The Art of Collaboration

By Barry Kempton

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone, and thank you for continuing to take an interest in this blog.  If you had some time off over the recent holiday period, I hope it was enjoyable and restful.

With less than a week until the launch of our new series Schubert Club Mix at Aria (Theatre de la Jeune Lune’s former Minneapolis home), I’d like to highlight and celebrate our partnership with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music series, our co-presenter of this performance.  Some of you maybe know that I held a position previously at the SPCO and so have a long-time, happy relationship with many individuals in that organization.  However, this particular collaboration really developed out of a series of conversations I had more than a year ago with Liquid Music’s founder and curator Kate Nordstrum – someone I hadn’t worked with before.  We quickly found that we shared a similar vision for presenting classical music (classical in its broadest sense) in a contemporary, non-traditional performance setting.  She has brought her experiences as a presenter of concerts in New York and Minneapolis’ Southern Theater to Liquid Music. I myself came to The Schubert Club two years ago keen to develop a concert series similar to CLoSer , which I initiated in 2007 towards the end of my time managing the City of London Sinfonia.

Collaboration has been a buzz word in the arts for many years.  At a theoretical level it of course makes a lot of sense, but collaborating on a practical level isn’t always so simple.  This experience with Kate and Liquid Music has been a very positive one.  It takes good communication, a willingness to understand your partner party’s needs and a spirit of generosity to make a partnership work well; our work together on Sunday’s performance has had all three and has been a very enjoyable one.  I must add that I’ve been happy the collaboration has caused me to meet regularly with former SPCO colleagues like Jon Kjarum and Mary Phelps. 

As a relatively small organization with limited financial and human resources, collaborations like these allow The Schubert Club to expand its reach more widely than it might otherwise.  I’ll maybe highlight some of our other partnerships in future posts.

By the way, if you have hesitated purchasing a ticket to this Mix concert featuring Hilary Hahn and Hauschka, I’m afraid you have delayed too long.  Tickets are sold out.  The next Mix presentations are on Sunday April 13 and Tuesday June 3 (more info here).