Peter Ostroushko

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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
InstrumentsMandolin, guitar, fiddle
LabelsRounder, Red House
Associated actsGarrison Keillor, The Guys All-Star Shoe Band, Robin and Linda Williams, Dean Magraw

Peter Ostroushko (August 12, 1953 - February 24, 2021) was an American violinist and mandolinist.

Background and career[edit]

Of Ukrainian ancestry, Ostroushko grew up in northeast Minneapolis. He released numerous recordings and was a regular performer on the A Prairie Home Companion radio program.

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][2] He toured with Robin and Linda Williams, Norman Blake and Chet Atkins. Ostroushko also worked with Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, Johnny Gimble, Greg Brown, John Hartford and the New Orleans–based rock/blues band The Radiators [1], among many others.


Ostroushko performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. 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. In 2009, he played with the Minnesota Youth Symphonies at Orchestra Hall. 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.

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.


Ostroushko received a regional Emmy award for his soundtrack to the 2005 PBS series Minnesota: A History of the Land.[3]


Ostroushko was married to public radio producer Marge Ostroushko.[4] They have one daughter, Anna.[4]

Ostroushko suffered a stroke in January 2018 and stopped performing. A GoFundMe page was set up to assist with medical bills.[5] He passed away on February 24, 2021.[4]



  1. ^ Blood on the Tracks recording sessions.
  2. ^ A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks, Andy Gill, Kevin Odegard, Da Capo Press. 2004
  3. ^ University of Minnesota article on A History of the Land. Archived 2009-08-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c Bream, Jon (February 25, 2021). "Peter Ostroushko, virtuoso musician with everyone from Bob Dylan to Minnesota Orchestra, dies". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  5. ^ Bream, Jon (July 24, 2018). "Ailing Mpls. musician Peter Ostroushko inspires supporters at fundraiser". Star Tribune. Retrieved February 25, 2021.


External links[edit]