Accordo 2015-2016 Season

Now in its seventh year, Accordo (recently named “Best Chamber Ensemble” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune) is composed of Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra principal string players Rebecca AlbersRuggero AllifranchiniSteven CopesErin KeefeKyu-Young KimMaiya Papach and Anthony Ross; and former SPCO principal cellist Ronald Thomas. Accordo is presented by The Schubert Club and Kate Nordstrum Projects. This season will feature three programs, two in the national historic landmark, Christ Church Lutheran, and one in the new Ordway Concert Hall.

Monday, May 9, 2016, 7:30pm
Christ Church Lutheran

Dvorak: String Sextet in A major, Opus 48
Brahms: String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Opus 36

Kim, Allifranchini, Papach, Albers, Thomas, Ross


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Join the musicians in the Luther Lounge for complimentary drinks and small bites following this concert.


Previously this season…

Monday, October 26, 2015, 7:30pm
Christ Church Lutheran

Milhaud: Sonatina for Violin and Viola, Opus 226
Beethoven: String Quartet in F major, Opus 59, No. 1
Mendelssohn: Piano Trio in C minor, Opus 66
With guest pianist Rieko Aizawa

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 7:30pm
Ordway Concert Hall

Accordo will present one concert in the Ordway Center Concert Hall this season. This special concert will feature original music by Stephen Prutsman accompanied by screenings of two cinematic masterpieces: Robert Wiene’s “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920) and Buster Keaton’s “Sherlock Jr.” (1924). Stephen Prutsman will also join Accordo as the guest pianist for this presentation. Watch a trailer preview for Sherlock Jr. below:

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari—Stephen Prutsman 
Musicians: Steven Copes, Ruggero Allifranchini, Maiya Papach, Julie Albers 

Sherlock, Jr., for String Quartet and Piano—Stephen Prutsman
Musicians: Ruggero Allifranchini, Steven Copes, Maiya Papach, Julie Albers, Stephen Prutsman

The entire audience is invited to a post-concert reception with the musicians at Vieux Carré about 2 blocks away in the former Artists’ Quarter space. (408 St Peter St., St Paul, MN) Show your ticket stub for free entry. 

About Stephen Prutsman

From 2004–2007 Stephen Prutsman was Artistic Partner with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he conducted concertos from the keyboard, performed in chamber ensembles, conducted works of living composers, developed and arranged collaborations for their Engine 408 series of contemporary and world music, and wrote several new works for the orchestra. From 2009–2012 he was the Artistic Director of the Cartagena International Festival of Music, South America’s largest festival of its kind, programming and curating concerts with themes ranging from Mozart celebrations, to eclectic evenings of folk and popular music of the Americas, to hybrid programs fusing art and dance music of multiple musical dimensions.
In the early 90s he was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth Piano Competitions, and received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then Stephen has performed the classical concerto repertoire as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and his classical discography includes acclaimed recordings of the Barber and McDowell concerti with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.
Born in Los Angeles, Stephen first began playing the piano by ear at age 3, before moving on to more formal music studies. In his teens and early 20s he was the keyboard player for several art rock groups including Cerberus and Vysion. He was also during those years a solo jazz pianist playing in many southern California clubs and lounges and was the music arranger for a nationally syndicated televangelist program. A former student of Aube Tzerko, Leon Fleisher, and Jack Wilson, Stephen studied at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Peabody Conservatory of Music.
As a composer, Stephen’s long collaboration with Grammy Award winning Kronos Quartet has resulted in over 40 arrangements and compositions for them. Other leading artists and ensembles who have performed Stephen’s compositions and arrangements include Leon Fleisher, Dawn Upshaw, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma, Spoleto USA, and the Silk Road Project. In 2010, his song cycle Piano Lessons was premiered by Ms. Upshaw and Emanuel Ax at Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, Disney Hall, and the Barbican Centre. As a pianist or arranger outside of the classical music world he has collaborated with such diverse personalities as Tom Waits, Rokia Traore, Joshua Redman, Jon Anderson of YES, Sigur Rós, and Asha Bhosle.
In the past, his dedication to the creation of new musical environments led him to create music festivals in such far-flung places as the island of Guam and the border town of El Paso, Texas. Passionate about the value of music for all, Stephen is actively promoting music and arts education wherever he visits. He is involved in several projects whose missions are to create enjoyable artistic or recreational environments for children on the autistic spectrum and their families.
Stephen lives in San Francisco.

About the Musicians of Accordo

Rebecca Albers

AlbersRebecca Albers is assistant principal viola with the Minnesota Orchestra.  Albers also tours with the Albers Trio, a string ensemble she and two sisters formed. She previously toured with fiddler Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz Trio and was a member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra and Phoenix Quartet. As a substitute musician, she has performed with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. For her European recital debut in 2008, she performed a program at Paris’ Auditorium du Louvre. Albers, a faculty member at the North American Viola Institute in Orford, Quebec, has also joined the faculty of the Perlman Music Program in New York, and serves on the executive board of the American Viola Society. She was formerly on the faculty of the University of Michigan. She has participated in festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, Perlman Music Program and, at Prussia Cove in the United Kingdom, the International Musicians Seminar and Open Chamber Music. As a child in Longmont, Colorado, Albers began piano and violin studies at the age of 2, picking up the viola at 9 for an ensemble her mother, a Suzuki teacher, was putting together. While a student at the Juilliard School, where she worked with Heidi Castleman and Hsin-Yun Huang, she won the school’s viola competition, resulting in her performance of Adler’s Viola Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center.

Ruggero Allifranchini

AllafranchiniRuggero Allifranchini is the Associate Concertmaster of the SPCO. He was born into a musical household in Milan, Italy, and raised on a diverse musical diet, ranging from Beethoven to John Coltrane. He studied at the New School in Philadelphia with Jascha Brodsky and later at the Curtis Institute of Music with Szymon Goldberg and, for chamber music, Felix Galimir. He was the recipient of the Diploma d’Onore from the Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy. In 1989, he cofounded the Borromeo String Quartet, with which he played exclusively for eleven years. As a chamber musician of diverse repertoire and styles, Allifranchini is a frequent guest artist of the Chamber Music Societies of Boston and Lincoln Center, as well as chamber music festivals in Seattle, Vancouver, and El Paso, and he is currently Concertmaster of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in New York. He is the violinist of the trio Nobilis, with pianist and former SPCO Artistic Partner Stephen Prutsman and cellist Suren Bagratuni. Nobilis has performed chamber music and solos with orchestras in Europe, South America, and South Africa as well as in North America. Over the past few seasons he has played as Guest Concertmaster with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, and the Minnesota Orchestra.

Steven Copes

CopesA native of Los Angeles, violinist Steven Copes leads a diverse and enthusiastic musical life as soloist, chamber musician, orchestral leader and teacher. He joined the SPCO as concertmaster in 1998 and has led the orchestra from the chair in several highly acclaimed, eclectic programs and performed solo works by Berg, Brahms, Hindemith, Kirchner, Lutoslawski, Mozart, Piazzolla, Prokofiev, and Weill. A zealous advocate for the music of today, he gave the world premiere of George Tsontakis’ Grammy-nominated Violin Concerto No. 2 (2003), which won the 2005 Grawemeyer award, and has been recorded for KOCH Records. Copes was co-founder of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado, and is a member of the Twin Cities chamber group Accordo, now in its fifth season. He has also performed at festivals and concert series such as Boston Chamber Music Society, Bridgehampton, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla Summerfest, Mainly Mozart, Mozaic, Norfolk, Salt Bay Chamber Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Skaneateles, and the Styriarte Festival in Graz, among others. A frequent guest concertmaster, Copes has recorded and toured extensively in Europe and Asia with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and has performed in the same capacity with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony, and the Baltimore Symphony. He holds degrees from The Curtis Institute and Juilliard.

Erin Keefe

KeefeViolinist Erin Keefe, who became concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2011, has established a reputation as an artist who combines exhilarating temperament and fierce integrity. Keefe has been awarded many major distinctions, including, in 2006, the Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has also won the 2009 Pro Musicis International Award and Grand Prize in the Valsesia Musica International Violin Competition (Italy, 2009), the Torun International Violin Competition (Poland, 2007), the Schadt Competition (2006) and the Corpus Christi International String Competition (2004). She was the Silver Medalist in the Carl Nielsen, Sendai (Japan) and Gyeongnam (Korea) International Violin Competitions, resulting in performances and re-engagements in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Among the leading chamber musicians of her generation, Keefe joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as an Artist during the 2010-2011 season; previously, from 2006 to 2009, she had been a member of the Chamber Music Society Two program. A native of Northampton, Massachusetts, Keefe earned a master of music degree from the Juilliard School and a bachelor of music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. Her teachers included Ronald Copes, Ida Kavafian, Arnold Steinhardt, Philip Setzer, Philipp Naegele, Brian Lewis and Teri Einfeldt.

Kyu-Young Kim

KimKyu-Young Kim, Principal Second Violin of the SPCO as well as the orchestra’s Senior Director of Artistic Planning, is one of the most versatile and accomplished violinists of his generation. His appointment as the SPCO’s head of artistic planning marks the first time an SPCO musician has served in a senior management role. Hailed by the Chicago Tribunefor his “flawless musical and technical command”, Kim has toured throughout North America, Europe and Asia, performing in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Seoul Arts Center, the Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels), and the Beethoven-Haus (Bonn). As a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, winners of the Grand Prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition, he performed in many of the major halls of Europe, including the Musikverein (Vienna), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Philharmonie (Cologne), the Cité de la Musique (Paris), the Mozarteum (Salzburg), the Festpielhaus (Baden-Baden), and the Megaron (Athens), and was a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two Program. He has also served as guest concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and was a member of both the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the New York City Ballet Orchestra. Kim has received degrees from the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has studied with Donald Weilerstein, Robert Mann, Jaime Laredo, Yumi Scott and Shirley Givens.

Maiya Papach

PapachViolist Maiya Papach is the recently named principal viola of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, having been a member of the orchestra since 2008 and serving as acting principal since 2009. She has made solo appearances with the SPCO in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with concertmaster Steven Copes, and will appear again this season as soloist in Benjamin Britten’s Lachrymae. Papach has made frequent national and international appearances as a chamber musician, with a versatile profile in her performances of both traditional and contemporary repertoire. She is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), with whom she has performed frequently at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and dozens of experimental venues. She has toured extensively in the former Soviet Union with the Da Capo Chamber Players, across North America with Musicians from Marlboro, and has made appearances at Prussia Cove (UK), the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, the Chattanooga Chamber Music Festival, and Chamber Music Quad Cities. She is also currently a member of Accordo, a Twin Cities-based chamber music group now in its fifth season. Papach is a 2013 recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians administered by the MacPhail Center for Music, and is looking forward to commissioning a new work for solo viola and ensemble with the award. She is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Juilliard School, and her principal teachers include Roland Vamos, Karen Tuttle, Benny Kim, and Hsin-Yun Huang. She performs on a 19th century Turinese viola by Annibale Fagnola.

Anthony Ross

RossPrincipal Cello Anthony Ross has been a soloist many times with the Minnesota Orchestra, performing concertos by Schumann, Dvořák, Victor Herbert, James MacMillan, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Elgar and Shostakovich, as well as many chamber works. In recent seasons he has performed Prokofiev’s Sinfonia concertante for Cello and Orchestra, the Walton Cello Concerto and the Brahms Double Concerto, the latter alongside former First Associate Concertmaster Sarah Kwak. In March 2012 he was featured on the Orchestra’s Chamber Music at MacPhail series, performing Schubert’s Octet for Winds and Strings. Ross was principal cello of the Rochester Philharmonic in New York before joining the Orchestra in 1988; he assumed his current position in 1991. A graduate of Indiana University, Ross earned a master’s degree at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. In 1982 he was awarded the bronze medal at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition, and he received McKnight Fellowships in 2001 and 2005. Together with his wife Beth Rapier, the Minnesota Orchestra’s assistant principal cello, Ross produces the annual “Harmony for Habitats” benefit concert at St. John’s Episcopal Church in south Minneapolis.

Ronald Thomas

ThomasFormer principal cellist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ronald Thomas sustains one of the most active and varied careers in today’s music world as performer, teacher and artistic administrator. Thomas is the co-founder and artistic director of the Boston Chamber Music Society with whom he appears regularly and has produced a number of highly acclaimed recordings. He has appeared as soloist and in recital with orchestras throughout the United States, Europe and the Far East and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center both at Alice Tully Hall and on tour. Other appearances include the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Bravo! Colorado Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival, Blossom Festival, Chamber Music Northwest Festival, La Musica, Music at Menlo, Sarasota Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Music in the Mountains, Yale at Northfolk Festival, and the festivals of Dubrovnik, Edinburgh, Amsterdam and others. Thomas is the artistic director of Chestnut Hill Concerts and has been involved at Bargemusic in New York City. While he was a member of the Boston Musica Viva and the Aeolian Chamber Players, he premiered countless new works. Thomas has taught at M.I.T., Brown University, Boston Conservatory and Peabody Conservatory. Prior to winning the Young Artists International Auditions at the age of nineteen, he attended the New England Conservatory and the Curtis Institute. His principal teachers were Lorne Munroe, David Soyer, and for early studies, Mary Canberg. 



 Christ Church Lutheran

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Christ Church Lutheran 3244 34th Avenue Minneapolis, MN Google Maps 

Ordway Concert Hall

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Ordway Concert Hall 345 Washington Ave Saint Paul, MN 55102 Google Maps 

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Wine at post-concert receptions provided by:

Small bites at post-concert receptions provided by: