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With labor talks at both orchestras about to heat up again, and with the Minnesota Orchestra not scheduled to open its season for another SEVEN WEEKS, it's nice to anticipate some actual music coming fairly soon.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra launches its 2012-13 season on Friday, Sept. 7, with Edo de Waart conducting music of Stravinsky and Beethoven.
Pianist Christian Zacharias returns for the chamber ensemble's second weekend, performing the Brahms Piano Concert No. 1.
In 2008, the SPCO gave the world premiere to a work it commissioned of Minnesota native Maria Schneider, pictured, until then best known as a jazz composer and conductor. Schneider set poems by the 20th-century Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade, translated by American poet Mark Strand. The settings were sung by soprano Dawn Upshaw.
As reviewed by Star Tribune contributor William Randall Beard, the songs were "original and mesmerizing."
Go here for streaming audio of the 2008 work, along with Schneider's own notes on her compositional strategy.
The 25-minute work was performed by the SPCO at Carnegie Hall in 2011 (reviewed here), and it will be reprised in concerts on Sept. 28 (in Wayzata) and Sept. 29 (St. Paul).The SPCO says it will record the song cycle for a future release.
Danish conductor Thomas Dausgaard will make his SPCO debut just after, in concerts on Oct. 5 and 6 that will feature music of Wagner, Nielsen and Beethoven.
Those sidewalk signs you see, advertising a sale on Dr. Pepper or Doritos? Don't be surprised in the next few days if you see the familiar sandwich-board signs covered instead in original art work along a stretch of Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis.
Twenty artists from the Powderhorn and Central neighborhoods teamed up with a group of middle-schoolers to create CurbCulture, a public art show that will be displayed on sidewalk signs outside stores on Chicago Avenue between 32nd and 38th streets.
All the artworks will be gathered for a free reception on Thursday (Aug. 2), 5-7 p.m., at Pillsbury House and Theatre, 3501 Chicago Av. S. Beginning Saturday, they will be on view in front of various businesses on the street. The timing coincides with this weekend's Powderhorn Park Art Fair.
The CurbCulture exhibit was created by a group of middle school youth working with professional artists Masa Kawahara, Xavier Tavera, and Peter Haakon Thompson. The youth involved in CurbCulture created an open call for artists, constructed the sandwich boards, selected the artists for exhibition, and went door to door to meet business owners to secure locations for artwork to be exhibited. The artist's donated their time and talent.
The project was developed in partnership between Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association and the Pillsbury House + Theatre youth program. It is funded in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the Legacy Amendment.
These are the artists whose work will be on view: Megan Longo, Florence Hill, Levi Oftelie, Kelly Brazil, Molly Van Avery, Bruce Silcox, Christopher (CREW youth), Ellie Kingsbury, Joanne Jongsma, Flo Razowsky, Natasha Pestich, Munir Kahar, Angela Olson, Khyla (CREW Youth), Michelle Barnes, David Steinman, Maria Cristina Tavera, Xavier Tavera, Peter Haakon Thompson and Pramila Vasudevan.
The touring version of the Broadway musical version of the television version of the cartoon version of "The Addams Family" opens Tuesday night at Ordway Center in St. Paul.
The clip above, from the Letterman show, features Broadway originators Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia. The touring version has Douglas Sills ("The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Into the Woods") as Gomez, and Sara Gettelfinger ("Seussical," "Nine") as Morticia.
Graydon Royce recently wrote about the show and talked with Sills.
The show got very not-great notices when it came to Broadway (Ben Brantley called it "genuinely ghastly"), but as Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune points out, it was significantly retooled, with new songs, new music and a revised book, for the tour. Jones said it was a rare case of a touring version that is better than the Broadway staging.
The Star Tribune review will appear Wednesday on the website, and Thursday in the print edition.
The clip below gives a look at the touring version.It runs at the Ordway through May 20. 651-224-4222.
Anonymous 5 in. by 7 in. painting donated to Art 4 Shelter
Art from as far as Iran arrived in Minnesota this spring in response to painter Megan Rye's call for donations to her Art 4 Shelter benefit.
Now in its second year, the one-night event raises money to support Simpson Housing Services, an overnight shelter for the homeless sponsored by the Simpson United Methodist Church, 2740 1st Av. S. Last year 450 artists contributed and 900 people turned up at Circa Gallery to buy the art and support the cause. The little gallery was packed and all the art was "sucked off the walls in 20 minutes," Rye said.
Needing a bigger venue this year, she sought help from Burnet Gallery in the Le Meridien Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin Av. It joined a long list of sponsors including D'amico Catering, several banks and art businesses.
The event is May 9 and there's no admission charge. Preview viewing will last from 5 to 7 p.m., with the sale from 7 to 9 p.m.
All the art is postcard sized, anonymous and inexpensive to encourage participation. Each piece is just 5 in. by 7 in., priced at $30, and signed on the back. The art savvy may recognize work by such stars as photographer Alec Soth, but the point here is not to seek a trophy but to buy from the heart.
"The quality of the work is extraordinary," Rye said. "Out of the 1200 pieces, I'd say 800 are spectacular, but that's pretty amazing."
Besides the 300 professional artist-friends that Rye "leaned on," there are contributions from 20 art departments including St. Paul's College of Visual Arts, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the Perpich arts high school and several Twin Cities private schools.
Ann Ruhr Pifer
St. Paul’s chichi Grand Hand Gallery plans to open a second shop in Napa, California in June.
The new venture will showcase many of the same Minnesota and Northern California artisans which the shop presently showcases, among them Minnesota-based fiber artist Tim Harding, painter Sarah Wieben, potter Jason Trebs and jeweler Emily Johnson. California stars include Micah Schwaberow, known for his Japanese-style woodblock prints, and Jerry Kermode whose turned-redwood bowls and wine accessories attract an international clientele.
Trendy Napa was a natural expansion site for gallery owner Ann Ruhr Pifer, who has family in the area and artist friends in San Francisco and environs. After scouting Santa Fe, N.M., and other high-end tourist destinations, Pifer picked Napa as the most promising expansion site in part because it is “something of a second-home for me already,” she said.