We are very pleased to share with you our 136th season, featuring the International Artist Series at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and the Music in the Park Series at Saint Anthony Park United Church of Christ.
Subscriptions will be on sale Monday, February 27 at 8:30am. Single tickets will be on sale Tuesday, August 1, at 11am. The best way to guarantee tickets to these very popular series is to purchase a subscription. Read more about subscriptions at the bottom of this email.
2017-2018 International Artist Series
Sunday, October 29, 2017, 3pm
Ordway Music Theater
Pianist Sir András Schiff is known as one of the most renowned interpreters of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. A Hungarian-born British classical pianist and conductor, he started piano at the age of five and has since received numerous major awards and honors, including the Grammy Award, Gramophone Award, Mozart Medal, and Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize. In 2014, Sir András was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music. For his October 29 Schubert Club recital, he will perform a program featuring Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Brahms and Bach on the Ordway Music Theater stage. This will be his first Schubert Club recital in over 20 years, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to the Ordway stage. We advise you purchase your tickets early, as we expect this concert to sell out well in advance!
Wednesday, December 6, 10:30am & Thursday, December 7, 2017, 7:30pm
Ordway Concert Hall
This concert will feature vocal superstars Eric Owens and Susanna Phillips bring a program featuring Schubert songs to the Ordway Concert Hall. Bass-baritone Eric Owens is loved for his rich, velvety voice and is a regular at major opera companies like the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera Chicago. Susanna Phillips, winner of the The Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, is in her ninth consecutive season with the Metropolitan Opera. This will be her International Artist Series debut. This popular duo recital program has been adored by audiences at Carnegie Hall and across America, and we are thrilled to share it with our Schubert Club audience. The Inquirer in Philadelphia comments on this recital program, “Owens is a master storyteller, who often gives not just the characters of the song’s scenario but the larger world in which they exist, Phillips delivers an almost microscopically close reading of the song and its protagonists, revealed with the detail of a fine Shakespearean actress. Never does she force her Mozart-weight voice while hitting various emotional peaks. No longer a merely promising young singer, she’s a mature artist with a highly personal relationship with Schubert.”
Tuesday, February 20, 7:30pm & Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 10:30am
Ordway Concert Hall
Avi Avital is an Israeli mandolinist, composer, and performer best known for his renditions of well-known Baroque and folk music, much of which was originally written for other instruments. Acknowledged by The New York Times for his “exquisitely sensitive playing” and “stunning agility,” Avi Avital is the first mandolin player to receive a GRAMMY nomination in the category “Best Instrumental Soloist.” After a wildly successful performance with Schubert Club Mix in 2015, we are delighted to welcome him back to hear another side of his playing.
Sérgio and Odair Assad are Brazilian-born brothers who have taken the classical guitar world by storm. Their exceptional artistry and uncanny ensemble playing come from both a family rich in Brazilian musical tradition and from studies with the guitar/lutenist Monina Távora (1921-2011), a disciple of Andrés Segovia. In addition to setting new performance standards, the Assads have played a major role in creating and introducing new music for two guitars. Their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers to write for them including Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Radamés Gnattali, Marlos Nobre, and many others. The Assads last performed on our Music in the Park Series to a sold-out audience in May 2015. Hearing the musical talents of all three musicians together, all making their debuts on this series, will be a magical event.
Tuesday, March 20, 7:30pm & Wednesday, March 21, 2018, 10:30am
Ordway Concert Hall
Born of Korean parents, American violinist, Jennifer Koh, began playing the violin by chance, choosing the instrument in a Suzuki-method program only because spaces for cello and piano had been filled. She made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11 and went on to win the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Concert Artists Guild Competition, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant all when she was only 18 years old. She is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance.
For this recital, she will be joined by internationally recognized Israeli pianist Shai Wosner, both making their debuts on this series. The New York Times declared that “Mr. Wosner’s singing tone and expressive musicality complemented Ms. Koh’s insightful, richly hued playing,” and The San Jose Mercury News raved of a recent concert that “Koh’s impetuous, bright-toned phrasing was attractively set against Wosner’s flowing, articulate pianism.”
Tuesday, April 24, 7:30pm & Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 10:30am
Ordway Concert Hall
Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist, Steven Isserlis enjoys a distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author, and broadcaster. The recipient of many awards, Steven Isserlis is one of only two living cellists featured in Gramophone’s Hall of Fame. He takes a strong interest in presenting authentic performances using instruments and style that closely resemble music of the Baroque period. For this International Artist Series performance, he will be joined by the remarkable British harpsichordist Richard Egarr, in a recital featuring the viola da gamba sonatas of J.S. Bach as well as sonatas by Handel and Scarlatti. Egarr will play a harpsichord from the Schubert Club’s keyboard collection.
2017-2018 Music in the Park Series
Sunday, October 8, 2017, 4pm
Since its first concert in 1983, the Schubert Ensemble of London has become widely recognized as one of the world’s leading exponents of music for piano and strings. The Ensemble has decided to bring its illustrious 35-year career to a close at the end of June 2018 in celebratory style, with over fifty concerts planned during their final season, including a return visit to Music in the Park Series. Their eclectic program features “The Whole Earth Dances,” a new, nature-inspired work by young British composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad; Vaughan Williams’ romantic and rarely-performed Piano Quintet in C-minor; and the grand finale–Franz Schubert’s much-beloved “Trout” quintet.
Sunday, November 12, 2017, 4pm
The Dover Quartet catapulted to international stardom following a stunning sweep of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. Praised by The Strad for “exceptional interpretive maturity, tonal refinement and taut ensemble,” the quartet has become one of the most in-demand ensembles in the world. The Dover’s debut disc pays tribute to the renowned Guarneri Quartet, whose members served as mentors for the ensemble. Beginning their “mostly American” program with quartets by Richard Danielpour and Bartok, the Dover is joined by clarinetist David Shifrin to perform works for clarinet and string quartet by Corigliano and young American composer Chris Rogerson, along with arrangements of Duke Ellington tunes. Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. His numerous recordings, including trios with cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, have consistently garnered awards. A member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, Shifrin served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004.
Sunday, December 3, 2017, 4pm
One of Germany’s most successful vocal groups, Calmus offers the unique combination of a soprano with four male voices ranging from bass to countertenor. The group has been awarded prizes in numerous international competitions, including the prestigious Concert Artists Guild Competition. Music in the Park Series brings the a cappella quintet to St. Paul with a program of carols from around the world − from 16th Italian century madrigals to traditional carols of France, Germany, Sweden and England, to American popular holiday songs. Embodying the rich choral tradition of its hometown of Leipzig, Germany, Calmus captivates both audiences and critics with its charming stage presence, flawless technique and entertaining presentations.
Sunday, February 11, 2018, 4pm
Inspiring performances, luminous sound, and exceptional musicianship are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet. Well known to Twin Cities music lovers, the Parker made its debut on Music in the Park Series in 2007, subsequently serving as Artists-in-Residence at the University of St. Thomas, at the University of Minnesota, with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and as the first-ever Artists-in-Residence with Minnesota Public Radio. Currently Blodgett Artists-in-Residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music, the Parker Quartet has distinguished itself with acclaimed recordings, including György Ligeti’s complete works for string quartet, which won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. The Parker’s Music in the Park Series concert will feature works by Mozart, Ligeti and Bartok.
Sunday, March 4, 2018, 4pm
Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most dynamic and influential forces in classical music today. Their performances have inspired audiences around the world and have won universal critical acclaim. Partners in music and marriage, they were recipients of Musical America’s prestigious Musicians of the Year award in 2012. David and Wu Han are in their third term as Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and founding Artistic Directors of Music@Menlo, soon to celebrate its fifteenth season. A favorite of Music in the Park audiences, David Finckel and Wu Han make their fifth appearance on the series. Their program, titled “Distinctive Voices,” highlights works of Beethoven, Bruce Adolphe, Mendelssohn, Grieg, and a repeat performance of Lera Auerbach’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano,” composed for the duo and co-commissioned by Music in the Park Series in 2004.
Sunday, April 15, 2018, 4pm
This unique concert will celebrate the past and present Lark Quartet through music old and new, with the original quartet – founded in 1985 in the Twin Cities by native Laura Sewell – and the current Lark Quartet members for a total of eight musicians. In keeping with Lark’s tradition of broadening the chamber music repertory through diverse commissions, members of the current and original quartets join forces to perform the Minnesota premiere of Andrew Waggoner’s work for two string quartets. Dedicated to “the once and future Lark Quartet”, the commission was supported in part by the Thelma Hunter Fund of the American Composers Forum. Moving back in time to a work regarded as “one of the miracles of 19th century music”, the group brings the Music in the Park Series season to a close with a performance of Mendelssohn’s brilliant Octet in E-flat Major, written in 1825 when the composer was only sixteen years old.