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September 19, 2013

Bach to Brazilian choros: Duo will play it all

ROCKPORT — Double bassist and composer Edgar Meyer will perform with his long-time collaborator, Mike Marshall, a virtuoso mandolin player at the Shalin Liu Performance Center on Sunday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m.

Meyer and Marshall are among the top instrumentalists of their kind, and they have played with greats such as Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, and Bela Fleck. The two have performed together for more than 20 years. They will present a program that spans both space and time, featuring everything from Bach duets to Brazilian choros to bluegrass.

Meyer was applauded by New Yorker magazine, whose critic wrote “... Mr. Meyer’s unparalleled technique and musicianship in combination with his gift for composition have brought him to the fore, where he is appreciated by a vast, varied audience.” He was granted a MacArthur Award in 2002.

The following is excerpted from an interview Rockport Music had with Meyer in a question and answer format.

Q: What should people expect when they come to the concert?

A: A spirited show... Mike plays with a big personality — a lot of life but with a lyrical side. Bluegrass and jazz define the sounds with a rhythmical connection.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your collaborations with Mike over the past two decades?

A: When he cooks. Mike is a chef and friends with professional chefs. He plays with the same passion as he cooks.

Q: How did the MacArthur Award change your life?

A: It doesn’t help you lose weight or play in tune, but it helped reinforce a sense of confidence in what I do. It encourages you to think very freely, even the potential of changing professions and not to place limits on your job description.

Q: Teaching at Curtis while living in Nashville, how often do you have to commute?

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