How We Put Donations to Work for our Community

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As I finish up signing a large pile of letters to generous donors asking them to renew their gifts to the Schubert Club’s annual fund, I’ve been reflecting on how fortunate we are to have patrons who support our programs.  It’s an appropriate moment to be grateful, having just celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday! 

Did you know that the revenue the Schubert Club earns from ticket sales covers just less than 30% of our expenditure?  Our endowment funds with gifts to the Schubert invested over many past decades generates a further 25% of the funds needed to run the organization.  The remaining 45% of revenue comes from contributions and grants – from the State, the City of Saint Paul, foundations, corporations and most significantly, from individuals.

Here’s a brief summary of what those contributions allow us to do:

  • Keep our ticket prices affordable. This current season, a subscriber to the International Artist Series pays between $20 and $51 for their seat – even to hear Renée Fleming in recital!
  • Offer 24 free lunchtime concerts on Thursdays in Courtroom 317 at Landmark Center.
  • Present free family concerts in St Anthony Park as part of Music in the Park Series; and our Azure family concerts (for families with kids on the autism spectrum) are also free.
  • Maintain free entry to our Schubert Club Museum. Last year we had about 8,000 visitors, many of them school groups.  Among the exhibits you can currently see – in some cases even play – are keyboards from 4 different centuries (including an 1830 Kisting piano once played by Robert Schumann, Clara Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn and an 1878 Bechstein played by Liszt, Brahms and Mahler); original handwritten letters by composers such as Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin; and a room dedicated to instruments of the brass family including some visitors can try out.
  • Support student musicians with over $50,000 of scholarships.
  • Bring musical teaching artists to a number of after-school programs in Saint Paul and surrounding neighborhoods at no cost through our new KidsJam program (photo above).
  • Provide the Project CHEER program for up to 100 kids in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood with affordable piano and guitar lessons in collaboration with the Hallie Q. Brown Center.
  • Co-sponsor a jazz piano workshop day for advanced and beginner student jazz pianists.

Just under half the number of people who attend Schubert Club events, education programs and our Museum do so without charge.  It is a wonderful way to make sure that music is accessible to all in the community who wish to participate.

So a warm and sincere thank you to all our contributors.  Whether your gift is a few dollars or many thousands of dollars, every donation makes a difference in our community.


Following in the Footsteps of Mendelssohn

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Today’s post is written by Paul Olson, Director of Development at the Schubert Club. 

In the summer of 1829, the 20-year-old composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy made a three-week visit to London and Scotland which resulted in the writing of two of his best-loved works: the Overture – The Hebrides, and the Symphony No 3 in A minor (Scottish).

In May 2016, a group of 28 Schubert Club patrons traveled together to the UK to trace Mendelssohn’s trip in order to experience the sights, sounds and culture that influenced him to write these two iconic works. Most people don’t realize that Mendelssohn was also a painter and sketch artist, and we visited these locations and compared his sketches to the scenes – they are virtually unchanged for the past 187 years.

img_9178We had the privilege of being led on this tour by Mendelssohn scholar, UK musician and orchestra administrator, Stephen Carpenter. Our tour began in London, just as Mendelssohn started his trip before embarking on his Scottish journey. Highlights included a champagne toast atop the Shard (London’s tallest building) while enjoying the vistas of London, a private luncheon and tour at Houses of Parliament, a recital by violinist Augustin Hadelich at the iconic Wigmore Hall (Hadelich will be performing for the Schubert Club International Artist Series concerts on November 29 and December 1), a tour and private recital at Handel and Hendrix House, and some in the group imbibed each evening at area pubs. 

img_2235A lovely train trip to Scotland began our tour to Edinburgh. We boarded a coach and went down to Melrose and Abbotsford (the home of Sir Walter Scott), around the Highlands and over to the western Isles of Mull, Iona and Staffa (with Fingal’s Cave which influenced the Hebrides Overture) and Loch Lomond. Along the way, we experienced quintessential Scottish traditions: Eating Haggis (grain, spices and sheep organ meat baked in the sheep’s stomach, which was surprisingly delicious), having a private Scotch whiskey distillery tour and tasting, walking the Royal Mile in Edinburgh in pouring rain, enjoying a private evening in the Queen’s dining room on the Royal Yacht Britannia, and hearing the haunting sounds of bagpipers in traditional kilts. 

img_0257As I now reflect back on the amazing experiences from this tour, I never imagined that a group of Schubert Club patrons, traveling together to Scotland to trace the travels of a German composer, would result in friendships that will last a lifetime. I believe that is the most important thing that came out of the trip. And for that, I sincerely thank you,  Felix Mendelssohn!



The Power of Music: reflections on a recent Kidsjam workshop

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Today’s blog post is about one of our newest education programs, KidsJam, written by Kate Cooper, our Director of Museum and Education at The Schubert Club. 

nirmala-photo-1The 2016-17 season of KidsJam began last week with some great moments as over 100 children played, listened, learned and created with music in workshops led by Nirmala Rajasekar and her percussion partner, Boopathi.  Students in after-school programs at Hallie Q Brown Center, Ramsey County Library – Maplewood, Arlington Hills Community Center and Paul Wellstone Neighborhood House participated in the Ragas and Talas (Melodies and Rhythms) of India, creating and playing their own rhythm instrument called a Mridangam.

kidsjam-2However, some new descriptive words came to mind after a very moving session last week at one of the KidsJam locations- impactful, freedom of expression, empathy, responsiveness, sensitivity, compassion, nondiscriminatory.  Twelve children from 4-5 different cultures gathering together expressed their feelings after hearing some improvisational Indian music sung by Nirmala.  They all meditated deeply throughout the performance and following, shared their stories with deep emotion.  What struck me, was the way these children, many who looked quite different from the child sitting next to them, comforted and embraced each other without any barriers of skin color or race between them.

kidsjam-3Nirmala was in awe by the flood of responses from these children, most only 7 or 8 years old.  “Responses from ‘calming’ to ‘feeling safe’ to ‘feeling like I am sitting right here with a family member who died’ to ‘missing my parent who I see rarely’;  the emotions discussed were deep, powerful and matured coming from the mouths of seeming babes.  The blessing of a common experience was upon us, the whole space had a transformed atmosphere.  Not many dry eyes listening to each child share.  I was personally full of gratitude….to the magical notes of music that connect, help understand one another and transform us…continually across man-made boundaries….a bridge like none other.”

Hailey, one of the group leaders at this venue said this experience “…was unlike anything I would have ever expected.  We had a very emotional night full of peacefulness laced with sadness as many children were willing to share their stories and their sorrow.  In my 3-1/2 years with this program, this is the first time that I have seen music bring out such raw emotions from my kids and bring us all closer.  It’s a moment I’m going to remember for the rest of my life!”


Ears, head and heart:  they all play their part in listening to music

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After a relatively quiet summer – at least in terms of attending concerts – I find myself back in full swing.  We’ve had two Schubert Club concerts already and look forward to welcoming Renee Fleming and Hartmut Höll for their recital this coming Wednesday.  But I’ve also recently been to several other concerts locally, and I’ve been on the road to hear various artists and ensembles during August and September.

Especially when I go to hear a musician or ensemble we’re considering for a future Schubert Club invitation, I go with heightened senses.  I’m listening, I’m trying to figure out if this is music-making which would fit on one of our series, in short I’m in full judgment mode. 

When such performances begin, I’ve grown conscious that I’m usually listening very analytically.  How do I rate the technique, what about tempos, dynamics, phrasing, intonation, sound qualities, overall shape, stylistic choices appropriate to the music.  Does it all add up to something interesting?  It’s highly subjective of course, but these are all things that help us all assess a performance, and consequently help me to determine whether artist A or ensemble B are high on our wish list or not.

But I’ve noticed that on many occasions, after I’ve spent a few minutes organizing those thoughts, the really strong performers cause me to forget about analysis.  Instead, of thinking about the language, it’s what the musicians are communicating which takes over.  It doesn’t matter how they’re doing it, it’s the music they are making which speaks directly to the heart.   It might be uplifting and comforting, it might be unsettling, but it’s at that point that I’m won over.  After all, having a command of any language is only useful if you have something meaningful to say.  It’s not that the analysis isn’t worthwhile, but at some level we all respond to music and musicians at a gut level.  It can be difficult to speak or write articulately about how we respond to music and why a performance was good or not.  Sometimes we can only express a reaction in terms of “it was great.”

Have you attended any performances lately that have spoken to your heart? Please share with us.


Barry Kempton is Artistic & Executive Director of The Schubert Club. Originally from the UK, his previous management experience spans 25 years at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia.
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Five things I like to see in concert venues – before even a note is heard

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Over the summer I read a blog post of a professional orchestra wind player who wrote up a list of things he didn’t like to see during a concert. Apparently he developed the list initially for student musicians he was coaching.  I agreed with pretty much everything he included, but it got me thinking about what I actually do like to see.  I came up with these five things pretty quickly, all in advance of the actual experience of hearing any music.

  1. Smiling ushers and welcoming box office staff as I enter the venue. If the journey to the venue has been trying, parking difficult or the temperature outside is 20 Fahrenheit below, a warm welcome changes your mood.  It’s nice to think that someone appears to appreciate the effort you’ve made to get there.
  2. A clean and tidy stage or performance area with lights focused on the stage – and also on any special features in the room. For example, a former presenting partner of the Accordo series (Ben Johnson) encouraged us to feature the impressive candlestick at Christ Church Lutheran – and to light the candles.  It was a lovely image which many audience members commented on.
  3. A buzzing, expectant audience. One of the reasons we go to concert venues is to experience music in a community of fellow music-lovers.  So, walking first into the lobby and then into the performance space itself is particularly fun if other people are excited about the upcoming experience too.
  4. Musicians entering the stage with a purpose. It might seem trivial or of little importance to some, but I believe that the way a musician or ensemble enters the stage and engages with the audience from the moment we see them, tells us audience members something about the performance we’re about to experience.  It’s all about the energy projected from the stage.  Audiences (consciously or subconsciously) respond to the energy coming from the stage, they reflect their own energy back to the performers.   And as many artists have told me, they feel that energy from the audience, feed off it and usually perform better because of it.
  5. Well-dressed musicians. I am not a fan particularly of uniforms or conventional concert dress.  I don’t mind it, but I have grown tired of seeing orchestras in tails, evening dress or all-black attire.  Most important for me, is that musicians on stage have made some effort (shirts ironed, shoes polished), that they have thought about style (and some color please!) and that these don’t look like clothes they might have worn on the way to the concert.

Disagree? Or did I miss something important to you?  Please let me know.  Maybe you can help us improve the experience of attending Schubert Club concerts this coming season.    

2015-16 Season Reflections

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Earlier this month, I had the opportunity at our Schubert Club Annual Luncheon to reflect back on the past season.  In case you weren’t there, here’s a transcript of what I said.

It’s always difficult to single out highlights from a year packed with so much wonderful music-making and music education programs.  It would be easy to get carried away and mention everything, but I’ve done my best to resist that kind of temptation.

Our headline for concert attendance is, I think, strong:  we sold 800 more seats for the International Artist Series compared with last year and had the highest revenue ever for the series.  And Music in the Park Series chamber music concerts were pretty much sold out again this year.

This past season was the first season in which we’ve been able to present the International Artist Series in both Ordway venues:  the original, elegant Music Theater and our glorious new Concert Hall with its outstanding acoustic.  It was also our first season of morning coffee recitals at the Ordway.  We believe that these daytime concerts (same artists and same programs as the evening series) will grow increasingly popular, in particular with those who have retired or prefer not to be out driving at night – and especially during the middle of winter.

One of the International Artist Series programs included clarinetist Michael Collins & pianist Michael McHale playing Rhapsodos, a fine new work by one of our two excellent composers-in-residence Abbie Betinis.  The piece was commissioned by the wonderful Minnesota Commissioning Club, to whom we owe a big thank you.

Our focus is so often on the outstanding artists and ensembles we invite from the United States and around the world, but it is just as important to celebrate The Schubert Club concert series which feature artists from the Twin Cities and Minnesota.  You might be surprised to learn that between the Courtroom Concerts series, Accordo, the Hill House Chamber Players and Live at the Museum, we featured – and I might add paid performance fees to – over 120 Minnesota-based professional and student musicians; and our programming included 55 works written by 26 different Minnesota-based composers.

Adding to the Music in the Park Series Family Concert Series which my dear friend and colleague Julie Himmelstrup started many years ago, we have just completed our first full year of KidsJam, our new program devised by Kate Cooper, which is a hybrid between workshop and concert for kids to play, create, listen and learn;  we connected fabulous musicians with kids who rarely get access to live musicians and music workshops of any kind.  This year, we partnered with four local community centers which run after-school programs for young kids and at-risk teenagers, introducing them, among other things, to brass music, the art of the didgeridoo and Hawaiian hula dancing.

We said goodbye to some dear friends and passionate supporters of The Schubert Club over the course of this past year.  I will mention Meredith Alden, Elise Donahue, Bruce Doughman, Bill Hueg, Donald Kahn, Helen Smith, and Thelma Hunter.  It’s incredible to think back on what these women and men have meant to The Schubert Club over the years.  We announce several months ago that we have named our Schubert Club Museum performance space the Thelma Hunter Recital Room in honor of Thelma who performed, participated and supported The Schubert Club for over 50 years.

We had our first Schubert Club Patron tour – Paul Olson and I traveled with a tour group of 26 Schubert Club friends to London and then Scotland, following some of the journey Felix Mendelssohn made in 1829.  Fortunately we had a lot better weather than he did – and we did it in 8 days rather than the 4 or so months Felix took.

Finally, it’s important for me to take this opportunity to recognize and thank The Schubert Club staff.  It’s a small team and they work incredibly hard.  I thank them all for their roles in making the 2015-16 the success it was.

My Schubert Club blog will be taking a summer break.  Back in September.


Theoroi Recap: May & June 2016

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Today’s blog post about Theoroi is written by The Schubert Club’s Marketing Intern, Quinn Shadko.

Theoroi is a Schubert Club program attempting to cultivate the next generation of Twin Cities arts audiences. The 30 members of this group (all in their 20s and 30s) attend a “sampler package” of performing arts events across the Twin Cities to get a wide variety of cultural experiences. The group then uses social media to share their experiences with their own social network.


In May, Theoroi attended its second-to-last event of the season, Minnesota Opera’s world premiere of The Shining at the Ordway. This was probably my favorite arts experience in season full of incredible performances. The Shining wasn’t opera as one might think of it – stuffy, in another language, with confusing plot lines. Instead, it was an entirely accessible performance, featuring a familiar storyline, a libretto in English, and design elements that made it entirely more exciting than watching the movie at home. The lavish costumes, moving set pieces, and extensive projections helped to tell the story alongside nuanced performances that combined singing, acting, and stage combat. I felt like I was doing more than just seeing an opera – I was a part of a once-in-a lifetime event. I look forward to seeing more world premieres and new works at Minnesota Opera in the future!

Theoroi’s final event of the season was Liquid Music’s Orpheus Unsung featuring Steven Mackey at the Guthrie. The group met early for a tour of the Guthrie and then went for a quick bite to eat and drink at Day Block Brewery a couple blocks away. The performance itself was in the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie on one of the highest floors with absolutely breathtaking views of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.

I reached out to member Alyssa Scott to get her opinion of the evening’s performance: “I would have never thought to attend this performance had I not been a member of Theoroi, but I’m glad I was exposed to it.  Knowing that it was based on an opera, but that there wouldn’t be any singing at all, left me not quite sure what to expect.  The music was phenomenal and the show overall was like nothing I’d ever seen before – including a lot of elements like modern dance, technology, and curtains and projected images/video to create various effects that all made you feel like you were truly in the underworld.”

The Theoroi season spans September through June, so the 2015-2016 season is just concluding, and we are in search of new members for the 2016-2017 season! If you’re social media savvy and between the ages of 21-39, consider joining the 2016-2017 group. We’re limited to only 30 individuals, so get your application in soon, as the program always fills up early!

Reflections on the Composer Mentorship Program, Part II

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Today’s post is written by Max Carlson, The Schubert Club’s Program and Production Associate who manages our Composer Mentorship Program. 

The Schubert Club hosts a unique opportunity for high-school student composers called the Composer Mentorship Program. We are currently seeking participants for the 2016-17 school year (deadline is June 20).  Students in this program get to work with The Schubert Club’s composer-in-residence Edie Hill and benefit from bi-weekly lessons, roundtable sessions, and concert outings as a group. The program is offered free of charge to each selected composer and is sponsored in part by HRK Foundation.

Two weeks ago we posted some reflections on the program from the 2014-2015 participants. This week, we reached out to some alumni of the program to share their thoughts. 


Chris Neiner
unnamed (1)Currently, I study composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music with Aaron Travers. While here, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with choreographers and film directors and receive premieres of several instrumental compositions. When I was a part of The Schubert Club Composer Mentorship Program, the opportunity to work with the ensemble in residence at the time, the Copper Street Brass Quintet, was a valuable experience; working with them provided insight into brass quintet repertoire, brass instrument techniques, and balancing dynamics in a chamber ensemble. I feel the Mentorship Program has also connected me to more composers; I continue to meet and connect with alumni at music festivals such as the Oregon Bach Composers Symposium and the New Music on the Point Festival. 

Dylan Perese
unnamed (2)Now in my fourth year at Harvard, I still look back on the Schubert Club Composer Mentorship program as a formative creative experience.  Edie’s unique ability to uplift, inspire and empower the creative genius within all of us is truly unparalleled.  At Harvard, I have continued to compose for anything and everything and I have also advocated for the arts and increased collaboration and cooperation on campus.  I believe that emotion constitutes energy in motion, and so in everything I write I strive to evoke an energetic frequency that speaks to one’s highest potential and purpose – in much a similar way that Edie (I’m sure) continues to do in her teaching!  More in-depth information about my work is available online at:

Simon Alexander Adams
unnamedThe Schubert Club Composer Mentorship Program was a great opportunity for me to pursue my interest in music composition during high school. At the time, I planned on studying composition in college, and the program gave me one more outlet to hone my craft, and perform my music for others. I went on to study Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and subsequently pursued a Master’s in Media Arts through the same program. My creative practice has since become increasingly interdisciplinary – expanding to the intersection of art, music and technology. Developing multimedia performances, interactive installation art and designing new interfaces for musical expression are just a few of the avenues I have dived into. I continue to collaborate with fellow artists and musicians in the Detroit / Ann Arbor area – contributing sound design and music to theatre, dance and video productions, developing live visual performances and animation to music, and performing with my glitch-electronic free-jazz prog-rock band Saajtak. Website:

Riona Ryan
unnamed (3)It hasn’t even been a year since I last met with Edie and the wonderful musicians of The Schubert Club Mentorship Program, but it feels like it’s been maybe four. I’m two-thirds of the way through my first year studying composition at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and it’s been one of the most transformative years of my life thus far. Currently I’m working on a lot of things; I’ve gotten really into live electronics, working extensively in Max/MSP. I’m starting to play solo performances under the pseudonym Namatamago as well as writing for others. My most recent notated piece was for bassoon and electronics and I’m preparing a structured improvisation set based on crowdsourced responses to a question about embodied emotion that I’ll be performing at the Block Museum of Art in April. I am also working on a piece with my video collaborator and good friend Jae Shin Cross, and am working toward a summer album release. I’ve started to think about a piece for harp and electronics which will be played sometime in the fall.

It’s crazy to look back and realize that I really developed the confidence to pursue composition seriously through The Schubert Club Mentorship Program. I love what I’m doing so much now, but three years ago I had never written a note in my life; even at the beginning of last year I was applying to schools as solely a flute performance major. Edie’s warm trust in me and her invaluable guidance were essential to my development both as a composer and a human being. I learned a lot about the craft and what it means to work as a composer. I don’t know where I’d be now without all of this knowledge, and I’m forever grateful to Edie, Melange A Trois, and The Schubert Club for granting me this amazing opportunity.


Learn more about the Composer Mentorship Program and download an application here:

The Deadline to apply for the 2016-2017 season has been extended to June 20, 2016.



Reflections on the Composer Mentorship Program, Part I

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Today’s post is written by Max Carlson, The Schubert Club’s Program and Production Associate who manages our Composer Mentorship Program. 

Did you know that The Schubert Club hosts a unique opportunity for high-school student composers called the Composer Mentorship Program? Each year, students in the greater Twin Cities area can apply to work with The Schubert Club’s composer-in-residence Edie Hill for the coming academic year. The students selected to participate benefit from bi-weekly lessons, roundtable sessions, and concert outings as a group. Specific opportunities include:

  • composition, notation, orchestration and the creative process
  • attendance at local performances, rehearsals, and workshops
  • college preparation and career-building opportunities
  • premiere of their work on The Schubert Club’s Courtroom Concert Series
  • one-year membership to the American Composers Forum

The mentorship program is offered free of charge to each selected composer and is sponsored in part by HRK Foundation.

As we gear up for the 2016-2017 season, we asked our participants from this past season to share a few reflections on their time in the program:

louisabyron_webLouisa Byron
The Schubert Club Composer Mentorship Program has helped me in so many ways in accomplishing my dreams of becoming a composer. At the welcoming reception, I knew right away that this program was going to be an awarding experience. The concerts we attended inspired me so much to try new techniques and expanded the music that I listen to. It was so helpful to have the Copper Street Brass Quintet perform and give us composers advice on how to write for brass. On the Thursday nights, Edie Hill encouraged me to think outside the box of what I was used to writing for. This program helped me realize that composing is what I want to study in college and eventually have as a career. I would like to thank The Schubert Club and the people who made this opportunity possible.

simonpeters_webSimon Peters
The Schubert Club’s Composer Mentorship Program has been greatly enjoyable for me throughout the year. With Edie’s mentorship I have gained a better understanding of my creative process, and more confidence in my work. Also, the interaction with other composers and Copper Street Brass has been lovely and has helped shape my composing process. My entire experience with the program has been absolutely wonderful.

seamusflyn_webSeamus Flynn
The Schubert Club Mentorship Program has been an excellent opportunity to connect with a composer mentor, a professional ensemble, and other high school composers. Since I was in frequent contact with the ensemble-in-residence, I saw it as an opportunity to try new things, and Edie Hill is a very encouraging mentor. I also have fond memories of standing around with other high school composers after concerts of new music, and analyzing what the composers had done well and not well. I highly recommend the Program.

saraahbushara_webSaraah Bushara
I am certainly not alone in saying that my experience with The Schubert Club Composer Mentorship Program has been completely vital and invaluable to my growth as a composer and to my musical education in general. To be able to mold musical ideas into complete, listenable pieces is virtually impossible to achieve alone, as what makes sense musically to us may not make sense to an audience, and a program that combines not only a mentor with world-class breadth of musical experience with extensive interaction a professional ensemble is the most effective way to teach the craft of composition.

Next week some of the mentorship alumni from years past will share their experiences with the program and where they are now.

Learn more about the Composer Mentorship Program and download an application here:

The Deadline to apply for the 2016-2017 season is Monday, June 20, 2016.


My Top Three Criteria for Selecting Artists

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One of the many interesting things my job involves is listening to live concerts by solo artists and ensembles whom we might invite to perform on a Schubert Club series.  You can learn a lot from a demo recording of course, but not everything.  In fact, the most important thing you can learn from a demo (or commercial) recording is that a particular musician or ensemble is probably not destined for the priority list.

In recent weeks I’ve found myself with the opportunity to hear quite a few concerts.  It got me thinking about what my criteria are for ranking and prioritizing potential Schubert Club guests.  I’ve narrowed it down to 3 areas: technique, interest (substance) and communication.

Technical ability is probably the least important, simply because there’s such a high level of proficiency among professional soloists and ensembles these days.  Indeed, it’s probably fair to say that if you ever get the impression at a concert that a piece of music is really difficult and pushing the performer(s) to their limit, then it’s probably more a reflection on the limitations of the artist than the technical problems of a piece of music.  Great performances usually transcend technical difficulties.

So, the more important question is whether a performance is interesting, meaning does it capture my attention, unlock the imagination? That comes down to choices a musician makes around musical colors and textures, variation, consistency of approach, creating tension, the overall shape of a piece, tastefulness and context.  Much of this is subjective, which is why it’s okay, indeed healthy, for people to disagree after a concert whether they liked it or not.

Thirdly, there’s the issue of communication. Unlike a recording, an artist or ensemble on stage with a live audience has to acknowledge the audience is there and perform for them. Singers maybe have the advantage of words to articulate, but instrumental music is a language too, and the live concert experience is about communicating. I’ve written before about the importance of communication among musicians in an ensemble, but just as important is that those making the music are expressing something they believe in to those who are listening.  That sounds a little “obvious” when written down, but think of recent concerts you have attended and ask yourself whether this has always been the case.  The most memorable concerts I’ve attended are those at which that communication has been strong and convincing.

Lucky for us, there are many, many musicians and ensembles across the world who deliver at the highest level.  Our lives are more enriched for having the exposure to them.


Barry Kempton is Artistic & Executive Director of The Schubert Club. Originally from the UK, his previous management experience spans 25 years at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and City of London Sinfonia.
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