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:
Elizabeth York, violin
Valerie Little, viola
Ruth Marshall, cello
Pennsylvania native Valerie Little has often performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Mill City Summer Opera, Orchestra Iowa, Florestan Chamber Music, at the Schubert Club and with a number of singer/songwriters. She is an artist-in-residence at the annual Apollo Music Festival in Houston, MN, where she also serves as librarian. From 2013-2022, she was the violist for Mill City String Quartet, a five-time MPR Class Notes Artist, and past teaching artist through Schubert Club, Chamber Music Society of St. Cloud, and Britt Festival in Jacksonville, OR.
Valerie holds bachelor’s degrees in viola performance and English from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Music degree in viola performance from the University of Texas-Austin, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in viola performance from the University of Minnesota.
She became a tenured member of the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2015, after serving six seasons as acting assistant principal librarian. When she’s not in the library, she enjoys serving the Orchestra on various committees or participating in a variety of pre-concert events.
Valerie is also a skilled writer whose non-fiction writing was twice-nominated for a 2020 Pushcart Prize. Her debut hybrid chapbook, Little Blue Primer, is available from Toho Publishing.
Cellist Ruth Marshall enjoys a varied career split evenly between teaching and performing. She is the cellist of Artu Duo, a collaborative ensemble with pianist Garret Ross, which has performed extensively across the United States, including a debut at Carnegie Hall in 2016.
Ruth is also active as a soloist, and has played concertos with the Wartburg Community Symphony, Winona Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble Society of New York City, and the Kokomo Symphony Orchestra.
From 2012 to 2016, she performed extensively as an orchestra player, simultaneously playing as principal cello of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, as an associate member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in Ohio, and as a permanent sub in the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. From 2015-2022, she was the cellist of the Mill City String Quartet, during which time she performed for thousands of students through multiple residencies with Minnesota Public Radio.
Ruth is a committed cello instructor, working with students of all ages and levels at her home studio, and teaching cello students at Winona State University and Hamline University. She holds graduate degrees in cello performance from DePaul University, and undergraduate degrees in the humanities from the University of Washington.
Violinist Dr. Elizabeth York lives in St. Paul, MN and is sought after as a performer and teacher across the region. She serves as Associate Concertmaster and Personnel Manager of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and is on faculty at the UW Eau-Claire and Birch Creek Music Performance Center. Elizabeth also plays baroque violin as a member of Lyra Baroque Orchestra.
She completed a dual Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University (NY) in violin and viola performance in 2013. Elizabeth also holds a BM from East Carolina University and MM from Stony Brook University in violin performance. Her major teachers include violinists Ara Gregorian, Soovin Kim, and Phil Setzer, and violists Dan Panner, Nicholas Cords, and Lawrence Dutton.