Live Music Brings Buildings to Life

By Barry Kempton

One of the goals our board and staff identified during our strategic planning process last year was to increase the amount of performance activity in our Museum – to bring the Museum to life.  For those who haven’t had the opportunity to visit The Schubert Club Museum in Landmark Center, downtown St. Paul, we have an exceptional exhibit of keyboard instruments ranging from early harpsichords to modern day pianos, a display of letters written by composers such as Mozart and Beethoven and several other interesting exhibits, all beautifully displayed in elegant second floor rooms around the stunning Landmark Center Cortile.  

But the essence of music is sound and a museum dedicated to the history of music needs live music and living musicians performing in it.  This Tuesday evening, our Live at the Museum series opens with a music and fine art performance conceived by Twin Cities-based pianist Ora Itkin.  Together with Karen Kim (violin), Tom Rosenberg (cello) and Scott Winters (visual media coordinator – and incidentally a fine conductor), we will be treated to a program of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Bach and Villa-Lobos in combination with projections of paintings by Spanish master Francisco de Goya.  It promises to be both inspired and inspiring.  More concert information here.

Other programs in the Live at the Museum series offer performance and musical insight throughout the season.  Skip James, former principal keyboardist of the SPCO, will play and talk his way through an evening of baroque improvisation on a beautiful harpsichord he recently donated to The Schubert Club.  Come and find out how it got its nickname “Big Red”.  Tenor and raconteur Vern Sutton will present an evening of music and wit around some of the letters in our Museum.  Clavichord specialist, Henry Lebedinsky, will demonstrate our newest keyboard acquisition, a copy of an 18th Century clavichord, exploring Russian music from the time of Catherine the Great.  And pianist and broadcaster Stephanie Wendt will present a program illuminating the lives of Swedish composers from three different centuries. 

If you like your music with context and background, do join us for these programs which begin at 7:30pm.