Pianist Christopher O'Riley and cellist Matt Haimovitz are classically trained musicians, but they don't let that get in the way of performing whatever they like.
The duo, in central Pennsylvania for a three-day residency Jan. 16–18, perform a concert they call Shuffle.Play.Listen — featuring selections by classical, rock, pop and jazz composers — at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, in Penn State's Schwab Auditorium.
Attend the concert and you'll hear music by the likes of Radiohead, Giovanni Gabrieli, Igor Stravinksy, Cocteau Twins and Dmitri Shostakovich. The program is announced from the stage so the musicians can lend context.
O'Riley, who hosts NPR's classical music show From the Top, performs works from the classical canon with major symphony orchestras. But he's also famous for his groundbreaking transcriptions of songs by Radiohead, Elliott Smith and Nick Drake.
Haimovitz make his professional debut at age 13 as a soloist with the Israel Philharmonic. At 17, he recorded his debut album with the Chicago Symphony. His Meeting of the Spirits earned a Grammy nomination for best classical crossover album.
Both musicians go out of their way to perform in settings not typically associated with classical music. Haimovitz, for example, often plays in clubs and coffee houses. He was the first classical musician to appear at New York City's infamous CBGB club, a performance that was videotaped for ABC's Nightline UpClose.
Tickets are still available for the Jan. 18 concert.
Hear a Center for the Performing Arts interview with O'Riley.
Read a Center for the Performing Arts feature article about the musicians.