FREE Courtroom Concert featuring Maria Jette, Mary Jo Gothmann & Mill City String Quartet
About the Artists
Maria Jette, soprano, has appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, New York Chamber Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra: the Symphonies of Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Kansas City, Charlotte, Santa Rosa and Buffalo; Vocalessence (formerly The Plymouth Music Series of Minnesota), the Handel Choir of Baltimore, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, and Los Angeles Master Chorale; and with original instrument ensembles Angelica Cantanti, Portland Baroque Orchestra and The Lyra Baroque Orchestra. She has been a regular guest at the Oregon Bach, Victoria Bach and San Luis Obispo Mozart Festivals, the Oregon Festival of American Music, and on Public Radio International’s A Prairie Home Companion. With conductor Helmuth Rilling, she has sung Bach, Mozart and Monteverdi in Germany, Spain, Japan, and Canada, as well as in Minneapolis, New York, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. In a 20+ year association with conductor Philip Brunelle, she first appeared as the coloratura dog, Fido, in Britten’s Paul Bunyan; and has gone on to sing everything from fully-staged operas by Mozart opera and Virgil Thomson through oratorios by Handel, William Bolcom and Francis Grier, and most recently, Dominick Argento’s glorious Evensong (2009).
Her 45+ operatic roles range from Monteverdi’s Poppea and Handel’s Cleopatra through Mozart’s Pamina, Countess and Fiordiligi, many of them with the late, lamented Ex Machina Antique Music Theatre in the Twin Cities. With The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, she starred as the Mrs. in the May 2002 premiere of Garrison Keillor’s operatic excursion, Mr. and Mrs. Olson. She has performed her own production of Seuss/Kapilow’s Green Eggs & Ham for more than 50,000 kids, with symphonies and music festivals around the USA.
Pianist Mary Jo Gothmann enjoys a varied career as a chamber musician, soloist, opera coach and organist. Her recent chamber music engagements have included performances with the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, Bakken Trio, Hill House Chamber Players, Music at Trinity, Colonial Chamber Music Series, Lakes Area Music Festival, Joya! and the Taos Chamber Music Group. Mary Jo performs frequently with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra; has appeared with EOS Orchestra in New York City and as piano soloist with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the St. Paul Civic Orchestra. She has worked for some of the most prestigious opera companies in the United States including the Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Minnesota Opera and has performed recitals with singers from the Metropolitan Opera as well as with instrumentalists from many of the country’s major symphony orchestras. Mary Jo is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program, University of Minnesota, New England Conservatory and St. Olaf College.
Founded in the fall of 2007, the Mill City String Quartet seeks to create exciting and diverse concerts for listeners both familiar and new to chamber music. In addition to our season of public concerts, we also frequently collaborate with the singers of Kantorei, work with students across Central and Southern Minnesota, and have premiered several new or lesser-known chamber music works.
In late 2011, MCSQ released a recording of Christmas music, entitled “Christmas in Mill City.” It continues to be heard on Minnesota Public Radio throughout the holiday season, so be sure to tune in to Classical MPR 99.5!
In recent seasons, through a generous grant from the Mankato Symphony and the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, we toured extensively through rural communities throughout southern Minnesota. Over the course of our 13 performances, we were humbled by the warm and eager audiences and enjoyed bringing them classical music up close in their own communities. These concerts were also made possible the Minnesota Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
During the 2014-15 season, we were thrilled to be chosen as an Artist-in-Residence through Minnesota Public Radio’s Class Notes program. In addition to creating a curriculum for the school music teachers, we had a fantastic and successful time performing and teaching our world music program at 7 elementary schools in early October. We were also thrilled to make two appearances on The Schubert Club’s Courtroom Concert series, first with mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, and later featuring String Quartet No. 4 by Gene Gutche.
During the 2015-16 season, we were on the road performing in Rochester and Sioux City, as well as a second trip to Naples, Florida. We also continuted our dedication to community outreach by performing at several area correctional facilities.
Last season, our first with cellist Ruth Marshall, brought another year of Minnesota Public Radio Class Notes performances in Austin and Owatonna, featuring our Music By Minors program. This program focused on young composers and the elementary school students even got to compose their own piece for string quartet! We also played five concerts at for the inmates at MCF-Shakopee, graciously sponsored through a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Arts Learning grant. Our April 2017 concert was a celebration of the 10th year of Mill City String Quartet through a commission for string quartet and guitar by Minnesota composer Jocelyn Hagen!
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. Please call if you are attending as a group of 10 or more (651.292.3267).
Schedule & Programs Subject to Change
MusiciansMaria Jette, soprano
Mary Jo Gothmann, piano
Mill City String Quartet