Bruce Carlson Honored by North Park University
North Park paid tribute to one of its graduates with the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa. Few people have been more involved in fine arts than Bruce Carlson, who was named by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as one of the "100 most influential people in music" in the history of the state of Minnesota.
Melvin Soderstrom presented Bruce, Pietisten's Poetry and Navigation Editor, to President Horner for this honor during North Park graduation. Mel, a much respected North Park administrator, was a classmate and is a friend of Bruce. It clearly gave him pleasure to list some of Bruce's achievements which we summarize here.
Bruce graduated from North Park with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1962 and entered the University of Minnesota the next Fall. He married Deanna Pearson, North Park graduate, in 1964 and emerged from the University in 1967 with a Masters in Philosophy and a Juris Doctor degree. Shortly after completing his degrees, he accepted a job with The Schubert Club of Saint Paul, Minnesota, a nonprofit arts organization which, among its many activities, presents a variety of concert series and provides music scholarships. The Schubert Club was founded in 1882; Bruce has been Executive Director since 1972.
Bruce's 36-year career at the Schubert Club and as a leader in the Twins Cities arts community is distinguished. He started the Schubert Club Musical Instrument Museum and "Ten Thousand Lakes," a classical music label that has produced more than 20 CDs. He has commissioned 60 musical compositions, two of which have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music. He has produced over 2,300 classical concerts in the Twin Cities, featuring many of the world's great musicians such as Vladimar Horowitz, Yo-Yo Ma, Beverly Sills, Leontyne Price, Daniel Barenboim, Jesse Norman, Kathleen Battle, and Itzhak Perlman.
In 1988, Bruce won the National Harold Shaw Award for innovative recital programming. For almost 30 years, students at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in St. Paul have taken free music lessons provided by the Schubert Club on instruments donated by the Schubert Club. The Schubert Club also provides music therapy for mentally and physically handicapped persons and the elderly. In February, Bruce received The Sally Ordway Irvine Award, named for the late founder of the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul. The award is given to exceptional individuals and organizations in the arts community in Minnesota. In presenting the award David Galligan, President of the Ordway Center, said "It is no exaggeration to say that the quality of cultural and civic life in the Twin Cities could be markedly different, and poorer, were it not for the remarkable accomplishments of Bruce Carlson."
In conclusion, Mel said: "Dr. Horner, it is my great honor to present this son of North Park, Bruce P. Carlson, as a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa."