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.

Stories

Extra Eclectic: Philip Glass' Latest Piano Concerto

Philip Glass wrote his Piano Concerto No. 3 for pianist Simone Dinnerstein, who is universally known for her interpretations of Bach. In 2016, Glass saw Dinnerstein perform a concert of his piano etudes, and he instantly knew she was the pianist for whom he wanted to write his new work. Steve Seel features that concerto as the centerpiece of the first hour of this week's show, which also features works on the subject of birds by composers John Luther Adams and Somei Satoh.

Extra Eclectic: Meditations on Time

While Michael Gandolfi's "Imaginary Numbers" uses mathematical concepts as the centerpiece of the first hour, music about time and its passing make up a philosophical second hour on this week's program. Steve Seel shares Jason Thomas' "Time's Timeless," Maria Huld Markan Sigfusdottir's "Clockworking" and Bartosz Chajdecki's "Clockwork," and Norman Dello Joio's "Meditations on Ecclesiastes" offers a path to meaning amidst our powerlessness to stop time.

Extra Eclectic: Steve Reich's "The Four Sections"

In the grand tradition of works like Benjamin Britten's "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" comes Steve Reich's "The Four Sections" - a kind of minimalist take on the time-honored tradition of showcasing what the different sections of the orchestra can do (with a title that's suitably minimalist as well). Steve Seel features Reich's majestic orchestral work this week, as well as pieces by John Adams, Judd Greenstein, Paul Bowles, and more.

Extra Eclectic: Glenn Kotche's Classical Forays

His day job is drummer for the band Wilco. But Glenn Kotche has also distinguished himself as an accomplished composer of classical music, writing for ensembles including the Kronos Quartet and Eighth Blackbird, in addition to performing the percussion instruments on his own pieces himself. In this edition of Extra Eclectic, Steve Seel features Glenn Kotche with both Kronos and Eighth Blackbird in one grand ensemble. That plus music by John Cage, Evan Ziporyn, Nico Muhly, and more.

Extra Eclectic: Peteris Vasks' "Distant Light"

"For most people today, the spiritual dimension has been lost. My intention is to provide food for the soul, and this is what I preach in my works," says Latvian composer Peteris Vasks. His Violin Concerto, "Distant Light," provides ample food for the soul on this week's program. Steve Seel also features spiritual-themed works from Terry Riley ("Sun Rings: One Earth, One People, One Love") and James Wilson ("The Green Fuse"), and music by Evan Ziporyn, Daniel Wohl, and Sarah Kirkland Snider.

Extra Eclectic: Bryce Dessner's Double Piano Concerto

From the classic 20th-century minimalism of Steve Reich's "Pulse" and the electronica-tinged "Scale of Volitility" by Emilie Levianaise-Farrouch, to Bryce Dessner's dramatic, sweeping "Concerto for Two Pianos" written for Katia and Marielle Labeque, Steve Seel has the gamut of sounds from minimalism to "maximal-ism" mapped out on this week's program. Steve also features works by Keith Jarrett, John Cage, Lou Harrison, Terry Riley, and more.