The Classical Post is a weekly newsletter that discusses the latest music we're listening to, working on and talking about, along with attempts at humor.

The Classical Post Classical MPR

John Zech

"Our state fair is a great state fair … don't miss it, don't even be late."

Yep — the Great Minnesota Get-Together is a great state fair … but it sure has changed since I was a kid.

I may be from the last generation lucky enough to grow up on a family farm. As the dog days of August drew to a close, a special treat before school started was a trip to the State Fair. One of the high points for me was climbing on the big, new, shiny tractors and combines on "Machinery Hill."

These days, the "machinery" on the hill is mostly of the garden tractor variety, but if you head to the barns you can still enjoy the sights and smells (yes!) of those cows and pigs and horses.

And if you head over to the corner of Judson and Nelson, you'll find the MPR booth. Stop by and say "hi," and we'll give you some swag, and if you can set a spell, we'll have a concert for you every weekday afternoon.

Hope to see you there!

John Zech, Host, Classical Music/Composers Datebook


Noteworthy News

  washington state convention center seattle
PAX Prime 2014 Preview on Top Score (Part One)
Imagine yourself in a stadium filled with 70,000 fans. That's how many video game fans travel to Seattle during Labor Day weekend for the PAX Prime video game convention. I'll be there hosting a panel called Maestros of Video Games.

hitp mankato - 4
Harmony in the Park in pictures and video
Here's a fun look back: Harmony in the Park delighted audiences in Minneapolis, Mankato and Duluth back in June. Each day, the weather threatened, but the air cleared just in time for each concert. Enjoy these photos by freelance photographer Bill Hickey.

Sunset on campus
What does a music major listen to for relaxation?
As a music major at the tail end of my college career, I've led a rewarding, though exhausting, last few years. The time I spend practicing piano (my main instrument), going to lessons, classes, rehearsals, and studying - not to mention working a part-time job - can add up to 16-hour days, most of it filled with music. So it amazes me that after all that activity, listening to music is still the way that I choose to relax.

ljova melting river
New Classical Tracks: Ljova, 'Melting River'
Violist and composer Lev Zhurbin, aka Ljova, has released a new album -- and it's only available on vinyl or via digital download. Why not on CD? Ljova explains as he shares the story of his new album.

Still from Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope
Flicks in Five: Star Wars
John Williams provided the music for sci-fi's equivalent of The Ring Cycle, "Star Wars." Six films and billions of dollars later, Williams' music stands as some of the best movie music of all time.

Joe and Mary Keyes
Music with Minnesotans: Joe and Mary Keyes
Joe and Mary Keyes are owners of the Howard Street Booksellers in Hibbing, Minn. They love books, theater and Hibbing history.

What do classical musicians do to relax?
Many people turn to classical music for relaxation, but actually playing the music takes a lot of effort and concentration. What do classical musicians do to unwind after snapping their instrument cases closed?

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Weekly schedule



Upcoming Events

Nine Nights of Music: Ukrainian Village Band
August 26, 2014
Minnesota History Center, St. Paul

Free Organ concert at Cathedral of Saint Paul
August 21, 2014
At Cathedral of Saint Paul

Programming Highlights

Highlights from August 19 to 26

Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: Bookstore owners Joe and Mary Keyes.
Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight.
Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Discovering Dieterich Buxtehude.
Sunday, noon: From the Top.
Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: From the 2014 BBC Proms, the BBC Scottish Symphony plays Mahler's 9th Symphony.
Monday, noon: Learning to Listen.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans.



Classical Minnesota Public Radio can be heard on more than 35 radio frequencies across the state of Minnesota and worldwide over the Internet at