Music with Minnesotans: Eric Nilsson

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
October 17, 2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Eric Nilsson grew up in a family of girls, with three sisters and no brothers.

The whole gang played the violin and it was those sisters — Kristina, Elsa and Jenny Lind — who went on to professional careers.

And it was decided by family fiat that Eric was not putting in the time necessary to make it. So he would have to practice something else.

And that something else was law.

Though that doesn't keep Eric out of the concert hall — as an audience member — or out of helping the world of the professional orchestras — as a member of the governing board of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

And perhaps it's his deep background in music — or maybe it's his way with words as an attorney, but Eric gets inside what makes music speak to us, whether it's through the intellectual vs. the sensual in Bach, or the spirituality of Schubert or the idiosyncratic and quirky nature of Prokofiev.

Music is playing all the time at Nilsson Law Offices in downtown Minneapolis — partly because Eric says music just makes him smarter and tackling those thorny legal problems feels doable.

Eric Nilsson's playlist:

Sergei Prokofiev, Violin Concerto No.1 - Gil Shaham/London Symphony Orchestra/Previn

Franz Schubert, Mass No. 2: Credo - Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Robert Shaw

Johann Sebastian Bach, Double Violin Concerto: Largo - Midori/Pinchas Zuckerman/SPCO

Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man - New York Philharmonic/Bernstein

Next week, guitarist and composer Billy McLaughlin is my guest. He shares his inspiring story of returning to the concert stage after battling with a career-ending condition, and also shares equally inspirational music.

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