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From Schubert To Hendrix: Guest DJ Matt Haimovitz

From coffeehouses to punk clubs, Matt Haimovitz has played his cello in some surprising places.
Steph Mackinnon
From coffeehouses to punk clubs, Matt Haimovitz has played his cello in some surprising places.

These days it's not unusual to find classical musicians performing in unlikely venues — pubs, clubs and out-of-the-way places. But long before this trend took hold there was Matt Haimovitz. Ten years ago, the intrepid cellist lugged his instrument across the country, bringing music by J.S. Bach to barrooms, coffeehouses and even Manhattan's famous punk club CBGB.

Haimovitz was a teenage virtuoso who landed a major-label record deal and dates with leading orchestras before he turned 20. He took a traditional career path, but then made a turn to include explorations into the intersections of classical, jazz and rock music. He also started his own record label.

We invited the adventurous musician to bring a stack of recordings into the studio and talk about why he loves them. Some of Haimovitz's picks — from Schubert to Coltrane to Hendrix — might surprise you.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tom Huizenga
Tom Huizenga is a producer for NPR Music. He contributes a wide range of stories about classical music to NPR's news programs and is the classical music reviewer for All Things Considered. He appears regularly on NPR Music podcasts and founded NPR's classical music blog Deceptive Cadence in 2010.