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FREE Courtroom Concert featuring I. Christopher Atzinger, piano II. Merilee Klemp, oboe; Laurie Merz, bassoon; Mimi Tung, piano

About the Artist:

Praised in Gramophone for his “abundant energy, powerful fingers, big sound and natural musicality,” and in the San Francisco Chronicle for his “fervency and panache”, pianist Christopher Atzinger has performed throughout Europe and North America, highlighted by concerts at Carnegie Hall (Weill), Salle Cortot, St. Martins-in- the-Fields, the American Academy in Rome, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. His live performances have been broadcast across the country, and he has been heard on American Public Media’s Performance Today, and on Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Vermont Public Radio.

A medalist of the New Orleans, San Antonio, Cincinnati, Shreveport, and Seattle International Piano Competitions, Atzinger was also winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Competition, the Simone Belsky Piano Competition, and the Premio Città di Ispica prize at the IBLA Grand Prize Competition in Ragusa-Ibla, Italy. He also received honors from the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and MTNA. He has received grants and fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, the Theodore Presser Foundation, the American Composers Forum, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Foundation La Gesse, and the Joyce DutkaArts Foundation.

In addition to degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan, Atzinger earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Merilee Klemp received the B.A. in Music Education from Augsburg College, the M.A. in Musicology from the University of Minnesota, and the D.M.A. in Oboe Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She performs regularly with the Minnesota Sinfonia and has performed with the Guthrie Theater, the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, Vocalessence, and is a frequent recitalist and soloist in the Twin Cities.

Laurie Hatcher Merz is in her sixteenth year as Second Bassoon/Contrabassoon in the Minnesota Opera Orchestra. She is a busy free-lance player in the Twin Cities, performing with VocalEssence and Minnesota Sinfonia, and is a guest artist for the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has been a professor of bassoon at Augsburg College since 2002 and is also on the faculty of Century College. Merz received her Bachelor of Music Degree in Bassoon Performance with Distinction from the Eastman School of Music and her Master of Music with Honors from the University of Minnesota.

Mimi Tung began piano studies at age 4. She earned her degree in piano performance from Santa Clara University and was awarded the Performer’s Certificate for outstanding musical performance. Though serious about pursuing her passion for music, Mimi has always had a “day job.” Following a successful career in college admissions and university development, she now serves as International Principal Gifts Officer at Mayo Clinic.

About the Host:

Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times), “superb, whirling, soaring” (Tacoma News Tribune), and “the highlight” of the program (Boston Globe).  With over 50 commissioned works for ensembles such as Cantus, the New England Philharmonic, and The Rose Ensemble, Abbie is also a two-time McKnight Artist Fellow, and has won grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and at age 31, was listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40.  Abbie has been a Composer-in-Residence with New York State School Music Association, The Rose Ensemble, The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists, and Schubert Club. In 2019, she will be the American Composers Forum’s ChoralQuest composer, visiting schools around the U.S. to write new choral music with middle school singers. 

Originally from Wisconsin, Abbie is a graduate of St. Olaf College (B.A.), the University of Minnesota (M.A.), and holds a diplôme from the European American Musical Alliance Institute in Paris, France. She lives in Minnesota, where she is Adjunct Professor of Composition at Concordia University-St Paul and executive director of Justice Choir.


View the Frequently Asked Questions about the Courtroom Concerts.

Seating is limited and first come first served. Doors open at 11:30. Please call if you are attending as a group of 10 or more (651.292.3267).

Schedule & Programs Subject to Change

Ticket Info

Free admission


I. Christopher Atzinger, piano
II. Merilee Klemp, oboe; Laurie Merz, bassoon; Mimi Tung, piano

About Landmark Center Courtroom 317