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portrait of Patricia Hampl

Spotlight On: Patricia Hampl – “Writing My Way into Music”

Tuesday, May 16, 7:30PM

Summit Ratskeller

An evening of memoir and music comes together in this concert curated and narrated by Patricia Hampl.  She revisits her lifelong passion for Czech music with works  by Dvorak, Janacek, and others, performed by pianist and accordionist Dan Chouinard and Prague-based soprano Ema Katrovas, for an event in the West 7th neighborhood where Patricia was born.


Patricia Hampl’s most recent book is The Art of the Wasted Day.  Her other books include The Florist’s DaughterVirgin Time, A Romantic Education, Blue Arabesque, and Spillville (with artist Steven Sorman) about Dvorak in Iowa and two collections of poems. Four of her books have been in the New York Times “100 Notable Books of the Year.”  Her work has appeared widely, currently (Spring 2023) in The American Scholar.  She has written librettos for Libby Larsen and Alvin Singleton.  She is a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Writing Program and lives in St Paul, her hometown.


Dan Chouinard is pianist and accordionist for a who’s who of Twin Cities performers, an enabler of community singalongs and a writer of shows for public radio, concert hall and theatrical stage. He studied French and piano at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and taught French and Italian at the U of M for four years before settling into performing, hosting and writing. Most recently, Rondo ’56: Remembering St. Paul’s Black Main Street, has played to sold-out houses since its premiere in 2021. Dan is founder of a classic country band, Lush Country, comprised of Prairie Home Companion alumni. Recently he’s accompanied Garrison Keillor in concerts around the U.S. danchouinard.com


Ema Katrovas is a Czech-American singer and interdisciplinary creator. She has performed in and co-created interdisciplinary projects for the Prague City Gallery and the Czech National Monument of Literature. She recently appeared as a classical concert soloist at, among others, the new music series of the PKF-Prague Philharmonia. Her formative years were as a soloist in opera productions at the F.X. Šalda Theater in Liberec and the Silesian Theater in Opava, among others. She is currently based in Lyon, France, where she is researching performance techniques for something she calls “vocal theater” as part of a Diplôme d’Artiste-CreationS at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon. (emakatrovas.com)