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The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra will bring violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja on board for the 2014-15 season as an artistic partner. The SPCO will be the first American orchestra to present the Moldova native in concert.
In a statement Thursday, SPCO president Bruce Coppock called Kopatchinskaja "the most ravishingly intense and virtuosic musician I have heard in a very long time."
Coppock said the violinist draws from her Eastern European roots, a rigorous traditional training and "a seemingly limitless imagination to create performances that are completely convincing, utterly compelling and downright spectacular."
Kopatchinskaja is now based in Bern, Switzerland, and regularly collaborates with the London Philharmonic. She was recently nominated for a Grammy for solo work of Bartok, Eotvos and Ligeti.
"I am thrilled and eager to make music with the SPCO and look forward to exploring new worlds and frontiers with these wonderful musicians," Kopatchinskaja said in a statement. Her first major project with the SPCO will focus on weaving traditional folk music and classic works that come from Eastern European influences.
You can catch a glimpse of her work here.
Osmo Vanska announced his joy at being part of the Minnesota Orchestra's Grammy win for classical recording. Vanska issued a statement through his London-based manager early Monday morning.
"I am absolutely thrilled that this recording of Sibelius Symphonies 1 and 4 -- works so close to my heart -- has been honored with a Grammy Award. I am immensely happy and proud to have been able to achieve this in partnership with my dear and devoted friends at BIS record label and with the remarkable musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. it is the greatest honor to be presented with such a distinctive award by our peers -- and I convey my genuine thanks to The Recording Academy for this wonderful recognition."
Vanska has been busy lately with guest conducting gigs in Europe and in San Francisco. He quit the Minnesota Orchestra on Oct. 1, to protest the inability to forge a new collective bargaining agreement.
He has not said publicly what his plans are in regards a possible return to Minnesota. A Facebook post was reported to have said he'd like to return but he needs to be asked.
The Grammy-winning disc was the second in what had been intended as a full Sibelius symphony cycle. The first disc was nominated for a Grammy last year.
All doubt that the returning Minnesota Orchestra would generate much interest has been dashed. The organization's web site has been overwhelmed by demand for the Feb. 7-8 and Feb. 14-15 homecoming concerts.
Tickets can also be purchased by phone at 612-371-5656. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski will conduct Beethoven's Third on the 7th and 8th. Yan Pascal Tortelier will lead Holst's The Planets and the Elgar Cello Concerto the following weekend.
Spokeswoman Gwen Pappas said the greatest demand is for the Feb. 7 concert. There are still several hundred tickets available for that night. The remaining concerts are about half sold, Pappas said shortly before 11 a.m.
The orchestra is expected to announce its classical subscription season for the remainder of the year on Friday morning.
Anthony Tommasini had an interesting column in yesterday's New York Times. Surveying the wreckage of 2013, a year in which the City Opera went under and the Minnesota Orchestra continued to limp through its labor dispute, Tommasini argues that arts organizations (in particular classical music) need an "effective business model." Of course, what constitutes an effective model is open to interpretation but that topic has been a key component to the Minnesota talks.
Citing the sad case of the City Opera in New York, Tommasini noted that former mayor Michael Bloomberg declined a chance to rescue the institution, which needed $7 million to survive, because as Bloomberg put it, the "business model doesn't seem to be working."
Tomassini goes on, in his own words: "So what is the lesson Mr. Bloomberg implied in his comment? In short, artistic excellence is not enough."
The piece is here.
The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have added a performance to their concert at Northrop Auditorium next May. Osmo Vanska previously had agreed to conduct the orchestra in a program marking the reopening of the auditorium, which was once the home of the Minneapolis Symphony.
That concert, on Friday, May 2, sold out within 48 hours so the musicians have added the second performance, on Sunday, May 4, at 2 p.m. Featuring Dvorak's New World Symphony, the 1812 Overture and Liszt's Concerto No. 1 for Piano, the program replicates the first Northrop concert of the old Symphony.
Tickets go on sale at noon, Dec. 16.
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