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FREE Courtroom Concert featuring Joanne Opgenorth, Jennifer Gerth, Laura Sewell, and Ora Itkin

Courtroom Concerts
Thursday, March 29, 12:00 pm

Thursday, March 29, 2018, 12pm

Featuring Joanne Opgenorth, violin; Jennifer Gerth, clarinet; Laura Sewell, cello; Ora Itkin, piano



Quartet for the End of Time—Olivier Messiaen
     Liturgie de cristal
     Vocalise, pour l’Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
     Abîme des oiseaux
     Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus
     Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes
     Fouillis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps
     Louange à l’Immortalité de Jésus


 About the Artists:

Joanne Opgenorth joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s first violin section in 2002, after serving seven seasons as a first violinist in the Washington National Opera Orchestra in Washington, D.C. She has collaborated with Orchestra musicians and guest artists, playing chamber music in the Minnesota Orchestra Chamber Music, Nightcap and Sommerfest series, and in KinderKonzerts and Common Chords outreach chamber music concerts. Opgenorth is a first prize winner in the Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition of Canada and the recipient of several Canada Council awards. She has appeared as soloist with the Edmonton Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestras, and has toured Canada in recital. She has played chamber music concerts in Spain, Switzerland, and throughout the eastern United States and Puerto Rico with various ensembles, including Continuum—a new music ensemble based in New York—and the Morrison String Quartet based in Washington, D.C. She is a founding member of the Isles Ensemble, a chamber music group that performs at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Her performances have been broadcast on Canada’s CBC Radio, WQXR New York and Minnesota Public Radio.

Besides playing the violin, Opgenorth also enjoys teaching. She started teaching privately at 14 years old, and has taught at the Vancouver Conservatory and at Rutgers University as a doctoral fellow. She has also coached youth orchestra violin sections and chamber music ensembles including the Iceland Symphony Youth Orchestra, the National Philharmonic Summer Institute orchestra and ensembles, and has guest coached the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Youth Symphony. Opgenorth grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, where she studied with Yasuko Tanaka Eastman, Jack Krajicek, and Ranald Shean. She received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. Her principal teachers were John Loban, Lorand Fenyves, Joseph Fuchs, Paul Zukofsky and Arnold Steinhardt. She participated in summer festivals at the Banff Centre and at the Hochshule Motzarteum in Salzburg, Austria, where she studied with David Zafer, Michel Schwalbe, Jean Fournier, Jaap Scroder and Ruggiero Ricci.

Jennifer Gerth is in her 21st year as principal clarinet of the Duluth-Superior Symphony. An active member of the Twin Cities musical community, she also performs with the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Mill City Opera, and in various other freelance orchestras. Her formal studies were undertaken at St. Olaf College, Northwestern University and The University of Minnesota. Ms. Gerth has taught at the College of St. Benedict, St. Cloud State University, Concordia College, St. Olaf College and is currently teaching at Augsburg College and the University of St. Thomas. Ms. Gerth also teaches at Birch Creek Summer Performance Center and plays in the Alexandria Festival of the Lakes Chamber Music Festival.
Laura Sewell was a member of the Artaria String Quartet from 2007-2016. Earlier in her career she was the founding cellist of the Lark Quartet. Ms. Sewell received her Bachelor’s Degree from the Juilliard School where she was a student of Leonard Rose, and her Master’s Degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Alan Harris. She also had the opportunity, at the age of 17, to study with the legendary cellist, Jacqueline DuPre. Ms. Sewell plays as a substitute cellist with both the Minnesota and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras and has been a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, the Bakken Trio, and the Musical Offering. She has appeared on Saint Paul Sunday and on A Prairie Home Companion. She has premiered solo works by Paul Schoenfield, Stephen Paulus, and Steve Heitzeg, and chamber works by Libby Larsen, Peter Schickele, Jon Deak, and Stanislaw Skrowacewski. She has been on the faculties of the MacPhail Center for the Arts, Augsburg College, Madeline Island Music Camp, Stringwood, and the Artaria Chamber Music School. From 2000-2008 she served on the board of Chamber Music America.

Russia born pianist Ora Itkin began her piano studies at age 4 under the guidance of her father, Igor Itkin, who became known as one of the pioneers of subversive Russian jazz. She is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music, Moscow, Russia; Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; and Rubin Academy of Music at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. In her musicianship she follows the legacy of her teachers who belong to the lineage of the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus school of piano playing. An active concert pianist and chamber musician, she performs in some of the major venues across the Twin Cities as well as internationally in Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Most recently she performed a series of solo recitals and led masterclasses in Montpelier, France and Jerusalem, Israel. Ms. Itkin is a faculty member at both the University of St. Thomas and MacPhail Center for Music. She also maintains a private teaching studio in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches individually and as a chamber music coach. She is two-time recipient of the MacPhail Artist Grant and a recent recipient of the University of St. Thomas Faculty Development Grant. As an educator and a life-long advocate of a holistic approach to learning, Ms. Itkin seeks to promote an interconnectedness of music with the arts, humanities, and sciences in everything she does, especially in her multimedia productions, interdisciplinary workshops and presentations, and individual work with students.

Concert Info

October through April
Thursdays from 12pm – 1pm
Courtroom 317, Landmark Center


Hosted by Schubert Club
Composer-in-Residence, Abbie Betinis.

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

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 has been awarded a McKnight Composer Fellowship, grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and was recently listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40.  A resident of Saint Paul, she is adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University, and was composer-in-residence with the Schubert Club from 2005-2017.


March 29, 2018
12:00 pm
Event Category:


Landmark Center Courtroom 317
75 W 5th St MN 55102 United States


Courtroom Concert Series