Nicola Benedetti:  Featured Artist for the 2018-19 Season

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Schubert Club has been a concert presenter for 125 years!  Our first recital in 1893 featured the German pianist Adele Aus der Ohe.  For each of those 125 years, our recital series has included 4 or 5 artists. 

We have 5 International Artist Series recitals again this coming season – no surprises there!  But for the first time in our history, we have a Featured Artist for the year.  Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti, a beloved musician in Europe since 2004 when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition at the age of 16, will be in residence at Schubert Club in early October and again in January. 

Nicola will perform works by Johannes Brahms (with pianist Alexei Grynyuk) in Schubert Club Mix on October 2nd – and talk about her special love for Brahms’ music.  She also presents a recital program in two January performances at the Ordway, a program which includes the American premiere of a piece written for her by Wynton Marsalis.

A big reason why I’m excited to have her be our inaugural Featured Artist is that she’s not only an amazing musician on the stage, but that she is one of the most committed musicians to the importance of music in the lives of young people.  Indeed her musical prowess together with her fervor for music education and the inclusion of music in the lives of young people have earned her an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) and the Queen’s Medal for Music.

Interspersed with Nicola’s various concert appearances in October and January, Nicola will be teaching violin masterclasses, working with student string players at the Minnesota Youth Symphonies, and bringing young musicians into classrooms to perform for students who have had little – or maybe no – exposure to live music and musicians.

In partnership with Minnesota Public Radio, we’ll be broadcasting live, recording some of her concerts and making video footage of her musical interactions with young people. 

As I look ahead to future years and the kinds of artists and ensembles whom I’d like Schubert Club to invite as Featured Artists, I see a wide variety of possibilities in terms of programming, commissioning new works, community engagement and recording.  The purpose will always be to encourage visiting musicians to show us what makes them interesting and special, both as artists and as human beings.  Nicola’s array of musical pursuits during the coming season here in the Twin Cities will certainly give us an insight into Nicola Benedetti the musician and the person.

Thank you, Julie Himmelstrup

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After 39 wonderful years of leading the Music in the Park Series, founder Julie Himmelstrup is retiring. We asked former Schubert Club Board Member and long time devotee to the series, Lynne Beck, to share some of Julie’s accolades with us. 


A 55-year resident of the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, Music in the Park Series Founder and Artistic Director Julie Himmelstrup had a vision of creating a chamber music series in the acoustically and architecturally superb St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ. Working with a committee of neighborhood residents, she launched the series in 1979 with a budget of $5,000. The first season, featuring the 25-member Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, flutist Julia Bogorad, Grammy award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin, and pianist Thelma Hunter, was a success.

To make the gatherings educational and accessible, the Series also includes pre-concert talks about the music and meet-the-artist receptions after the performance. From its beginnings as a small neighborhood treasure, Julie developed Music in the Park Series into a nationally recognized chamber music series.

Julie Himmelstrup is a beloved figure in local music circles and beyond. A much-lauded impresaria, she has a unique intuitive ability to select and present the best chamber musicians. Prominent artists from Scandinavia, France, Czech Republic, Russia, Germany, Austria, Mexico, England, United States; and the Twin Cities such as pianist Lydia Artymiw; violinists Steven Copes, Erin Keefe, and Jorja Fleezanis; Minnesota Orchestra conductor and clarinetist Osmo Vanska, and jazz pianist Butch Thompson, to name of few, have graced the Music in the Park Series stage.

Several times a year, musicians perform for students in St. Anthony Park Schools and residents of the St. Anthony Park Home for seniors. These free outreach activities give school audiences, who represent the full diversity of St. Paul School students, and seniors, who are unable to attend concerts outside their facility, a rare opportunity to experience a live performance by world-class musicians.

Early on, Julie developed a hands-on approach which included ticket sales, marketing, budget development (the series has never had a deficit), fundraising, program planning, communication with artists and management, as well as forming partnerships with local businesses, churches and other non-profits in the community.

The three-concert Family Concert Series, established almost 30 years ago, first took place at the St. Anthony Park Library and later at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in St. Anthony Park. These family-friendly events feature prominent Twin Cities musicians along with world-class ensembles from the chamber music series. The artists present programs of folk, ethnic and classical music that include storytelling, dance and audience participation for children of all ages and their families. 

“No arts administrator in my 35 year career as a musician has been more supportive of my work than Julie Himmelstrup. I loved to bring ideas for new programs to Julie and she would say, “What do you need?” She encouraged me to dream big and to think big and her support made it possible to develop new shows that had a life well beyond the Music in the Park Family Concert Series.” Ross Sutter (acclaimed local artist who has appeared on the Family Concert Series numerous times.)

Julie believed in presenting emerging as well as prominent established musicians. Young artists like Alisa Weilerstein (sought-after solo artist and 2011 recipient of the MacArthur “genius grant”),” Mark Kosower (Principal Cello of the Cleveland Orchestra and avid soloist), and Christopher O’Riley (acclaimed pianist and host of MPR’s From the Top) performed on Music in the Park Series at very young ages. Mark Kosower was only 9! Other musicians first played on the series before presenting their recitals at Carnegie Hall in New York City.  

Julie has introduced new music to audiences by commissioning works and regularly presenting contemporary classical music. She has a passionate dedication to new music and the promotion of Minnesota composers. Music in the Park Series has commissioned and/or premiered works by local composers Randall Davidson, Carol Barnett, Stephen Paulus, Libby Larsen and David Evan Thomas as well as national composers like Pulitzer Prize-winner Aaron Jay Kernis; Pulitzer prize and MacArthur “genius grant”-winner Julia Wolfe; MPR’s Piano Puzzler and writer Bruce Adolphe; and prolific piano soloist and visual artist Lera Auerbach.  

“No community is truly great without art as its core.” “She loved the music, she loved art, she loved community. It takes a rare person to be able to provide the kind of atmosphere, accommodations, travel planning and love that has brought the absolute top international musical performers to our little neighborhood for almost 40 years. Julie has been able to do it with an indefatigable combination of intellect, charm, hard work and heart,” said Jon Schumacher, Executive Director of the St. Anthony Park Community Foundation. 

After 39 years of leading the series, Julie is stepping down as artistic director at end of the 2017-2018 season. The season finale on April 15, 2018 brought the series full circle with a performance by both the current and the original members of the Lark Quartet who played on the series in their early years. Park Bugle stated that it was truly a “standing ovation for Julie.”  

Julie Himmelstrup, 81, has spent almost four decades advocating for musicians and their audiences in the Twin Cities community. By presenting quality chamber music in a variety of settings, she has had an extraordinary impact on thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds. Julie has dedicated her life to creating and nurturing a distinctive chamber music series that reaches well beyond the boundaries of the St. Anthony Park neighborhood. Fortunately for all who love her and Music in the Park Series, her legacy will continue in the capable hands of Barry Kempton and the Schubert Club, the area’s oldest music organization.

A Steinway with a Story

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Schubert Club is thrilled to welcome a new instrument to our modern pianos collection which will live in the Thelma Hunter Recital Room of our Museum in Landmark Center. The instrument has quite a story behind it which I am excited to share with you.

The piano, a 7-foot Steinway B grand piano built in Hamburg around 1980 is a gift to us by Sita Ohanessian, a close friend of the Schubert Club. Sita has lovingly cared for the piano since her beloved sister Beatrice passed away in 2008.

I have had the good fortune to get to know Sita in my six years with Schubert Club and, through Sita, I have learned much about Beatrice, an outstanding piano soloist and composer. Born in Baghdad, Beatrice studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Juilliard School in New York. Because she missed her homeland – and contrary to the advice of many who wanted her to stay in the States to pursue a performing career –she returned to Iraq to “teach my fellow countrymen to love music”.

Thanks to a book about Beatrice Ohanessian written by former Schubert Club staff member Holly Windle in 2008 entitled “Baghdad Barcarolle”, I am happy to retell the fascinating story of the Ohanessian Steinway piano.

Beatrice was primarily a concert pianist and held the position of principal concert pianist for the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. She also composed a number of musical works and received praise for them. She learned that colleagues had brought her music to the attention of the President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein. On receiving recommendations and hearing a recording of her music, Saddam offered to reward Beatrice with a gift from the Iraqi government in honor of her cultural services. She ignored suggestions from her friends of a gold watch or a car, and decided instead to ask for a new piano to replace her ailing Bechstein grand.  

Beatrice was invited to the palace and went apprehensively. She waited to be received by Saddam. She waited a long time. She was eventually told that Saddam was busy in an emergency meeting with his cabinet due to an event in the Iran-Iraq war. He was in the room right next door, but he was not going to be available to see her in person. Instead the offer of a gift from the State was made to her by a palace official. Beatrice told him that she would like a piano, to which the official said they would arrange for her to pick one from the local department store. Emboldened by the fact that this proposal came from an official and not from President Saddam Hussein himself, Beatrice responded that she would like it to be a Steinway and that it would have to be purchased in Germany. To help the official understand, she explained the difference as choosing a Mercedes over a bicycle. To her surprise, the official agreed and she left the palace with a certificate authorizing her to purchase a Yamaha or a Steinway and to have the bill paid by the government of Iraq. On her next concert tour in Europe, Beatrice visited a Steinway showroom and selected a beautiful Steinway B.   

Beatrice was separated from it for a while when she herself moved to the States and the piano remained in Iraq, but eventually it was shipped to the States, and piano and pianist were reunited. How lucky we are that they were! We have been fortunate to count sisters Beatrice and Sita in our Schubert Club family for many years. Taking possession of the Steinway piano, we will treasure it as a dear member of our family of musical instruments.        

Please come visit our free Museum soon to see it!

Paying it forward to the next generation

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Today’s blog is written by Kate Cooper, Schubert Club’s Director of Education and Museum. 


It is a joy and an honor to manage Schubert Club’s Education programs which nurture and support the dreams, ambitions, and emerging talents of music students across the five-state area.

Schubert Club generously provides scholarships and grants through three programs, including the annual Bruce P. Carlson Student Scholarship program—originating in 1922. In that year, three winners, representing Voice, Violin, and Piano, each received $150. In 2018 approximately 220 students will participate in fourteen different categories, representing Strings, Piano, Voice, Brass, Woodwinds, Guitar, and Organ. Schubert Club will award $2000 and $1500 prizes to first and second place winners in every category—which includes aspiring artists from age 12 to 30.

Many student competitors have truly been “musicians on the rise,” achieving significant musical and other career accomplishments. Pianist Celius Dougherty, guitarist Sharon Isbin, television commentator Gretchen Carlson, and this season’s International Artist Series vocal star Clara Osowski are a few examples of our winners’ post-competition success.

Competitions like ours afford students a chance to test their skills, network with fellow musicians, and discover how they measure up to their peers. It asks them to rise to a sense of occasion and push themselves to achieve more. Competition motivates a student to strive for accuracy, intonation, and musical interpretation in a more detailed way than for a concert. Also, students receive comments from expert musicians in their specific instrument category—contributing to their musical growth.

Students who do not receive monetary awards through the scholarship competition have another opportunity for support through the Schubert Club’s Special Music Grants program. Each year Schubert Club offers grants averaging $500 each to serious, talented music students in need of financial assistance for music education projects such as summer camps, workshops, and other unique and innovative projects which further musical creativity and development. One of the unique projects from last season was developed by a university student as a service mission in Tanzania, Africa. The grant recipient not only gave her time as a volunteer clarinet teacher in the village schools, she also advocated for—and planted— African Blackwood trees (which clarinets are made from) in this ideal climate.

It’s very important to Schubert Club that Special Music Grants also be designated for Twin Cities community programs for high-potential students who do not have the resources available to participate in special study opportunities. Organizations we were pleased to partner with for these funds included Walker West, GTCYS’s Harmony program, ARTS-Us, and our own Project CHEER. Over fifteen students from these programs were able to participate in summer music programs because of the Schubert Club’s funding.

Lastly, each year, in partnership with Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, a free one-day workshop for students age 12–18 gives classical pianists an opportunity to explore the world of jazz, and to further the skills of piano students who have begun to play jazz. Special scholarships endowed by the families of Marie Froehlich, Jane Matteson, and David Paulus are offered to three students to continue their jazz studies privately with a local Jazz teacher.

We believe strongly in the mission to expand access and opportunity to music education for students, and it is very gratifying to be a part of this generous organization that provides over $50,000 annually to support the next generation of music-making!

New Tax Laws and Philanthropy

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


Schubert Club has a long history of generous patrons who believe that great music contributes to a great community. The history of philanthropic giving in Minnesota is among the top in the nation. We are fortunate that people in our community understand the need for non-profit organizations that contribute to our quality of life, and respond by giving their time and resources to ensure they are strong today, and for the future.

For 100 years, donors have had the option to claim their charitable gifts as a write-off on their taxes, and this philosophy helped encourage giving. The strength of the non-profit sector has in a large part, benefitted from tax itemization that allowed more dollars to go to their favorite charities while reducing total personal taxes. The new law that just went into effect allows a larger standard deduction and lower tax rates, giving most people a simpler tax situation, so itemizing may not be an incentive to reduce their taxes. So, what does this mean for future philanthropic giving?

Last year, gifts from individuals made up nearly three-quarters of the $390 billion donated to philanthropies, outpacing the money flowing from foundations, bequests and corporations.* The tax code has encouraged these gifts since the charitable deduction was created in 1917. There is speculation that future giving could go down because there isn’t an incentive for people to do itemizing of their charitable giving.

I beg to differ. Schubert Club donors are loyal, and understand the value of our concerts, education programs and museum as being assets in their lives, and for our community. Giving comes from the heart, and in the first two months of this new tax era, we haven’t experienced a noticeable change in donations. Time will tell, but I believe the extra dollars in our pockets means we have extra dollars to help the charities that touch our lives.

Sarah Caruso, president of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, said she worries about the impact of the new tax bill but is not giving up on any donors just yet. “I’m not going to plan a retreat right now,” Caruso said. “I plan to go out and make the case for the need. And the need in the community is not changing.”

Schubert Club is not changing, and the need and desire for great music continues. Thank you in advance for your continued generosity and thank you for being a part of the Schubert Club family!

*Source: Patrick Rooney, professor of economic and philanthropy and director of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University

Announcing the Voice, Brass & Woodwinds, and Guitar Finalists and Winners from the 2018 Schubert Club Competition

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FINALISTS, 2018 – March 10, Augsburg University

Voice Level I

Harper Atchison, V113
Roseville, MN
University of Northwestern, Saint Paul
Carol Eikum

Alexandra Burch, V120
West Salem, WI
Viterbo University
Dan Johnson Wilmot

Molly Hayes, V110
River Falls, WI
University of Wisconsin, River Falls
Joy Amel

Miranda Kettlewell, V102
Saint Paul, MN
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Mimmi Fulmer

Alma Neuhaus, V126
Minneapolis, MN
St. Olaf College
Anna Mooy

Josey Poppin, V108
Saint Paul, MN
University of Northwestern, Saint Paul
Richard Joseph

Claire Powling, V101
Combined Locks, WI
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Mimmi Fulmer

Olivia Schurke, V128
Maplewood, MN
St. Olaf College
Tracey Engleman

Trevor Todd, V133
Northfield, MN
St. Olaf College
Anna Mooy

Leah Wons, V124
Little Suamico, WI
Viterbo University
Dan Johnson Wilmot

Voice Level II

Eric Broker, V207
Minneapolis, MN
St. Olaf College
George Smith

Harrison Hintzsche, V216
Minneapolis, MN
Robert Smith

Erica Hoops, V201
Buffalo, MN
St. Olaf College
Tracey Engleman

Austin Sanders, V202
La Crosse, WI
Viterbo University
Daniel Johnson-Wilmot

Jack Swanson, V209
Stillwater, MN
Rice University
Stephen King

Voice Level III

Mark Billy, V303
New Brighton, MN
George Smith

Anna Hashizume, V310
Minneapolis, MN
Wendy Zaro-Mulins

Audra House, V309
Onalaska, WI
Viterbo University
Daniel Johnson-Wilmot

John Humphrey, V304
Oakdale, MN
University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music
Mary Kay Schmidt

Young Eun Lee, V301
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
John David De Haan

Brass & Woodwinds Level II

Charles Gannon, BW202, Saxophone
Mendota Heights, MN
St. Paul Academy & Summit School
Preston Duncan

Eva Garcia, BW210, Flute
Mendota Heights, MN
Saint Paul Academy and Summit School
Suzie Kuniyoshi

Owen Gordon, BW209, Clarinet
Edina, MN
Edina High School
Karrin Meffert-Nelson

Ellen Gross, BW208, Flute
Stillwater, MN
Stillwater Area High School
Alicia McQuerrey

Andrea Kloehn, BW201, Flute
Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis South West High School
Immanuel Davis

Rebecca Tank, BW205, Saxophone
Hudson, WI
Hudson High School
Nancy McMillan

Brass & Woodwinds Level III

Ming-Hui Lin, BW314, Flute
Falcon Heights, MN
University of Minnesota
Immanuel Davis

Noah Livingston, BW306, Flute
Roseville, MN
St. Olaf College
Catherine Ramirez

Jacob Meyer, BW307, Clarinet
Saint Paul, MN
Scott Anderson

Hannah Peterson Green, BW311, Flute
Saint Paul, MN

Amelia Smith, BW310, Clarinet
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Tim Zavadil

Russell Sweet, BW308, Saxophone
Saint Paul, MN
University of Minnesota
Preston Duncan

Robert Wakeley, BW304, Flute
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Immanuel Davis

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS, 2018 – March 11, Augsburg University

Voice Level I

1st Place
Claire Powling, V103
Combined Locks, WI
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Mimmi Fulmer

2nd Place
Josey Poppin, V105
Saint Paul, MN
University of Northwestern, Saint Paul
Richard Joseph

Honorable Mention
Miranda Kettlewell, V104
Saint Paul, MN
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Mimmi Fulmer

Honorable Mention
Alma Neuhaus, V101
Minneapolis, MN
St. Olaf College
Anna Mooy

Voice Level II

1st Place
Austin Sanders, V201
La Crosse, WI
Viterbo University
Daniel Johnson-Wilmot

2nd Place
Jack Swanson, V205
Stillwater, MN
Rice University
Stephen King

Honorable Mention
Harrison Hintzsche, V203
Minneapolis, MN
Robert Smith

Voice Level III

1st Place
Mark Billy, V305
New Brighton, MN
George Smith

2nd Place
Anna Hashizume, V303
Minneapolis, MN
Wendy Zaro-Mulins

Honorable Mention
John Humphrey, V301
Oakdale, MN
University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music
Mary Kay Schmidt

Brass & Woodwinds Level II

1st Place
Rebecca Tank, BW203, Saxophone
Hudson, WI
Hudson High School
Nancy McMillan

2nd Place
Andrea Kloehn, BW201, Flute
Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis South West High School
Immanuel Davis

Honorable Mention
Charles Gannon, BW202, Saxophone
Mendota Heights, MN
St. Paul Academy & Summit School
Preston Duncan

Brass & Woodwinds Level III

1st Place
Amelia Smith, BW301, Clarinet
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Tim Zavadil

2nd Place
Ming-Hui Lin, BW307, Flute
Falcon Heights, MN
University of Minnesota
Immanuel Davis

Thelma Hunter Schubert Club Award
Robert Wakeley, BW304, Flute
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Immanuel Davis

Guitar

1st Place
Filip Zivanovic, G08
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Maja Radovanlija

2nd Place
Samuel Hines, G04
Hales Corners, WI
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Rene Izquierdo

Honorable Mention
Alejandro Rodriguez, G07
Milwaukee, WI
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Rene Izquierdo

Honorable Mention
Riley Smith, G10
Milwaukee, WI
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Rene Izquierdo

Announcing the Strings and Piano Finalists and Winners from the 2018 Schubert Club Competition

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FINALISTS, 2018 – February 24, Augsburg University

Piano Level I

Skyler Chan, P109
Plymouth, MN
Wayzata Central Middle School
Alexander Braginsky

Gideon Scheeler, P102
Saint Paul, MN
Christ’s Household of Faith
Elena Piastro

Jacob Taggart, P110
Blaine, MN
Saint Agnes School
Reid Smith

Sarah Zhang, P111
Woodbury, MN
Woodbury High School
Jessica Hong

Piano Level II

Amanda Chan, P210
Plymouth, MN
Wayzata High School
Alexander Braginsky

Austin Cheng, P211
Maple Grove, MN
Wayzata High School
Alexander Braginsky

Vinh Nguyen, P217
Fairbault, MN
Shattuck-St. Mary’s School
Alexander Braginsky

Kimberly Shen, P220
Arden Hills, MN
Mounds View High School
Alexander Braginsky

Margaret Wang, P207
Eagan, MN
Eastview High School
Alexander Braginsky

Clara Xu, P215
Rochester, MN
Mayo High Schools
Horacio Nuguid

Piano Level III

Jay Grinols, P316
Northfield, MN
St. Olaf College
Kathryn Ananda-Owens

Ines Guanchez, P304
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Alexander Braginsky

Peter Lagershausen, P323
Appleton, WI
Lawrence University
Anthony Padilla

Bowen Liu, P325
Saint Paul, MN
University of Northwestern- St. Paul
Richard Lange

Hung Nguyen, P320
Appleton, WI
Lawrence University
Catherine Kautsky

Jackson Richards, P318
Moorhead, MN
Concordia College, Moorhead
Grigor Khachatryan

Piano Level IV

Priscilla Chang, P409
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Alexander Braginsky

Matthew Harikian, P404
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Lydia Artymiw

Minhee Park, P410
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Alexander Braginsky

Garret Ross, P407
Saint Paul, MN
University of Minnesota
Alexander Braginsky

Strings Level I

Dennis Eum, S106
Edina, MN
The Blake School
Hanno Strydom

Katya Moeller, S102
Coralville, IA
Northwest Junior High, Iowa City
Almita Vamos

James Thompson, S104
Brainerd, MN
Brainerd High School
Sally O’Reilly

Andrea Wallick, S108
Apple Valley, MN
Eastview High School
Tanya Remenikova
 

Strings Level II

Catherine Carson, S204
Northfield, MN
Shattuck-St. Mary’s School
Sally O’Reilly

Christopher Kwon, S201
Maple Grove, MN
Maple Grove Senior High School
Silver Ainomae

Matthew Pakola, S210
Edina, MN
Edina High School
Korey Konkol

Katia Tesarczyk, S203
Saint Paul, MN
Saint Paul Central High School
Sally O’Reilly

Nygel Witherspoon, S205
Minneapolis, MN
Connections Academy
Tanya Remenikova

Joyce Zhao, S206
Edina, MN
Edina High School
Sally O’Reilly

Strings Level III

Sedra Bistodeau, S304
Princeton, MN
Bettina Mussumeli

Emera Guarth, S310
Sioux Falls, SD
Cleveland Institute of Music
Joan Kwuon

Sofia Schutte, S307
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Sally O’Reilly

Alastair Witherspoon, S305
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Sally O’Reilly

Imala Witherspoon, S309
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Sally O’Reilly

SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS, 2018 – February 25, Augsburg University

Piano Level I

1st Place
Gideon Scheeler, P101
Saint Paul, MN
Christ’s Household of Faith
Elena Piastro

2nd Place
Sarah Zhang, P104
Woodbury, MN
Woodbury High School
Jessica Hong

Honorable Mention
Skyler Chan, P102
Plymouth, MN
Wayzata Central Middle School
Alexander Braginsky

Honorable Mention
Jacob Taggart, P103
Blaine, MN
Saint Agnes School
Reid Smith

Piano Level II

1st Place
Kimberly Shen, P206
Arden Hills, MN
Mounds View High School
Alexander Braginsky

2nd Place
Vinh Nguyen, P205
Fairbault, MN
Shattuck-St. Mary’s School
Alexander Braginsky

Honorable Mention
Austin Cheng, P203
Maple Grove, MN
Wayzata High School
Alexander Braginsky

Piano Level III

1st Place
Jay Grinols, P303
Northfield, MN
St. Olaf College
Kathryn Ananda-Owens

2nd Place
Jackson Richards, P304
Moorhead, MN
Concordia College, Moorhead
Grigor Khachatryan

Honorable Mention
Bowen Liu, P302
Saint Paul, MN
University of Northwestern- St. Paul
Richard Lange

Honorable Mention
Hung Nguyen, P305
Appleton, WI
Lawrence University
Catherine Kautsky

Piano Level IV

1st Place
Priscilla Chang, P404
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Alexander Braginsky

2nd Place
Garret Ross, P402
Saint Paul, MN
University of Minnesota
Alexander Braginsky

Honorable Mention
Matthew Harikian, P401
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Lydia Artymiw

Strings Level I

1st Place
James Thompson, S102
Brainerd, MN
Brainerd High School
Sally O’Reilly

2nd Place
Katya Moeller, S101
Coralville, IA
Northwest Junior High, Iowa City
Almita Vamos

Strings Level II

1st Place
Nygel Witherspoon, S202
Minneapolis, MN
Connections Academy
Tanya Remenikova

2nd Place
Katia Tesarczyk, S205
Saint Paul, MN
Saint Paul Central High School
Sally O’Reilly

Honorable Mention
Catherine Carson, S206
Northfield, MN
Shattuck-St. Mary’s School
Sally O’Reilly

Strings Level III

1st Place
Sedra Bistodeau, S301
Princeton, MN
Bettina Mussumeli

2nd Place
Sofia Schutte, S302
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Sally O’Reilly

Honorable Mention
Alastair Witherspoon, S305
Minneapolis, MN
University of Minnesota
Sally O’Reilly

Strings Level IV

1st Place
Kyle Price, S404
Madison, WI
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Uri Vardi

2nd Place
Jesse Nummelin, S403
Minneapolis, MN
Kathe Jarka

Honorable Mention
Elena Denny, S401
Saint Paul, MN
University of Minnesota
Tanya Remenikova

 

Announcing the 18-19 International Artist Series & Music in the Park Series

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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. 

We are also excited to introduce our first annual Featured Artist of the Season, the remarkable Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti. Nicola will come to Saint Paul twice during the 2018-2019 season. She will perform a pair of recitals in the International Artist Series (January 2019) and will present a pair of concerts focused on Johannes Brahms as part of Schubert Club Mix (October 2018). In addition to these four performances, Nicola will spend time in the Twin Cities meeting and working with children in various community settings, something she has a strong passion for. 

Subscriptions will be on sale Monday, February 19 at 8:30am. Single tickets will be on sale Wednesday, August 1, at 11am.
The best way to guarantee tickets to these very popular series is to purchase a subscription. 

2018-2019 INTERNATIONAL ARTIST SERIES

Igor Levit, piano

Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 7:30pm
Ordway Music Theater

Winner of Gramophone’s “Recording of the Year 2016” award and most recently named the 2018 recipient of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, a $300,000 international piano prize conferred every four years, Igor Levit has now progressed from rising star to “one of the essential artists of his generation” (The New York Times). Born in Nizhni Nowgorod in 1987, Levit moved with his family to Germany at the age of eight where he currently resides. As the youngest participant in the 2005 Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, Igor Levit won the Silver Prize, as well as the Prize for Best Performer of Chamber Music, the Audience Favorite Prize, and the Prize for Best Performer of Contemporary Music. After making his U.S. debut in 2015 and his International Artist Series debut in 2016, the Schubert Club enthusiastically welcomes this phenomenal young artist back, this time to the larger Ordway Music Theater, for a predominantly Germanic recital program featuring the music of Bach, Busoni, Schumann, Wagner and Liszt.

Samuel Hasselhorn, baritone
& Renate Rohlfing, piano

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 7:30pm
& Saturday, December 1, 2018, 10:30am
Ordway Concert Hall

Young German baritone Samuel Hasselhorn won first prize in the 2017 Das Lied International Song Competition in Heidelberg, Germany and in doing so established himself as an outstanding interpreter of art song in the tradition of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Thomas Quasthoff.  Recognized for his charismatic stage presence and stunning vocal ability, his performances have been praised for offering “moments of emotion and pure musicality that will not soon be forgotten” (Crescendo Magazine).  Having recently made his U.S. debut and still a relative newcomer to American concert halls, the Schubert Club is pleased to be among the first U.S. presenters to welcome this fast rising vocal talent. For his Twin Cities debut performance in the Ordway Concert Hall, Hasselhorn will be joined by the pianist he collaborates with regularly, Renate Rohlfing.


Nicola Benedetti, violin
& Alexei Grynyuk, piano

Friday, January 18, 2019, 7:30pm
& Sunday, January 20, 2019, 3:00pm
Ordway Concert Hall

The Schubert Club is honored to announce Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti as its first Featured Artist, giving us an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with an artist or ensemble over the course of a season.  Nicola’s residency includes a recital on the International Artist Series.  She is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation and performs on the Gariel Stradivarius (1717).  Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and dynamic presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high-profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today. Born in Scotland of Italian heritage, Nicola began violin lessons at the age of five. She has since gone on to collect many awards and titles including “Best Female Artist” at both the 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards and the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2017, the youngest ever recipient. In addition to her busy orchestra and recital schedule, Benedetti is fiercely committed to music education and has her own education initiative called “The Benedetti Sessions” that give young string players the opportunity to rehearse, undertake and observe masterclasses culminating in a performance alongside Nicola. For her International Artist Series debut in the Ordway Concert Hall, she will give the U.S. premiere of a new work for solo violin written for her by Wynton Marsalis and will be joined for the rest of the program by her regular duo partner, pianist Alexei Grynyuk.

Joyce DiDonato, mezzo soprano
& Craig Terry, piano with jazz trio

Monday, February 25, 2019, 7:30pm
Ordway Music Theatre

“Perhaps the most potent female singer of her generation” (the New Yorker), multi GRAMMY Award winner Joyce DiDonato returns to the Schubert Club’s International Artist Series to perform a song recital in the Ordway Music Theater. With a voice that is “nothing less than 24-carat gold” as proclaimed by The Times, she is among the world’s most entrancing performers. Born in Kansas, Joyce has soared to the top of the industry both as a performer and a fierce advocate for the arts, gaining international prominence in operas by Handel and Mozart, as well as through her wide-ranging, acclaimed discography. Joyce’s program for this concert will feature music from her upcoming recording, SONGPLAY. In her own words, “this is a project of experimentation and play, aimed at giving a joyful (playful!) experience to the listener.” We expect this concert to sell out quickly and encourage you to get your tickets early!

Gautier Capuçon, cello
& Yuja Wang, piano

Wednesday, April 3, 2019, 10:30am
& Thursday, April 4, 2019, 7:30pm
Ordway Concert Hall

The musical duo partnership of Gautier Capuçon and Yuja Wang is one to anticipate with real excitement.  Gautier Capuçon is a true 21st century ambassador for the cello. Born in Chambéry, France in 1981, he performs each season with many of the world’s foremost conductors and instrumentalists, and is also founder and leader of the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris – based in the stunning new Auditorium designed by Frank Gehry. Gautier is acclaimed internationally for his deeply expressive musicianship and exuberant virtuosity, as well as for the glorious sonority of his 1701 Matteo Goffriller cello. Joining him for this pair of recitals is the charismatic pianist Yuja Wang, the 2017 Musical America Artist of the Year. After she made her Schubert Club International Artist Series debut in 2011, the Star Tribune stated “Wang… is no mere ‘virtuoso’ — a word cheapened by overuse. Hers is demonic, more-than-human pianism, of the sort that gets you thinking about Faustian bargains.” Yuja’s way of making music connects with a strikingly broad demographic. It appeals to everyone, from classical music newcomers to devoted pianophiles, and has attracted an exceptionally youthful following. Her love for fashion, recognized by her induction into Giorgio Armani’s Sì Women’s Circle, has also contributed to the popular appeal of an artist who is armed with the ability to challenge the status quo and to welcome fresh converts to the concert hall. For their Ordway Concert Hall performances, this exceptional duo will present two different programs on April 3 and April 4, and we encourage you to attend both!

Read more at schubert.org


2018-2019 MUSIC IN THE PARK SERIES

Miró Quartet

Sunday, September 23, 2018, 4pm

The 2018-2019 Music in the Park Series will open with the return of Miró Quartet. Hailed by The New York Times as possessing “explosive vigor and technical finesse”, the dynamic Miró Quartet, one of America’s highest-profile chamber groups, enjoys its place at the top of the international chamber music scene. Founded in 1995 at the Oberlin Conservatory, the quartet met with immediate success winning first prize at the 50th annual Coleman Chamber Music Competition in April 1996, and taking both the first and grand prizes at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition two months later. In 2005, the Quartet received the Cleveland Quartet Award and was the first ensemble ever to be awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant.  The quartet’s program comprises quartets by Schumann and Mendelssohn and, honoring their fierce devotion to contemporary music, Kevin Puts’ third string quartet entitled “Credo”. The Miró Quartet is named for the surrealist Spanish artist Joan Miró.

Trio con Brio, Copenhagen

Sunday, October 14, 2018, 4pm

Making a welcome return to Music in the Park Series is the piano trio, Trio con Brio Copenhagen, hailed for their “unique sound and unity of interpretation” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). Founded in Vienna in 1999 with the concept of pairs coming together, the two Korean Hong sisters and Jens Elvekjaer (who is married to Soo-Kyung Hong) have been exploring the piano trio repertoire with freshness and curiosity as well as with respect and reflection. Their Mendelssohn CD was chosen by Britain’s Classic FM as its Chamber Disc of 2011. Their program features piano trios by Beethoven, Brahms, and the Piano Trio in G minor by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana written in response to the death of his daughter. Soo-Jin plays a violin built by Andrea Guarneri from the 17th century and Soo-Kyung plays a Grancino cello. Jens is Denmark’s first Steinway artist.

Alexander Fiterstein and Friends

Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet
Elena Urioste, violin
Nicholas Canellakis, cello
Michael Brown, piano

Sunday, November 18, 2018, 4pm

Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, Twin Cities-based until recently, is considered one of today’s most exceptional performers of the instrument. He won first prize at the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition and received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. As a Juilliard graduate, he won first prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received awards from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.  Alex has invited his friends Elena Urioste (violin), Nicholas Canellakis (cello), and Michael Brown (piano) to join him for this program of Mieczysław Weinberg’s Clarinet Sonata and Olivier Messiaen’s much loved Quartet for the End of Time.  Urioste, Canellakis, and Brown have established themselves as three of the most sought-after young virtuosos on the classical music scene today. Each are winners, like Fiterstein, of an Avery Fisher Career Grant.  Among the various other prizes and recognition they have individually won are inclusion in the BBC New Generation Artist Scheme, Sphinx and Concert Artists Guild competitions, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center auditions.  They have performed in many of the most prestigious venues across the United States and Europe.

Ensemble Caprice

Sunday, February 10, 2019, 4pm

Highly regarded in early music circles, Ensemble Caprice is renowned for its innovative and expertly informed interpretations of baroque music. The Montreal-based ensemble has received national and international acclaim for its performances under the artistic direction of recorder and baroque flute virtuoso Matthias Maute (who recently added the role of Artistic Director for the Bach Society of Minnesota to his musical activities).  Ensemble Caprice, whose members play recorder, cello, guitar and percussion returns to the Music in the Park Series with a program titled ‘iLove baroque”.  Their program weaves together eight short stories featuring music of two centuries from five countries.  Music by Bach, Falconiero, Schmelzer, Purcell, and Vivaldi (among others) highlights the drama, tenderness, joy, humor, and melancholy of being in love.  A perfect way to celebrate St Valentine’s Day.

Horszowski Trio with
Masumi Per Rostad, viola

Sunday, March 17, 2019, 4pm

Music in the Park Series is proud to debut the Horszowski Trio, joined for part of the program by Masumi Per Rostad, violist of the renowned Pacifica Quartet.  Hailed by The New Yorker as “destined for great things,” the members of the Horszowski Trio, who are also long-time friends, are Jesse Mills (violin), Raman Ramakrishnan (cello), and Rieko Aizawa (piano). Two-time Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Mills first performed with Raman Ramakrishnan, founding cellist of the prize-winning Daedalus Quartet, at the Kinhaven Music School when they were children. In New York City, they met pianist Rieko Aizawa, who, upon being discovered by the late violinist and conductor Alexander Schneider, had made her U.S. debuts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. Their musical bonds were strengthened at various schools and festivals around the world, including the Juilliard School and the Marlboro Festival. Ms. Aizawa was the last pupil of the legendary pianist, Mieczysław Horszowski (1892-1993), at the Curtis Institute. The Trio takes inspiration from Horszowski’s musicianship, integrity, and humanity. Like Horszowski, the Trio presents repertoire spanning the traditional and the contemporary. Their program features Schumann’s Piano Trio No.1 in D minor, a Brahms Piano Quartet, and Piano Trio by Charles Wuorinen.

Brentano String Quartet

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 4pm

Since its inception in 1992, the Brentano String Quartet has appeared throughout the world to popular and critical acclaim. The New York Times extols its “luxuriously warm sound [and] yearning lyricism.”  Within a few years of its formation, the Quartet garnered the first Cleveland Quartet Award and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award.  The Quartet had its first European tour in 1997, and was honored in the U.K. with the Royal Philharmonic Award for Most Outstanding Debut. That debut recital was at London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Quartet has continued its warm relationship with Wigmore, appearing there regularly and serving as the hall’s Quartet-in-residence in the 2000-01 season. As of July 2014, the Brentano Quartet succeeded the Tokyo Quartet as Artists in Residence at Yale University, departing from their 14-year residency at Princeton University.  The Brentano Quartet’s program is titled “Lamentations” and features music by Purcell, Haydn, Shostakovich, d”India, Carter, Lekeu, and Bartok.  The Quartet is named for Antonie Brentano, whom many scholars consider to be Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved”, the intended recipient of his famous love confession.

Read more at schubert.org


Subscriptions on sale Monday, February 19, 8:30am

Subscriptions are on sale starting Monday, February 19, 2018 at 8:30am and can be purchased online at schubert.org/subscribe or by calling 651.292.3268.

International Artist Series five-concert subscription prices range from $101 to $226.50 for the daytime when available package option and from $113.75 to $243.75 for the evening package option. Student subscriptions are $55 (with valid I.D. and .edu email address). 
 
Music in the Park Series six-concert subscriptions are $144. Student subscriptions are $66 (with valid I.D. and .edu email address). 

Single Tickets on sale Wednesday, August 1, 11am


 

Courtroom Concerts: The Little Series that Could

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Wander into the beautiful Landmark Center at Rice Park on a Thursday noontime, and if your route takes you near the high-ceilinged, wood-paneled courtroom on the third floor, you are likely to hear a performance by some of the finest musicians in the Twin Cities. The music is part of Schubert Club’s Courtroom Concert Series.

The series came into existence in 1992 as successor to the long-running “Live from Landmark Series,” co-sponsored with Minnesota Public Radio. At that time, MPR was making changes to its programming format and reassigned priorities. When the decision came to cancel “Live From Landmark,” some hearts sank; however, almost as quickly a remarkable recovery materialized, due in part to Ramsey County’s desire to provide free events in the building. 

Only a few changes were necessary: the programs would no longer be broadcast, and the venue was changed from the Weyerhaeuser Auditorium in the lower level of Landmark Center to the Ramsey County Courtroom on the third floor. 

Schubert Club would continue to tap superb performers from our musically-rich community: orchestra players, teachers, student scholarship winners, and freelancers. While some might recall a few empty seats in the first years of this new series, it didn’t take long for word to spread that here was a little concert worth coming to. Now the concerts are often “standing room only.”

Complimentary coffee continues to be served each week, and there is no admission charge. But the real draw is the interesting and varied programming, which has remained the focus of the series throughout the years. From Early Music to music composed earlier in the week, from marimba to mezzo-soprano, from solo piano to string quartet, a broad mixture of programming keeps the series fresh and keeps the crowds coming.

Hosted by composer Abbie Betinis, the Courtroom Concerts run from October through April.