Cara Lieurance

Ann E. Cutting

An ethereal singer, multi-instrumentalist and authority on ancient Celtic traditions, Loreena McKennitt begins a 25-city tour in Michigan this month, appearing at the Kalamazoo State Theatre on Thursday, October 13.

Elisabeth Blair, a graduate student in composition at Western Michigan University, had a background in the egalitarian world of singer-songwriters before changing her focus to classical music study. There, she was confronted by a longstanding lack of recognition for women composers, past and present. She asked herself, "Where are the other composers like me?" and, "Why, in a season of concerts by top American orchestras in 2015, were only two percent of the works written by women?"

Christian Bischof, organist at St.-Margaret-Kirche in Munich, Germany and a rising star, performed on September 30 at St. Augustine Cathedral, Kalamazoo. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance which also includes Karl Schrock and Tom Fielding, he discusses his training as a performer and his certification as an organ "expert" - someone qualified to diagnose and repair this highly complex instrument.

Nashon Holloway doesn't take her gift for music lightly. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, she says that for her, music is a communal experience that brings people together, not a vehicle for fame. Her songs often address life's uncertainty with empathy, but without offering platitudes. The singer-songwriter's debut album, The Palace and the Hut, was released in a sold-out show at Bell's Eccentric Cafe on September 30.

Marco Borggreve

On the verge of becoming as widely known in the U.S. as he is in France, Bertrand Chamayou will perform classics of Ravel and Schubert for the Fontana series on Saturday. He spoke with Cara Lieurance about how he had an instinctual feel for one, and learned, through study, to love the other.