Music with Minnesotans: John Osborn

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
March 28, 2012

Rochester, Minn — John Osborn wrote me an e-mail back in early November right up front apologizing that he knew it wasn't Friday and Steve Staruch handles requests, but might I consider playing Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1 "Winter Dreams" since that day was the first snow fall of the season?

Well, I considered it, but as I continued to read his mail I was struck by his description of the music, which parts sounded snow-like and how the music made him feel.

So I agreed to play it if he'd come on Music with Minnesotans and share more moments like that. The game was on!

John is a lovely 20-something working as the Operations Manager in the Department of Surgery at the Mayo Clinic. He studied poly/sci at Notre Dame and then headed off to the London School of Economics to focus on decision science.

But it was his beloved cello that always had a special place in his life. He wishes now he'd double-majored in music, but lugging the cello around - even leaving in the dorm unattended - was daunting.

That's not to say John doesn't play now. He plays up a storm. He plays with the Rochester Symphony and makes his stand partner jealous with all the chamber music he's explored, including one Brahms Piano Quartet with a cello solo to die for - and that will make most of us weep.

The thing is for John and his buddies to practice this piano quartet, they need to wait until after closing at the mayo and then find one of the many grand pianos in lobbies to play on. I wonder what the janitors and segue-riding security think about all that beautiful classical music?


John Osborn's playlist:

Johann Sebastian Bach, Cello Suite No. 3: Bouree - Yo-Yo Ma

Ludwig van Beethoven, String Quartet Op. 18, No. 6: Scherzo - Emerson String Quartet

Johann Sebastian Bach, St. Matthew's Passion: Kommt, ihr Tochter - Masaaki/Bach Collegium Japan

Johannes Brahms, Piano Quartet Op. 60, #3: Adagio - Marc-Andre Hamelin/Leopold String Trio


Music with Minnesotans will be back in two weeks with William Foot. His name is ideal for his job: Manager of IT support at Red Wing Shoes! Bill is a part-time singer and shares some unusual and beautiful choral music.

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