Steve Seel

Steve Seel possesses a broad knowledge of many musical genres, having hosted radio programs ranging from classical to jazz and even avant-garde music at public radio stations around the country. Steve came to Minnesota Public Radio in 1999 to be a part of its nationally-syndicated classical music programming. In 2005, he became one of the founding voices on MPR's eclectic station The Current, and has hosted various time slots from mornings to late nights, and conducted in-depth interviews with pop music luminaries ranging from Brian Eno to David Byrne to Tori Amos. Steve is an avid reader of political and social commentary as well, and he emcees The Current's popular Policy and a Pint community series, featuring discussions with noted scholars, politicians, community leaders, authors and big thinkers on important issues of the day. Steve is also a basement composer obsessed with all things both minimalist and slow, and might actually be incapable of writing anything that exceeds 75 beats-per-minute.


Extra Eclectic: Inspired by Beethoven

Which composer down through history has provided the most inspiration for the composers of our time and their works? Bach? Arnold Schoenberg? Philip Glass? You just might be surprised how much Beethoven has been a boon to the music of the 20th and 21st century. As we celebrate the groundbreaking innovations of one of history's great artists on this 250th anniversary of his birth, Steve Seel has a look at how contemporary composers have taken up his themes, ideas, and melodies in their own works.

Extra Eclectic: Keith Jarrett's "Elegy"

The fantastically gifted pianist Keith Jarrett recently announced that he suffered not one but two debilitating strokes in 2018, effectively putting an end to his incredible performing career that has crossed boundaries of jazz, classical, and more. But it likely hasn't silenced him as a composer. Steve Seel showcases one of Jarrett's compositions for orchestra on this week's show, with a hopeful eye toward a career that still isn't over yet.

Extra Eclectic: An American Mirror

Derrick Spiva is an American composer who integrates musical practices from cultures around the world into his works. He's an authority on Persian, Balkan, Hindustani, and West African music, in addition to having traditional western classical training. Fittingly, his work "American Mirror" centers around the theme of immigrants, and how "inter-cultural collaboration," as he says, is "central to the well-being of American society." Steve Seel showcases Spiva's work on this week's program.

Extra Eclectic: Things That Aren't There

Sometimes, illusions are more powerful than reality. That's part of the undercurrent of several of the works on this week's show. Steve Seel features Scott Wollschleger's "We See Things That Are Not There," Brendon Randall-Myers' "Auras" from his "Dynamic of Vanishing Bodies," and Nico Muhly's "Seeing Is Believing," based on how ancient sky-observers saw shapes, animals, and objects in the heavens -- by grouping the stars into constellations.