top of page

Upcoming Events

Bill Holm.Peterson Photo.jpg

Playing Haydn for the Angel of Death 

A Musical Tribute to Minnesota’s

‘Bard of the Prairie’

Bill Holm

(1943 – 2009)

Bill Holm was the embodiment of the spirit of Minnesota. His love of the windswept prairie, the glacial Fjords of his ancestral Iceland and the power of music are imbued throughout his impressive oeuvre of poetry. Holm’s masterpiece of prose Playing Haydn for the Angel of Death encapsulates his philosophy of music by drawing on musical metaphors while referencing specific compositions to describe the ultimate human condition - death. This has now been set to music in a 15 part song cycle by Minnesota composer Martha Helen Schmidt. It was conceived by two of the late poet's friends - Ryan Hugh Ross- BaritoneDr. Daniel Rieppel - SMSU Professor of Piano Studies - who will give the premiere performances this May!

The event will also feature select poetry from Bill Holm’s oeuvre presented by distinguished colleagues and friends, followed by the premiere of  Playing Haydn for the Angel of Death - A 15 part musical setting of the epic poem.

Recent Performances

Icelandic Premiere

Thursday October 20th 2022


Fríkirkjan í Reykjavík

Reykjavík, Iceland

Recent Performances

      Special Preview Performance                                                                      World Premiere

           May 17th 2022 at 7:30PM                                                                                 May 21st 2022 at 7:30PM

 Southwest Minnesota State University                                                            Open Book Literary Arts Center    

                  Fine Arts Theatre                                                                                                Target Performance Hall

           1501 State Street, FA 207                                                                                    1011 S Washington Ave # 101

            Marshall, MN 56258                                                                                               Minneapolis, MN 55415       

                   United States                                                                                                                  United States



              Dr. Daniel Rieppel                              Ms. Martha Helen Schmidt                       Mr. Ryan Hugh Ross

                       Pianist                                                          Composer                                                    Baritone

Performance made possible with the generous support from

                             Southwest Minnesota State University                                   Milkweed Editions, Inc.


For more information please visit:

Milkweed Editions events page:

Open Book Literary Arts Center

events page:


Martha Headshot jpg.jpg
bottom of page