Peter Ostroushko (August 12, 1953 – February 24, 2021) was an American violinist and mandolinist. He performed regularly on the radio program A Prairie Home Companion and with a variety of bands and orchestras in Minneapolis–Saint Paul and nationally. He won a regional Emmy Award for the soundtrack he composed for the documentary series Minnesota: A History of the Land (2005).

Peter Ostroushko
Peter Ostroushko playing mandolin in 2014
Peter Ostroushko playing mandolin in 2014
Background information
Born(1953-08-12)August 12, 1953
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
DiedFebruary 24, 2021(2021-02-24) (aged 67)
GenresAmericana, folk
Instrument(s)Mandolin, guitar, fiddle
LabelsRounder, Red House

Background and career edit

Born August 12, 1953, and of Ukrainian ancestry, Ostroushko grew up in northeast Minneapolis where he first took up mandolin at age three.[1][2][3] He released numerous recordings and was a regular performer on the A Prairie Home Companion radio program.[1]

Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, mandolin edit

Ostroushko's first recording session was an uncredited mandolin player on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.[1][4][5] He toured with Robin and Linda Williams, Norman Blake, and Chet Atkins.[6] Ostroushko also worked with Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Johnny Gimble, Greg Brown, and John Hartford among many others.[1][7][8]

Orchestral edit

Ostroushko performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.[8] Ostroushko's compositions have been performed by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Sinfonia, the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, the Des Moines Symphony, and the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra.[9] Music from Heart of the Heartland was used by Ken Burns for the PBS documentary Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, and his arrangement of "Sweet Betsy from Pike" was used in Burns's Mark Twain.[1] He has also composed music for shows by Circus Juventas, a Saint Paul youth circus.[10]

Television and radio edit

Ostroushko appeared on television on Austin City Limits, Late Night with David Letterman, and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, as well as performing regularly on Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion.[1]

Awards edit

Ostroushko received a regional Emmy award for his soundtrack to the 2005 PBS series Minnesota: A History of the Land.[1]

Personal edit

Ostroushko was married to public radio producer Marge Ostroushko.[1] They had one daughter together, Anna.[1]

Ostroushko suffered a stroke in January 2018 and stopped performing. A GoFundMe page was set up to assist with medical bills.[11] He died of heart failure on February 24, 2021, at the age of 67.[1]

Discography edit

Adapted from Apple Music[12] and AllMusic.[13]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Bream, Jon (February 25, 2021). "Peter Ostroushko, virtuoso musician with everyone from Bob Dylan to Minnesota Orchestra, dies". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  2. ^ Bakst, Brian (November 21, 2019). "Minnesotans with Ukrainian ties dismayed by hearings". MPR News. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  3. ^ Tichenor, Scott (December 16, 2013). "Mandolin Cafe 2013 In Review". Mandolin Cafe. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  4. ^ Blood on the Tracks recording sessions.
  5. ^ Gill, Andy; Odegard, Kevin (2004). A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks. Da Capo Press. pp. 119–124. ISBN 978-0306812316.
  6. ^ Franz, Janie (June 10, 2008). "A conversation with mandolin virtuoso Peter Ostroushko". Grateful Web. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  7. ^ Dyslin, Amanda (September 26, 2006). "Simple twist of fate". The Free Press. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Bream, Jon (July 16, 2018). "Benefit is planned for ailing Peter Ostroushko, one of Minnesota's finest musicians". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  9. ^ "Radio, TV performer playing in concert at SCC". The Spokesman-Review. May 4, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  10. ^ Berdan, Kathy (July 29, 2011). "Under the magic big top, it's possible to be Grimm and happy at the same time". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Archived from the original on June 23, 2015. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  11. ^ Bream, Jon (July 24, 2018). "Ailing Mpls. musician Peter Ostroushko inspires supporters at fundraiser". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  12. ^ "Peter Ostroushko – Albums". Apple Music. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  13. ^ "Peter Ostroushko". AllMusic. Retrieved February 25, 2021.

External links edit