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Classical Notes

Click on Classical: Coffee with Chopin, opera without sight, musicians who brew

Posted at 8:28 AM on March 10, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Click on Classical

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Every Monday morning at about 9:15, I'll be joining John Birge on Classical MPR to discuss some of the fun and fascinating stories we're featuring on our site. Three stories we'll be talking about this morning:

• If you could have coffee with Frederic Chopin, what would you ask him? That's a question that tenth-grader Leora Eisenberg asked herself in an essay published on our website. "What am I supposed to say to the man who wrote my favorite music? Do I just come out and say it: 'How am I ever supposed to be able to play your Fantasie-Impromptu in C Sharp Minor? Or, maybe, 'Who do you think does the best rendition of your Waltz 64 op. 2? Kissin or Rubinstein?'" She ultimately decides that's a silly question: it's Kissin, obviously.

• Emily Michael, of Jacksonville, Florida, is a singer and music lover who is legally blind and works to teach self-advocacy and independent living skills to other people with blindness and visual impairments. She wrote about the experience of going to see an opera — specifically, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro — and bathing in the performers' characterizations as expressed through their voices, not their bodies.

• If you've attended an event at Minneapolis's Boom Island Brewing Company, you might have been surprised to hear a french horn call — as sounded by Kevin and Qiuxia Welch, the married couple who own the brewery and also both happen to be former professional french hornists. Gwen Hoberg talks with the Welches​ as well as with Joe Schlefke, a man who left a successful conducting career to teach English in Mexico. Wherever careers might lead, Gwen finds, if you're once a musician, you're always a musician.