What Others Say.....

 

“His presentation weaves historical anecdote and music into a tapestry as colorful and rich as America itself.”

 

"A talking encyclopedia! That anyone knows as much as Michael Lasser does is remarkable. That he can impart his knowledge in such a witty and entertaining fashion is nothing short of a miracle. His delightful presentations on America's popular music will enchant any audience I can imagine."  

John McGowen, Director, Institute of Arts & Humanities
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

“The Stage Presence of a Performer...”

 “[Lasser] brings enormous energy, wit, and authority.  He has the stage presence of a performer with an expert’s command of his subject matter.”

 Susan Dodge Peters, Curator of Education
         
Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY

 

“One of the most telling moments happened at the end when you asked if anyone had questions.  One visitor said, ‘Yes.  Is there any more!’”

          Melinda Georgeson, Director of Education
         
The Norman Rockwell Museum

 “He surprises people into learning”

          Nancy Woodhull, former Vice President, The Freedom Forum

         

“You delivered a magnificent suite of lectures! You are one great public speaker! The majority of our lecturers are artists and their primary language is visual, not verbal, so while the information they present is helpful in terms of understanding their art, the presentation isn’t always enjoyable to listen to. Your programs on the other hand are so polished and entertaining, while also being informative, they really stand out.”

Jill Featherstone, Museum Education Director
Des Moines Art Center

 

“Michael Lasser is among those rare individuals who can entertain a diverse audience without trivializing his subject.  Although Lasser’s scholarship in the history of American music is astounding, it is his understanding of human nature that evokes such a powerful response.  His presentation weaves historical anecdote and music into a tapestry as colorful and rich as America itself.”

Christine K. Minkler, Head, Youth and Family Programs
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

 

 “Michael Lasser's lecture for the long-lived Sarasota Institute of Lifelong Learning was such a hit among listeners that phone calls have flooded my office asking that he return as soon as possible. Comments included: ‘He was entertaining and insightful’; ‘My wife dragged me here and, because of Lasser, I'll be running back for more’; ‘Michael Lasser's lecture was fascinating. I've never enjoyed a lecture so much’; ‘Lasser is the best! Bring him back!’”

          June LeBell, Director
Sarasota Institute of Lifelong Learning

 

 

“Michael Lasser brings a deep knowledge, an obvious love, and a contagious enthusiasm to his presentations. The appreciative audiences at the National World War I Museum responded in kind!”

Eli Paul, former Vice President of Programs

National World War I Museum

 

 

“A Walking Encyclopedia...”

 “Michael Lasser is a walking encyclopedia of the history of American song and dance.  His narrative was delivered in an engaging style that was factual yet highly entertaining for the audience and the musicians.”

Jeff Tyzik, Principal Pops Conductor, Rochester Philharmonic

 

 “Many [audience members] stopped and asked that we invite you back next year.  Your presentation was personable and informed....The thematic links you created between the songs’ lyrics and the subjects of the American Impressionists...helped to flesh out a context central to American art and culture of the period.  In short, your presentation helped to make the artworks more accessible through the context of popular culture and music.  I share our audience’s enthusiasm.”

          Glenn Tomlinson, Curator of Education
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

 

 “Using recordings of popular tunes to illustrate his talk, Michael Lasser adroitly described the ways in which popular music uses botanical reference points to reflect the social and emotional context of its day.  The images of...familiar plants are excellent vehicles for conveying a host of human emotions.  As he artfully interprets the music of the time period, Michael offers deep insight into the hearts and minds of the people who lived it, in a way no history book can ever teach.  He is an engaging, astute and articulate speaker and educator.  The depth of his knowledge and expert presentation skills are a result of over 25 years spent studying popular music and its relationship to society, and his experience as teacher, writer, radio host and critic.  His presentation is at once enlightening and entertaining, amusing and solemn, light-hearted and poignant.  Added to this is Michael's deep passion and enthusiasm for the subject material, which makes the program thoroughly enjoyable.”

         Kevin Moss, Community Outreach Coordinator
Cornell [University] Plantations

 

“[Lasser’s] presentation was a carefully planned complement to the exhibition and broadens audience understanding of African-American culture....His stories brought history to life and entertained the crowd.  Education as entertainment in the best sense.  An audience survey resonated with enthusiasm.  I highly recommend Mr. Lasser’s presentations as an important way to bring music and broader cultural understanding into exhibition programming.”

          Catherine S. Amidon, Director
         
Karl Drerup Gallery, Plymouth State College

 

“Michael captivated the audience with his passion for music. In particular, he made connections between popular American music and this country’s history and culture. Michael shared his keen understanding of the way in which song lyrics truly reflect the context in which they are written. His approach — that of putting familiar songs in a broader context — made our audience rethink their understanding of popular music and form a deeper appreciation for the songwriters’ endeavors. His engaging style, accessibility to the audience, and thorough knowledge of the subject made the presentation one of our most successful in recent times.... Finally, never before did a spontaneous sing-along erupt from a wonderfully appreciative audience.”

          Rene Paul Barilleux. Deputy Director for Programs
Mississippi Museum of Art

 

“Encyclopedic Knowledge”

 

"His encyclopedic knowledge of popular music allowed him to choose great songs – which many of us did not know –and illustrated his thesis in a delightful way.  The audience included University students and music faculty, as well as community members.  The presentation and Mr. Lasser himself were delightfully engaging and energetic; the material was informative and instructive….We were gratified to be able to bring someone to the Museum who would augment our programming so creatively."

          Pamela Reister, Associate Curator for Education
University of Michigan Museum of Art

 

 “I wholeheartedly recommend Michael Lasser's narrated music programs.  He is an expert in his field, very professional, and an extremely entertaining presenter.  He hires talented vocalists to perform with him, and audiences always leave happy.  Michael has performed at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery several times over the past few years, and I would not hesitate to engage him again....”

Mariann Smith, Curator of Education
Albright-Knox Art Gallery

 

 “Your presentation was a wonderful addition to the public programs we offered to increase our visitors’ enjoyment and understanding of our special exhibition James McNeill Whistler: Selected Works from the Hunterian Art Gallery.  We also appreciated the extra effort you made to adapt your presentation to our needs.”

Pamela Hodges, Director of Education & Public Programs
Philbrook Museum of Art

 

 “[Lasser] is a wealth of knowledge and his delivery and enthusiasm for his subject matter draw the audience into the way in which the music reflects the social history of the period. Punctuating his remarks with clips from the Gershwins’ song book, Michael weaves a tale of New York when it was the heart of American optimism and vitality and their jazzy tunes reflected its essence.”

          Joanne Myers, Director of Education & Public Programs
         
National Heritage Museum, Lexington, MA

  

It was a pleasure to have you at our museum this weekend for your presentation on popular music of the 1930s. The audio and video clips you brought were fun to see and they provided great insights to the music and dance of that era.  Your masterful knowledge of the material was apparant and your easy-going personality (on stage and off) was refreshing. I hope we can engage you again for something similar.

Michael W. Panhorst, Curator of Art
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

 

“Your program did exactly what we wanted it to - engage visitors in an appreciation of the richness of the American culture in the last century.  I appreciated the way you had organized the talk, helping the audience understand the nature of pop music during the period.  Your explanations regarding content, composers, lyricists, and context helped everyone really ‘get’ what you were presenting.”

Ted Lind, Deputy Director, Education & Public Programs
          Albany Institute of History and Art

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