Hosted by composer Abbie Betinis, our popular Courtroom Concerts take place at noon most Thursdays in the Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul. This series features accomplished musicians and composers from the Twin Cities and surrounding area, as well as occasional musical newcomers to the area. These one-hour concerts are free and open to the public.
About the Artists:
Bob Peskin is a singer, choral music arranger, and arts administrator. He is the executive director of the Minnesota Chorale, and is a bass section leader in the Chorale’s symphonic chorus. He also sings in The Fairlanes, an a cappella doo-wop quartet. He was the bass section leader of the Dale Warland Singers for seven years. Formerly the national director of chapters at the American Composers Forum, he served as director of music ministries at Unity Church-Unitarian for five years. He earned his B.A. cum laude in music composition from Princeton University, and pursued graduate studies in choral conducting at the University of Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, Jenny Thompson, and their dachshund, Josie, who is looking forward to her first trip to Duluth later this year.
Pianist Barbara Brooks is an active vocal coach and music director in the Twin Cities area, and is the Minnesota Chorale’s accompanist and artistic advisor. She has worked with various opera companies including Canadian Opera, Minnesota Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera Banff, Berkshire Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Kentucky Opera, as well as the University of Minnesota Opera and University of North Texas Opera programs. She has served as a vocal coach for the Minnesota Opera’s Resident Artist program and currently is on the music staff of the Wesley Balk Institute. She has also collaborated as music director in the highly imaginative productions of Mozart’s operas at Theatre de la Jeune Lune in Minneapolis. She holds a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Pianist Orion Kim studies with Claudia Chen of Macalester College and Wei-Yi Yang of Yale University. He has performed with numerous orchestras in the Twin Cities area including the Mississippi Valley Orchestra, the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, the Dakota Valley Symphony, the Golden Valley Orchestra, and the University of Minnesota Chamber Orchestra. Most recently, he was one of the top prize winners in the Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concerto Competition and the LaCrosse Symphony Orchestra Rising Stars Concerto Competition. In 2020, Orion won the top prize at the Thursday Musical Young Artist Competition (Junior Division), and an Honorable Mention at the Schubert Club Student Scholarship Competition. He was named Alternate for the state of Minnesota in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Competition (Junior Level). Orion took first place in the 2019 Saint Paul Piano Teachers Concerto Competition, leading to a performance of Saint-Saens’ Concerto No. 2 in G minor with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra. Orion’s other great passion besides the piano is soccer, and he plays competitively for the Saint Paul Blackhawks Club, whose team won the 2019 and 2021 Minnesota State Championships and the 2018 USA Schwann Cup. Previous Young Artists Program musician (2021)