Shuffle.Play.Listen Blends Musical Styles

Many college students just can’t relate to classical music. Sure, it’s great for sitting down and busting out a paper at 2 a.m., but you won’t find me jamming to Beethoven or Bach at a party. While the music may sound boring at first glance, we can recognize its significance and influence on the music we all rage to today. The Classical Music Project at Penn State’s Center for Performing Arts is a three-year program aimed at engaging students and the community in classical music artists.

Kicking off season two of the project is Shuffle.Play.Listen, featuring crossover classical duo Christopher O’Riley, pianist and host of NPR’s From The Top, and Matt Haimovitz, a classical cellist who has played with the Israel Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony. The duo puts an interesting twist on traditional classical music by stretching the lyrical limits of their instruments and incorporating popular music that appeals to a wider audience, both young and old. Where else can you hear Stravinsky mixed with Radiohead or Arcade Fire?

You can check out the Shuffle.Play.Listen concert this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Schwab Auditorium. Regular tickets are $42, but Penn State students with a valid student ID can get in for $15. This is an awesome experience and opportunity to explore classical music and expand your melodic horizons.

If you have no idea what to expect, check out this video of the duo covering “Empty Room” by Arcade Fire.

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Zack Rutstein

Penn State 5th-year Materials Science and Engineering student, Onward State Arts Editor, Musician


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