Open MINDS | High and Low: Classical Meets Popular Music

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Trained as both a classical musician and an academic, Orin Grossman’s continuing focus has been on creating and presenting a wide variety of musical events. Join him for the Quick Center’s Open MINDS Institute, hosted by Pequot Library. From full-blown concerts with and without accompanying musicians, to tightly focused presentations that combine musical performances with informative descriptions of the compositions and the times when the music was created, to more intimate presentations for smaller interested groups, Grossman constantly amazes and enthralls.

Open MINDS Institute courses are $290 each and meet on Oct. 2, 10, 16, and 23. For more information and to register, visit this page or contact the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010.

Read on for a Q and A with Grossman:

What initially sparked your love of music? What keeps it going strong? My father loved classical music and was an amateur violinist—there was always music in the house. I have a brother who became a professional cellist, so my father was pretty successful in passing on his love of music. And once the seed is planted, it’s pretty easy to keep it growing.

Who are you currently listening to outside of work?
I listen to many types of music, particularly from the classical and jazz worlds. I love older popular music—I was a big fan of Tony Bennett, who sadly passed away recently. There’s a wonderful young jazz singer—Samara Joy—I’ve been listening to a lot. On the classical side, I particularly love the composers just before/after the turn of the 20th century. Debussy, Ravel, Gershwin, Mahler—they wrote
music that has a great combination of audience appeal and musical complexity that I love.

You’re having a dinner party and can invite 3 composers either living or dead. Who do you choose?
Maurice Ravel, George Gershwin, and either Gustav Mahler or Claude Debussy. I love Mahler’s symphonies above all others, but I’m afraid he didn’t play well with others so the conversation might be better with Debussy.

Do you have any favorite memories of Pequot Library you’d like to share?
When I was first hired at Fairfield University, in 1975, a colleague at the university who taught Art History, Cissy Sill, lived in Southport and arranged for me to give a recital at the library. So my first exposure to the musical scene in Fairfield County was at the Pequot Library. I remain grateful to Cissy, who was a loyal friend to the library and a terrific colleague. The Pequot Library is one of the best places to hear and
play music and I am delighted to be back at the library this fall.


October 2, 2023
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
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720 Pequot Avenue
Southport, CT 06890 United States
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(203) 259-0346