Music with Minnesotans: Michael Fox

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
February 23, 2011

St. Paul, Minn. — This past Sunday during our 'snowmageddon' I wallowed through drifting snow, blowing ice pellets careening into to my face and a near total white-out to make my way to the Minnesota History Center and catch a concert in the 3M auditorium.

Granted, we live approximately 1 1/2 miles away on Ramsey Hill, but none-the-less, it was an adventure well worth it. Even in sopping wet jeans and dripping hair, I was overwhelmed when entering the echo-ey and hallowed halls of Minnesota history - a Jenney biplane flying above me, the towering windmill wishing it could have just a small taste of the storm outdoors and the walls painted a seemingly endless blue sky.

I love our museum and so I just had to ask the Society's Director, Michael Fox, if per chance he listens classical music.

Not only does he listen, but he's a regular concert-goer and keeps up with his piano lessons as an adult.So Michael dropped by MPR to share his playlist with me in between a long day of meetings at the State Capitol. His voice is a touch scratchy.

It shouldn't be a huge surprise that one of Michael Fox's favorite groups is St. Paul-based The Rose Ensemble, which "re-awakens the ancient" and brings historically-informed concerts to life. He especially wanted us to listen to Kathy Lee, one of the group's marvelous sopranos and a founding member.

Michael tells me that, like many of us, music helps him gather his thoughts when many things are happening at once. Joshua Bell has just the tone and temperament to bring him down to earth.

We also listen to Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, a stirring reminder of our fragility and limited time on this planet. And one Mozart sonata that is exquisitely played and a performance - like Mount Everest - worth striving to emulate as Michael keeps up with his own piano lessons.


Michael Fox's playlist:

Harps of Welcome, Anonymous - Kathy Lee/The Rose Ensemble

Meditation from "Thais," Jules Massenet - Joshua Bell

Adagio for Strings, Samuel Barber - St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

J.S. Bach Two-Part Invention No. 1 - Glenn Gould

W. A. Mozart, Sonata for Piano no 1 in C major, K 279 - Mitsuko Uchida


Check out more from Music with Minnesotans:

Linda Z. Andrews, Ann Bancroft, Charles Baxter, Philip Brunelle, Mayor Chris Coleman, Michael Pearce Donley, Joe Dowling, Dr. Victoria Elmer, Nancy Gibson, William Gurstelle, Karen Hansen, Steve Heitzeg, Stuart Loughridge, Stephen Paulus, Consie Powell, Lois Quam, Mayor RT Rybak, General Larry Shellito, The Reverend Spenser Simrell, Dale Warland, and Matt Wehling.


In Act I of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' Duke Orsino says "If music be the food of love, play on!" Join me next week when Minneapolis Chef Nick Schneider shares his playlist and sumptuous music/food pairings.

On Now

Music Through The Night®
Scott Blankenship
Listen to the Stream
  • Cello Concerto No. 1 1:11 Franz Joseph Haydn
    Chamber Orchestra of Europe
    Mischa Maisky, cello
    Buy Now
  • Babar and Celeste 1:09 Francis Poulenc
    Christopher O'Riley, piano
    Buy Now

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Classical Notes Blog

Read more