Give Thanks for Local Talent

By Barry Kempton

Having just presented a recital by two of the highest caliber international soloists, Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt, last week at the Ordway, I’d like to turn my attention this week to the wealth of wonderful musicians living locally.  Though the International Artist Series and Music in the Park Series are our highest profile performance series, the majority of concerts that The Schubert Club presents feature Minnesota-based musicians.  Our mission statement highlights a dual commitment to inviting the best recital artists of the world to our community and to presenting and giving exposure to the best musicians of our community.

For a recent grant application we counted up the number of Minnesota-based musicians we are presenting in concert this year.  That total is 75, many of whom will perform multiple times.  Additionally we will award 26 young musicians with scholarships as winners or runners-up in our Student Scholarship competition which takes place in March.

Concerts featuring locally based musicians take place in various venues and at various times of the day.  String ensemble Accordo performs on Monday evenings at Christ Church Lutheran in Minneapolis.  The Hill House Chamber Players have just started their 28th season at Summit Avenue’s historic Hill House.  We are proud to co-present both concert series.

Most Thursday lunchtimes between October and April, we present a free concert in Courtroom 317 at downtown St Paul’s Landmark Center.  At these concerts we feature professional Minnesotan musicians in performance and also dedicate one performance each month to the music of Minnesota composers.  There is such a wealth of creative talent in our community that we could dedicate every courtroom concert to the music of Minnesota composers if we wanted!  And for those who like to enjoy their music with a glass in hand, there’s Cocktails with Culture, which are happy hour gatherings in Landmark Center with both live music and fascinating woodturning demonstrations in our museum and the American Woodturners Association gallery.

The Schubert Club’s focus on local musicians goes right back to its beginning in 1882.  It started out as a gathering of women who loved to play chamber music together.  In fact at its outset, membership required both paying a fee and passing an audition.  It wasn’t until 1893 that The Schubert Club expanded its activities to presenting concerts for the general public.

Thanks to the talents of those founding members and the enthusiasm of many subsequent generations of Schubert Club members, directors, volunteers and administrative staff, The Schubert Club remains strong and committed to celebrating the best of music-making in our community.


[photo above: A group of young student musicians pose for a photo during The Schubert Club Scholarship Competition, March 2012]