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Kurt Westerberg

Chicagoan at a Glance

a. Favorite Chicago restaurant - Renga Tei
b. Favorite Chicago landmark - Lake Michigan
c. Favorite Chicago neighborhood - Rogers Park
d. Favorite Chicago sports team - Cubs
e. Favorite Chicago deep dish pizza joint - Can't eat deep dish any more
g. Chicago-style hot dogs - Yes

Why did you go into music - and specifically your field?

I was attracted to it at an early age - started listening at age 3 (during the time my mother was pregnant with my younger sister) - began to compose by improvising at the piano and realized I wasn't up to all the practicing it would take to be a concert pianist, and my hands were somewhat too small. I began composing works for performance in high school.

What's something quirky about how you do your craft that others don't?

I'm pretty dull - I usually start a composition at the piano and cover a few pages with scribbles of fragments of ideas (that I sometimes can't read) and then go to the computer to begin notating the work.  I will eventually spend each day writing new material and also revising old. My favorite times to work are mid-afternoon and late at night.

What communities in Chicago do you identify with that have meaning to you and why?

I am connected strongly to communities at my two primary workplaces - DePaul and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Evanston.  I am also connected to fellow parents of cello students who my 14-year old son knows thru his cello studies at Music Institute of Chicago and Midwest Young Artists.

What's a funny story about your time living or working in Chicago?

I had better take a pass on this for now.