Music with Minnesotans: Sam Olbekson

by Alison Young, Minnesota Public Radio
June 5, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sam Olbekson might be as Minnesotan as you can get.

He's half Norwegian and half Native American, a member of the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa.

Soft-spoken and thoughtful, Sam tells me that coming to classical music was not a typical route in his family. It was as a kid that he found our radio programs and discovered classical which helped him focus his energies.

And huge energy he has. I'm out of breath just reading through the list of committees he serves on, boards he's a part of and projects he's worked on.

Sam attended Harvard and Cornell and is an architect with the Cunningham Group their emphasis notably on sustainable design with his personal work including culturally sensitive design.

Sam is the President of the Board of the Minneapolis American Indian Center and a board member of the Native American Community Development Institute. We spoke about projects he works on that embrace the ancient in cultures and fuse them with our present-day melting pot.

His life is busy, meaningful and his music choices reflect slowing down, reflection, a search for balance.

Sam Olbekson's playlist:

Johann Sebastian Bach, Cello Suite No. 1: Prelude - Mischa Maisky

Tomaso Albinoni, Adagio for Violin, Organ and Strings - London Chamber Orchestra

Erik Satie, Gymnopedie No. 1 - Philippe Entremont

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Symphony No. 41 "Jupiter" - English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner

Friends, I will be on another epic hiking trip for the next weeks, so taking a break from Music with Minnesotans.

See you later this summer!

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