reminded of and celebrate, and just feel good about what great culture we have produced and continue to produce through these community based traditions," says Nick Spitzer, host of American Routes.

Spitzer will be back in the state for the Montana Folk Festival in Butte, July 7-9 where he'll join MTPR's Michael Marsolek and the MTPR crew broadcasting live from the festival. In this interview, Spitzer talks about how the Montana Folk Festival fits in to the larger mosaic of folk music in America.

Guy Raz says the new "Wow in the World" podcast is, "a chance for us to celebrate scientists and discoverers and technologists and the people who are making our world better and more interesting."

"Wow in the World" is a show for curious kids and grown-ups. Hosts Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas join MTPR's Michael Marsolek to talk about using the show to inspire kids to appreciate the amazing things that are happening around the world.

Montana Repertory Theatre
Josh Burnham

The Montana Repertory Theater, a professional theater-in-residence at the University of Montana, will complete five performances of Harper Lee's landmark play "To Kill a Mockingbird" in Beijing and other locations in China.

Greg Johnson, artistic director of the Montana Repertory Theatre says, "We believe this is the first time an American theater company will bring this play to mainland China."

Johnson joins Michael Marsolek on this episode of "Front Row Center" to talk more about this international cultural exchange.

Bill Harley, singer, songwriter, author and storyteller.
Josh Burnham

Bill Harley — a two-time Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, author and storyteller — says storytelling is "absolutely central to what it is to be human." Harley's original songs and stories paint a vibrant and hilarious picture of growing up, schooling, and family life.

Harley talks about storytelling, learning the cello, and his upcoming Missoula performance in this interview with MTPR's Michael Marsolek.

IWFF is an annual wildlife and conservation themed film festival held each April in Missoula, Montana. The event draws in hundreds of filmmakers, scientists, conservationists and enthusiasts.
IWFF

The International Wildlife Film Festival is about "honest, ethical film-making," says Executive Director Mike Steinberg. "It's hard to tell a story about any species without maybe considering the ramifications of the impact that humans are making on the planet ... And we're interested in presenting beautiful, theatrical films."

Steinberg joins Michael Marsolek to preview some of the highlights at this week's festival and talk about the festival's vision and 40 year history.

National Weather Service, Missoula, MT.
Josh Burnham

"It was a pretty impressive winter," says Trent Smith from the National Weather Service. "Kalispell and Missoula had some of the coldest average mean temperatures since the late 1970's. And then we ... got a significant amount of snow over this winter. And now that we've transitioned here these past few weeks we're really looking at the flooding issues."

Listen now as Smith recaps the weather highlights from this winter and gives a preview of what's in store for western Montana as we transition from winter to spring.

"It's what I call pretty pictures with music," says producer Daniel Dauterive. "It's designed to be a nice break from the world. We're not trying to teach you anything ... we're just saying this is a great park, and here's some great music, enjoy a half hour of letting go of the real world."

"Ninety percent of this program is showcasing what the vast majority of people don't get to see about Yellowstone," says Scott Billadeau, who composed and played the music for this movie.

Learn more from behind the scenes of "Yellowstone in Four Seasons" with producer Daniel Dauterive and musician Scott Billadeau on this episode of "Front Row Center."

MTPR Program Director Michael Marsolek recently hosted The Folk Show on MTPR. He talked with Sierra Hull about her pending trip to Montana, and the first time they met. She was Just 15 years old when MTPR broadcast her set from the first year of the National Folk Festival in Butte in 2008. Listen in to their conversation now.

Bar feet
Flickr user, Roger Jones (cc-by-2.0)

The Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre (RMBT), which is based in Missoula, will once again be hosting the prestigious Vienna International Ballet Experience (VIBE). The five-day international dance challenge will be held in conjunction with the the second annual Art of Diplomacy conference and film festival. Charlene Campbell Carey, the Artistic Director of RMBT and the VIBE U.S.A. Director, discusses how the arts deepen human connections.

The events will take place January 10-14, 2016.

Marty Whitmore is the warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula.
Josh Burnham

With the first big winter storm of the season headed to western Montana, Marty Whitmore, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula joins Michael Marsolek to talk weather. Whitmore previews the incoming storm, explains what those weather zones (pictured above) mean , and talks about why western Montana is one of the most challenging places to forecast in the country.

The American Piano Quartet from left to right:  Scott Holden, Robin Hancock, Del Parkinson, Jeffrey Shumway.
Josh Burnham

"If you've ever heard a piano quartet performed, chances are the piece was either composed or arranged by these guys," says Christopher Hahn of the UM School of Music. "Two pianos, eight hands, the sound is truly symphonic. Nobody does it better."

The American Piano Quartet will be featured at the Celebrate Piano series from the UM School of Music on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Dennison Theater in Missoula. They'll perform at 7:30 p.m. They stopped by Montana Public Radio to give a taste of what they have planned.

While visiting Montana’s House of Mystery in Columbia Falls, Wednesday Free Forms host Gus Chambers inexplicably vanished. Local authorities could give no reason for the curious phenomenon.

Radiolab's Jad Abumrad will be in Missoula Oct. 23 with his show about "Gut Churn."
Thesaradarling (CC-BY-2)

In advance of his show Sunday in Missoula, Jad Abumrad of Radiolab talks with MTPR's Michael Marsolek about "Gut Churn."

"This was a feeling that I, in the 14 years of making Radiolab, I just grappled with every single day," says Abumrad.

Guy Raz, TED Conference
FLICKR USER, RYAN LASH (CC-BY-2.0)

Guy Raz, host and editorial director of TED Radio Hour, says we view our world through a series of prisms. If we re-frame our perspectives, we can recognize the possibilities. TED Radio Hour is the fastest growing program in radio history. It explores what it means to be human and new ways of thinking. Raz is also the host and creator of a new podcast, How I Built This, which looks at the a-ha moments and tipping points behind some of the most iconic businesses and brands .

Cuban choir Cantores de Cienfuegos sings during a live performance on Montana Public Radio Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
Josh Burnham

Did you enjoy  the Cantores de Cienfuegos Cuban choir at Missoula's 2016 International Choral Festival this summer? Want to hear more from them? Yvonne Gritzner helped bring the choir to Montana, and she has the details on a "Cuban Encore" benefit to help fund the travel costs for bringing this extraordinary group to Montana.

The Missoula Symphony Presents "Fast Machine" Sep. 24 & 25.
Courtesy Missoula Symphony

While John Adams' digital sound may seem an odd fit with Mendelssohn's romantic style, the Missoula Symphony finds connections in the contrast. The opening concert of the symphony's 62nd season, entited, "Fast Machine," juxtaposes "machine, motion and rhythm" with "fluidity and majesty," and features guest violinist Jennifer Frautschi peforming Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1. 

Gallagher
Wikipedia, Nightscream (CC-BY-3.0)

Stand-up comedian Gallagher has smashed about 20,000 watermelons during his career, and he's not likely to stop anytime soon. Gallagher is coming to the West with BIRTHDAY BASH! Gallagher The Joke's On You Comedy Tour With Special Guest Artie Fletcher.

Left to right: MTPR Program Director Michael Marsolek, UM Professor of Piano Christopher Hahn, Helena Symphony Concertmaster Stephen Cepeda, and Helena Symphony Conductor Allan R. Scott.
Josh Burnham

Helena Symphony Concertmaster Stephen Cepeda and Conductor Allan R. Scott preview the symphony's 2016 season, and Cepeda and Christopher Hahn play some excerpts from Erich Korngold's lushly romantic 1945 violin concerto, live from Studio B at Montana Public Radio.

The 62nd season of the Helena Symphony begins with music from Korngold and Rachmaninoff, two composers whose music "drip[s] with silver and chocolate sauce." "A Symphony Spooktacular" sets a haunting backdrop to the season while "¡Flamenco!" brings some Spanish culture to Montana.  Allan R. Scott, music director and conductor for the Helena Symphony, shares upcoming highlights.

Bitterroot Performing Arts Series
Bitterroot Performing Arts

Laurie Ruffner, the new executive director of the Bitterroot Performing Arts Council, shares some highlights from The Hamilton Performing Arts Center's upcoming season, including performances by Reduced Shakespeare and acclaimed singer/songwriter Darrell Scott.

Fern Glass Boyd, artistic director of the String Orchestra of the Rockies talks about the group's upcoming concert at St. Timothy's Summer Music Festival, and the four concerts of the ensemble's 32 season, starting in September.

The Ninth Annual Festival Amadeus, presented by the Glacier Symphony and Chorale, runs from August 8 - 14, 2016 at venues in Whitefish and Bigfork. The festival features chamber and orchestra concerts with guest soloists and the Festival Amadeus orchestra. (See the full Festival Amadeus schedule below.)

Brea McCullough & Stephanie Anderson stopped by MTPR studios to preview their upcoming performance at St. Timothy's Music Festival.
Josh Burnham

Imagine being able to brag that you heard Bach, Beethoven, or Beyoncé before they made it big. Now you can hear Montana’s finest fledgling talent before their upcoming feature at St. Timothy’s Summer Festival.

Jeni Fleming will perform at St. Timothy's Music Festival, Sunday July 24 at 4:00 p.m.
Audrey Hall

"A good song is a good song," says singer & musician Jeni Fleming from Bozeman.  As long as she identifies with the lyrics, "everything else is negotiable." Fleming joins Michael Marsolek to preview her upcoming performance at St. Timothy's Music Festival on Sunday July, 24.

Skip the plane ticket to Vienna and hear world-class string music right here in rural Montana. Take in the exuberant melodies of Beethoven and awe-inspiring views of the rugged Pintler Range this weekend as the Muir String Quartet and Guests headline St. Timothy’s Summer Music Festival at Georgetown Lake on Sunday July 17 at 4:00 p.m.

Michael Marsolek talks with cellist Amit Peled, who performs a benefit recital with pianist Christopher Hahn for the Glacier Symphony and Chorale on Thursday, June 30, 7:30 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center in Whitefish. Peled pays tribute to Pablo Casals ("the grandfather of all cellists," Peled calls him), performing on the 1733 Goffriller cello owned and played by Casals himself for 60 years.

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