Minnesota Musicians and Music-making – three more ‘M’s to celebrate

By Barry Kempton


Throughout this past week, I have been continually reminded how fortunate we are to live in a state where the arts are highly regarded, a state where music and musicians are valued, a state in which so many musicians live, create and perform.  Here’s a brief review of my last few days.

On Thursday, our Courtroom Concerts series (free noon-time concerts at Landmark Center in downtown St Paul) launched and featured four talented and musical saxophonists (students or recent graduates of the University of Minnesota and St Olaf College).

On Friday evening I was honored to attend a memorial event for the late Donald Kahn at the Weisman Art Museum, a cello student and harpsichord enthusiast – as well as a brilliant mathematician as affirmed by the many tributes of his math department colleagues. As moving as the tributes were, the musical interludes performed by Tanya Remenikova, Alex Braginsky and students of the University’s School of Music will be the most memorable for me.

Saturday, I heard first-class performances by musicians associated with the Minnesota Opera, VocalEssence including several of our Twin Cities celebrity musicians at two private events. 

Then on Sunday, I joined the several hundred people who gathered to celebrate the late Thelma Hunter’s extraordinary life at a memorial service which featured some 15 or so professional and amateur musicians from our area as well as the impressive choir of Westminster Church. 

Outstanding musicianship from well over 50 Twin Cities-based musicians!

One important part of The Schubert Club’s mission is to promote “the finest musical talents of our community to the world.”  Our Courtroom Concerts series is one important vehicle in this regard.  Over the course of the coming season’s 23 Thursday lunchtime free concerts, we will present some 60 Minnesota-based musicians who will play or sing music of the past and the present – including compositions by more than a dozen Minnesota-based composers.  If you are able to join us, these hour-long concerts provide a fascinating view of the best of Minnesota – both outstanding musicianship and a broad introduction to some of the wonderful and creative music being written in our State. (Learn more about Courtroom Concerts here)