Reflections on the Past Busy Week

By Barry Kempton

“Rock the Ordway,” our celebratory 22 Days of Opening Nights in the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, came to a close yesterday with two performances featuring student musicians. While the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies played on the Music Theater stage, our own Schubert Club Student Scholarship Competition Winners’ Recital took place on the stage of the new Concert Hall.

14 first and second prize winners performed at a standard to make all of us in the audience beam with delight. Not only that, but they also provided a wonderful variety of instrumental and vocal music to savor the acoustic qualities of the Concert Hall. We got to hear breathy, whispering flute music by Toru Takemitsu and a guitar Etude by Giulio Regondi – both of which took full advantage of the sensitive support the room gives to the softest of sounds. And we heard singers, cellists, pianists and a wonderful young oboist play music from 3 different centuries and 3 different continents. Congratulations to all who participated and my thanks to all who made it happen – volunteers, judges, Schubert Club colleagues and Ordway staff members.

Our presentation of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on Friday evening deserves a mention too. A fabulous vocal quartet of art song specialists with pianists Wu Han and Gilbert Kalish performed songs on a love-related theme by Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Berg and Hugo Wolf. This was our first opportunity to hear a full evening’s song recital in the Concert Hall and it was simply wonderful. An evening I will remember for a very long time.

How exciting it is for us to have this venue to present future International Artist Series recitals!