Brian Newhouse

Brian Newhouse is the Managing Director of Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media’s classical programming, including SymphonyCast, Performance Today, Pipedreams, and other programs that reach more than three million radio and online listeners each week. He holds degrees in voice and English from Luther College, and had an active professional singing career alongside his work in radio, a passion that gave rise to his creating MPR’s 24-hour online Choral Stream. He and his MPR colleagues have innovated a program of outreach and music education for Minnesota schoolchildren that in the past five years has served over 130,000 students across the state. He won a Peabody Award for writing the radio documentary The Mississippi: River of Song, and he’s the author of the memoir, A Crossing. He and his family live in St. Paul.

Stories

Music@Menlo music festival, 2003

The brainchild of a pair of dynamic musicians: pianist Wu Han and her husband cellist David Finckel. They'd had a longstanding dream to create a chamber-music celebration that embraced students, an eager audience, and an A-list of performers from around the world. They found the perfect site a half-hour south of San Francisco, in the city of Menlo Park, California, and last August opened their doors. Over the course of the festival's three weeks, critics, performers, the organizers, everyone remarked on the strikingly high level of execution. Audiences, though, spoke loudest about this event: Californians lined up by the hundreds to get in, many were turned away at the door.

Itzhak Perlman: Humor and Grace

I'd never seen Perlman perform live. Never seen how slowly he makes his way on those crutches and how a violin section parts itself extra-wide so he can get to his podium and chair. The concertmaster held his violin and bow, waiting. The audience greeted him especially warmly. The applause was still full as he planted his left crutch up on the podium and swung his left leg up. Then the right crutch. As he swung his right leg up—I can't say exactly what happened next, but for some reason his right leg missed the podium altogether, and his right crutch flew out with it.