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CANCELLED – FREE Courtroom Concert featuring Maithree Ensemble

Thursday, April 2, 12:00PM

Landmark Center Courtroom 317

For the safety of our patrons and in keeping with guidance from state officials, Schubert Club has made the decision to cancel performances through April 15 as a preventative action against the spread of COVID-19 in our community Ticket holders will be contacted by email and phone with details. More information >>


About the Artists:

Pat O’Keefe is a multifaceted performer who is active and in demand in a wide variety of musical genres. He has performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras and wind ensembles, wailed away for belly dancers, and rocked samba in the streets. He draws upon this multiplicity of experiences and interests in his performances, which employ a “superb control of extended techniques,” and have been described as “passionate,” “explosive,” and “breath-stoppingly exquisite.” He is currently the woodwind player for the contemporary music ensemble Zeitgeist, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. With Zeitgeist he has premiered over two hundred new works, and has performed throughout the United States and Europe. Pat has also performed and recorded with other noted new music groups around the country, including ETHEL, California E.A.R. Unit, and Cleveland New Music Associates, and has appeared as a soloist at the SEAMUS, Spark!, and the Third Practice festivals. Pat began his career as an orchestral clarinetist, serving as the principal clarinetist for five seasons with the Augusta Symphony in Augusta, Georgia.

Active in the improvised music and world music communities as well, Pat is a founder and co-director of the large improvising ensemble Cherry Spoon Collective, and the electro-acoustic duo Willful Devices (with composer and computer musician Scott Miller). Pat’s music making is heavily influenced by the music of other cultures, having studied Turkish music with Turkish Rom clarinetist Selim Sesler, and Brazilian music with master drummer Jorge Alabé. In 2016 he spent time at the National Gugak Center in Seoul studying Korean traditional music, and he also performed at the International Sori Festival in Jeonju, South Korea. He is one of the founding directors of the Brazilian percussion group Batucada do Norte, and appears regularly with the groups Choro Borealis, and The Maithree Ensemble in the Twin Cities.

Pat holds a BM (with Performer’s Certificate) from Indiana University, an MM (with Academic Honors and Distinction in Performance) from the New England Conservatory, and a DMA from the University of California, San Diego. He has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and in 2015 he was awarded a Performing Musician Fellowship from the McKnight Foundation. He currently teaches at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

Nirmala Rajasekar is one of the leading Saraswathi veena players in the world today. She has been known as a ‘Carnatic ambassador’ for her role in propagating the South Indian Classical art form Carnatic music and the music of the Saraswathi veena. Nirmala is a dynamic and vibrant artist and a vocalist and composer who has been performing for nearly four decades at well known venues around the world -such as the Carnegie Hall and United Nations in New York USA; Madras Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha Chennai, Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsava Pune, Kolkata Performing Arts Festival Kolkatta, Chembur Fine Arts Bombay, Bangalore Gayana Samaj, in India; the Rumi International Festival in Konya, Turkey; Musee Rietburg Switzerland; BBC London UK; ABC Sydney Brisbane, Australia; All India Radio/ Doordarshan – National program concerts – and several other concert centers in India, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Indonesia, and Singapore.

Her performances have been featured at special events –including playing for The President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam and Jazz great Ornette Coleman. Nirmala has been an empanelled artiste of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations since 1987 and has performed in many Festivals hosted by the Government of India.

Several honors have been conferred on Nirmala for her many contributions to music – She has received Best artiste awards from well known music organizations including The Madras Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Madras and the Bangalore Gayana Samaja; Vocational Excellence Award from the Rotary Club International, Veena Sudar Oli, Naadha Kala Vipanchi from Dr. Balamuralikrishna, Swararaga Saargyar from Panchamukha Anjaneya Festival Committee, Veena Kala Vithakar from Veenalayam Toronto, Canada, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the India Association of Minnesota. The Delhi Telugu Academy, India and Dr. Dash Foundation awarded Nirmala the Prathibha Puraskar. She is the first Indian-born musician to receive the Bush and McKnight Fellowships.

Nirmala serves as a Director on the Board of the American Composer’s Forum, the primary organization in the USA that supports composers in America and around the world. Nirmala has performed for many record labels since 1986. In Oct 2018, Nirmala released her latest collaborative album “Maithree: the Music of Friendship”, produced by Innova Recordings USA, featuring many musical instruments and genres. This album is available worldwide on all digital streaming services and has received national and international attention including a stellar review from the premier world music magazine ‘Songlines’, UK.

Michelle Kinney is a lifelong improviser inspired by collaborative cross-genre work and non-traditional contexts for the cello. In her day job, Michelle rides impulse, gesture and gut response, rhythm and light/wave energy improvising with her cello and looping device for daily dance classes as Musician in Residence at the U of MN’s Dance Program.

Michelle’s current projects include Maithree – The Music of Friendship, a collaboration led by South Indian Veena virtuoso Nirmala Rajasekar. Michelle also leads her own band What We Have Here, performing her original compositions; and co-leads the two cellos and tabla/drum quartet Jelloslave/Purple Orange which has made two critically acclaimed recordings. A new string trio The Stylites with Chris Cunningham (guitar) and Nick Gaudette (bass) just debuted.

Other Twin Cities music artists calling on Michelle’s cello contributions include Aby Wolf, Mankwe N’dosi, Chastity Brown, George Cartwright, Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Adam Zhaller, JC Sanford, Cody McKinney, among many others. She also composes and performs regularly for theater and dance.

Michelle’s work has been recognized and supported by the The McKnight Foundation, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, MN State Arts Board, NEA/Rockefeller, Harvestworks/Studio Pass, and the American Composers Forum.

While living in NYC for 13 years, Michelle was lucky enough to work with some of the most respected innovators in new music, including the unforgettable Butch Morris, Henry Threadgill, Jason Hwang, Brandon Ross, Stomu Takeishi and Myra Melford. She also recorded and toured with some great pop icons, including Natalie Merchant and Sheryl Crow.

Tim O’Keefe has been a mainstay in the world music scene for over thirty years. Tim’s performances have been described as “ amazing” and “extravagant” by such notables as Tim Sparks and the Washington Post. He has performed with many of highly renown world music artists including Simon Shaheen, Morteza Varzi, Siwan Perwar, Jovino Santos Neto, Sattar, Jorge Alabe, Bassam Saba, Sussan and Sakhar Hattar. He has co-founded many of the best known regional international ensembles including Robayat, Saharan Nights, Choro Borealis, Brasamba, Amwaaj, Music Mundial and Batucada do Norte drum ensemble which he also co-directs. His music presents a very wide palat recording with artists such as Tim Sparks, The Rose Ensemble, Siama Matuzungidi, the Ethnic Dance Theater Orchestra, Sakhar Hattar, Paul Metsa, the Electric Arab Orchestra, Maithree and commercial session recordings as well as a major motion picture soundtrack. Since the 1980’s Tim has served as composer/music director for many local theater and dance productions and a film produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota. He has tours nationwide and internationally and currently performs with Choro Borealis, the Rose Ensemble, Amwaaj, Robayat, Samba Meu, Ottie the Mink, Siama Matuzungidi, Maithree with Nirmala Rajasaker, Xibaba and more.

Muruga Boopathi aka Boopathi is one of the world’s most celebrated mridangam players of today. His techniques and creative ability in accompaniment, solo renditions, and duet (jugalbandhi) programs with his North Indian brethren have earned him much acclaim around the world. He has been featured on several world music albums including ‘Into the raga’ and ‘Maithree –the Music of Friendship’ from Innova recordings.

Muruga Boopathi was born 19th April 1965 in Chennai, India. He hails from a family of musicians and artists. He had the unique honor of living with his Guru Tanjore Upendren and learning in the age old tradition of ‘Gurukula’. He is one of the few performers of today who has had firsthand experience and knowledge of such training, something which is no longer a part of the current training and learning methods in Carnatic music.
Boopathi had his initial training under Sri T R Srinivasan (Mridanga Guru and Professor) at the Tamil Nadu Music University Chennai. He was conferred the award “Vadya Visharada” by the Tamil Nadu Music University. After this, he underwent further training in the gurukula tradition under the late Mridangam Maestro Tanjore Upendran for over 10 years.

His percussion career has been a colorful spectrum of accompaniment to a legion of maestros and virtuosos of the world of Carnatic Vocal and Instrumental music.
Prominent vocalists among them are Padma Vibhushan Sri M Balamuralikrishna, Padmabhushan Madurai Sri T N Seshagopalan, Padma Bhushan T V Sankaranarayanan, Sanjay Subramanyam, P Unnikrishnan, T M Krishna, Sudha Raghunathan, Aruna Sayeeram and Nithyashree Mahadevan.
Renowned instrumentalists that he has performed with the renowned and respected flautist Dr N Ramani, mandolin player Sri U Srinivas, Saxophonist Sri Kadri Gopalnath, Violinist brothers Sri Ganesh & Sri Kumaresh, Mysore Sri Nagaraj and Sri Manjunath, vainika Smt. Nirmala Rajasekar and flautist Sri Shashank.

He has collaborated with several Hindustani (North Indian) musicians in Jugalbandi concerts, including Ustad Sultan Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan, Pandit Ronu Majumdar and Sri Gaurav Mazumdar.

His concert performances have been seen at several venues in India and around the world – Some of them are the Music Academy India, Public Broadcasting Service studios USA , the United Nations New York, the Royal Albert Hall London, Theater De La Ville Paris, ‘The Esplanade’ Singapore and several venues in Australia, Bahrain, Dubai and South Africa.

He has the honor of being one of the first Carnatic musicians to be showcased on the international music scene in Turkey accompanying veena artiste Smt.Nirmala Rajasekar in that country in 2011.

He has participated and conducted outreach programs in various countries including the United States, Europe, Australia and East Asia, which has enabled him to share his knowledge to art lovers through lectures, music conferences and seminars.

He has been instrumental in providing support direction and guidance towards incubating several arts organizations in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Muruga Boopathi travels extensively to countries like USA, Scotland, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, UK, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Spain, Belgium, Turkey, Middle East, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong for concert performances, lectures and teaching assignments.


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