Press Release

December 14, 2016

What Makes It Great?® series opens Jan. 12 at Musical Instrument Museum.

Rob Kapilow: What Makes It Great?®
Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Thursday, January 12, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix

(PHOENIX, Ariz.) – Composer, conductor, author and educator Rob Kapilow will bring his acclaimed What Makes It Great? series to the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) for three special concerts presented in partnership with Scottsdale Arts.

Fun, witty and interactive, the series will open at MIM Music Theater on Thursday, Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m., with Mozart’s “Eine kleine Nachtmusik” (“A Little Serenade”), one of the maestro’s most celebrated and joyful chamber works. Joining Kapilow onstage will be the Tetra String Quartet featuring violinists Chrystal Smothers and Heidi Wright, violist Louis Privitera and cellist Jenna Dalbey. Combining both musical demonstrations and engaging commentary from the stage, their program will include an enlightening discussion of Mozart’s work followed by a complete performance and a Q-and-A session with the musicians.

Through his entertaining concert presentations, commentaries on NPR’s Performance Today and PBS NewsHour, books and CDs, Rob Kapilow has brought the joy and wonder of classical music – and unraveled some of its mysteries – to audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Characterized by his unique ability to create an “aha” moment for his audiences and collaborators, whatever their level of musical understanding, Kapilow brings music into people’s lives, opening new ears to musical experiences and helping people to listen actively rather than just hear.

Kapilow has appeared on NBC’s Today Show in conversation with Katie Couric and presented a special What Makes It Great? event for broadcast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center. His recent segments on the PBS NewsHour have covered a wide range of topics ranging from classics by Mozart and Brahms to the popular music of Cole Porter and West Side Story.

“It’s a privilege to introduce Rob Kapilow to our community,” noted Scottsdale Arts President and CEO Neale Perl. “I had the great pleasure of launching his series in Washington, D.C., in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution. Within a very short time, people heard about the series and it sold out. Whether it’s your first time attending a classical music concert, or you’re a professional musician, Rob’s deep insights and unbridled enthusiasm for the genius of these composers is infectious. We invite everyone to join us at MIM for this great musical adventure!”

Kapilow will return to the Musical Instrument Museum for two additional What Makes It Great? events in 2017: The Songs of George Gershwin on Thursday, Feb. 23, and Beethoven’s “Appassionata” Sonata on Thursday, March 23. Tickets for each concert start at $38.50 through or 480-478-6000.

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) enriches our world by collecting, preserving and making accessible an astonishing variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country in the world. MIM offers guests a welcoming and fun experience, incomparable interactive technology, dynamic programming and exceptional musical performances. MIM fosters appreciation of the world’s diverse cultures by showing how we innovate, adapt and learn from each other to create music – the language of the soul.

The Musical Instrument Museum is located at 4725 E. Mayo Blvd. in Phoenix (corner of Tatum and Mayo boulevards, just south of Loop 101). For general museum information and a full schedule of events, visit or call 480-478-6000.

Through its dynamic partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational and outreach opportunities for the community, while fostering the active engagement of individuals, businesses, education and government with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through three acclaimed operating divisions – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) and Scottsdale Public Art – serving more than 375,000 participants annually.