The Norton Center sat down with Peter Kiesewalter, creator of the Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata (BRO), and had him answer the 10 questions we ask everyone…
1. VERY FEW PEOPLE KNOW THAT I… collect the original motion picture soundtrack of “the sound of music” on vinyl… I have over 100 copies at this point – the goal is to collect all 11 million.
2. WHEN I’M NOT ON TOUR I… produce other people’s records in my studio. I’m currently working on a new Jane Siberry album called “Consider The Lily” – a stunning record from a stunning artist.
4. A LIFE LESSON I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH CENTRE COLLEGE STUDENTS IS: adversity and growth are mutually dependent.
5. I DEFINE ART AS: the expression of your own truth – a simple enough concept and yet so rare.
6. MY MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN SHOW BUSINESS THUS FAR WAS: being fawned over by a security guard on the GRAMMY red carpet – he was probably the only person there who knew who I was.
7. THE PERSON WHO MOST INFLUENCED ME IS: guitarist Bill Frisell – he has shown me how to reconceptualize great existing pieces of music.
8. IF I COULD BE ON STAGE WITH ANYONE, PAST OR PRESENT, ALIVE OR DECEASED, FICTIONAL OR REAL, IT WOULD BE: Bach.
9. WHILE TOURING, ONE OF MY GUILTY PLEASURES IS: vintage stores.
10. IF I COULD ENSURE THAT THE AUDIENCE TAKES HOME ONE THING AFTER MY PERFORMANCE, IT WOULD BE: a copy of the CD and a smile.
More about the artist:
Winner of the prestigious Canada Council For The Arts Award in 1997, Peter Kiesewalter used his award money to relocate to New York City, where he quickly established himself as a musician, arranger , and producer of enormous range. His freelance work covers a wide spectrum – resident composer at ABC News Productions from 1999 to 2004, Music Director/Arranger of numerous awards shows (Directors Guild of America, Gotham Awards, FiFi Awards), and Arranger/Leader of the annual and widely loved “Downtown Messiah” concerts from the (former) Bottom Line Cabaret in downtown New York.
In 2004 he founded the East Village Opera Company, an ensemble that reimagines the classic Opera repertoire by combining orchestral and rock instrumentation. Signed by Decca, they recorded three albums, toured around the world, and were nominated for a GRAMMY in 2008 for their release “Olde School.” Rock and classical fans and critics alike praised his ability to maintain the precarious balance between tradition and renewal.
After moving from New York City’s East Village to Brooklyn in 2009, he started a side project called the Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata (BRO), which is quickly garnering a lot of attention for its debut project – a bold adaptation of the songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “The Sound Of Music,” for which they received the rare approval from the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization.