Karl Gehrke

Minnesota Public Radio

Karl Gehrke is a producer and arts reporter for Minnesota Public Radio where he is highly regarded for his impeccable table manners and exquisite penmanship. He joined MPR in December 2004 after working as an arts reporter and music host for WCAL-FM at St. Olaf College and South Dakota Public Radio. He got his start in radio as a child actor playing Tommy on the long-running serial, "Ma Perkins." When his voice changed and he was no longer able to find work as a radio actor, Karl was forced to eke out a living by singing bawdy sea shanties on street corners for spare change. After a restless decade working in such varied occupations as coxswain, pelican wrangler and megalomaniac, Karl was able to return to a career in radio through a combination of hard work, determination, blackmail and threats. When he's not busy taunting pigeons, Karl lives on a mat of straw in the darkened corner of a friend's basement with an invisible salamander named Aunt Martha and a bucket of last year's Halloween candy.

Karl Gehrke Feature Archive

SPCO strings
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra is kicking off its 50th anniversary season this weekend. The opening concerts are tonight and tomorrow at the Ordway Center. (09/05/2008)
Choral Arts Ensemble
Audiences at the State Fair on Saturday can tour Minnesota through choral music. Six choirs from around Minnesota will perform specially commissioned music reflecting the diverse histories, landscapes and people of the state. (08/22/2008)
What do the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra during their summer vacations? Some play in festivals at scenic locales. Others ride horses and motorcycles. And some just take a break from music. (08/04/2008)
For the next ten days actors and dancers will perform in over 150 shows throughout Minneapolis in the 15th annual Minnesota Fringe Festival. It's the biggest performing arts festival in the midwest. (07/30/2008)
New Orleans trumpeter Irvin Mayfield will be the Minnesota Orchestra's first Artistic Director of Jazz at Orchestra Hall. (07/28/2008)
A new group supporting the arts in Minnesota is announcing today the 17 organizations selected for its training and development program. ArtsLab will help the organizations develop plans and strategies for the future. (07/14/2008)
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra President and Managing Director Bruce Coppock is stepping down because of illness. (06/25/2008)
For the past six years, a dozen Twin Cities jazz verterans have been sharing their expertise with young musicians at a jazz camp near Minneapolis. The students say it's an intense experience that helps them grow as improvising soloists. (06/15/2008)
Turning famous works of American literature into operas has become something of a trend lately. St. Paul's Skylark Opera company is presenting the upper Midwest premiere of one of the latest, Ned Rorem's adaptation of "Our Town." (06/11/2008)
Veteran Minneapolis musician Gordon Johnson has a reputation for being the Twin Cities' go-to jazz bassist. He's admired by fellow musicians and fans for his versatility and impeccable playing, and has just released his latest CD, "GJ4." (06/03/2008)
Percussionists have a vital, but under-appreciated role in symphonic music. Over the next three weeks they're being showcased in the Crash! Bang! Boom! Festival. (05/22/2008)
Bob DeFlores' film archive is one of the largest private collections in the country. A new partnership with Normandale Community College will make many of his rare, historical films available for educational institutions. (05/01/2008)
Gao Hong is the master of the ancient Chinese lute known as the pipa. Since arriving in Minnesota, she's taken the instrument into surprising new territories by collaborating with musicians from a diverse range of cultures and traditions. She's making her Carnegie Hall debut this month. (04/18/2008)
Using a mix of drama, dance, clowning and classical music, a new theatrical production tells the story of a lonely piano tuner whose unfulfilled dreams get caught up in a family that's falling apart. (04/09/2008)
High School musician Bruce Cho is playing duing this week's Young People's Concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra, an important step toward fulfilling his goal of becoming a professional musician. (04/03/2008)