Music with Minnesotans: Liz Thompson

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
June 8, 2011

St. Paul, Minn. — Last March, I headed out-state with our Artists-in-Residence Cantus. All of the towns we went to were new for me, and it was sheer delight to see new places and make new friends.

Way out west - about a half hour from Grand Forks, ND - is the farming community of Crooskston. When I asked around about who might be interested in being on Music with Minnesotans, I was directed by several people right to the doorstep of Liz Thompson.

She is a retired resource librarian in the Diocese of Crookston. Her days are very full now as she helps raise money for the arts programs in local schools and bring top-notch concerts to the region.

Liz is a trained singer. She majored in music at Concordia College and continues to sing in church. Many of the pieces on her playlist are those she sings, ones with a 'good message' she says and connected with her own spirituality.

Also on her list, is the beguiling little bagatelle by Beethoven called "Fur Elise." Her granddaughter benefited from the arts programs in Crookston and is now pursuing a career in the arts. This piece especially reminds Liz of her.

We had a laugh when Liz told me that she plays Classical MPR in the car all the time and her grandchildren complain about "grandma's music." Her final selection on the playlist - Rachmaninoff's Paganini Rhapsody - is hardly stick-in-the-mud music!


Liz Thompson's playlist:

Franz Schubert, Ave Maria - Anne Sophie von Otter, mezzo-soprano

Johann Sebastian Bach/Charles Goundod, Ave Maria - Cecilia Bartoli

Ludwig van Beethoven, Fur Elise - Alfred Brendl

Johann Sebastian Bach, Sheep May Safely Graze - Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra

Johann Sebastian Bach, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Christopher Parkening, guitar

Sergei Rachmaninov, Paganini Rhapsody - Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano


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, Gwen Freed, Nancy Gibson, William Gurstelle, Karen Hansen, Steve Heitzeg, Stuart Loughridge, Allan Naplan, Stephen Paulus, Chris Polydoroff, Consie Powell, Lois Quam, Mayor RT Rybak, Nick Schneider, Steve Schon, James Sewell, Mary Shideler 'The Kayak Lady', Ann Swenson, The Reverend Spenser Simrell, Will Steger, Ann Swenson, Paul Thissen, Dale Warland, Sam Wai, Matt Wehling and Larry Zea.


Next week Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lynn Martin is my guest. He listens to classical music in the OR to help him get in the zone on long surgeries, but his playlist he calls "Gifts from MPR," a selection of pieces that just stopped him in his tracks.

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