Kim says no to NYC, yes to SPCO
Kyu-Young Kim isn’t leaving the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra after all. On Monday — the day before he was supposed to start a new post with the New York Philharmonic— the SPCO’s principal second violinist took a new job as senior director of artistic planning. Though it’s a senior management position, he will continue to perform — an arrangement that is unique in American orchestras. “It was an agonizing decision,” Kim said by phone from New York. “This is a unique opportunity. It’s crucial for orchestra musicians to be heavily involved in the planning process.” The move is a coup for the SPCO, which just concluded a season shortened by a 191-day lockout. Kim, whose wife, Pitnarry Shin, is a cellist with the Minnesota Orchestra, was the SPCO’s associate concertmaster from 2000-05, then left to form the Daedalus Quartet in New York. He returned to the SPCO a few years later and was a member of the bargaining team. He said it was a tough conversation with representatives of the New York Phil: “They were very understanding.” Kim replaces Patrick Castillo, who is moving to New York.
Mystery in the Loop
Whistle-blowing has been a hot topic this week, thanks to Edward Snowden. Now the self-guided, interactive spy game-slash-art project “Invisible City” invites players to track a virtual one in the North Loop ’hood of Minneapolis. It starts at Janine’s Coffeehouse, 119 N. 1st St., where the whistleblower has left a message for wannabe Harriet the Spies and Encyclopedia Browns to scan objects on their cellphones and get embedded info, some of it in video form. The app was created by digital artist Sean Kelley-Pegg, who recommends it for “gamers, Fringe Fest fans, adventurous people who don’t mind opening strange doors to see what’s behind them.” It takes only about an hour to complete, as long as you play it while the cooperating businesses are open. The project, funded mostly with a $7,000 grant from Forecast Public Art, will be playable through the end of June.
Punk rock hurl
In a surprisingly feisty and furious show that saw a couple of fights and an unusually female-heavy mosh pit for “Punk Rock Girl,” the Dead Milkmen’s co-vocalist Rodney Linderman was unsurprisingly smug with his local references last Friday at First Avenue. “Congratulations, Minnesota. In two weeks’ time you managed to legalize gay marriage and get rid of Michele Bachmann,” the Philly punk yelled after the Reagan-phobic fan fave “Stuart.” He also told a great story about playing First Ave in the mid-’90s when the Cure were across the street at Target Center. Somehow, he procured the pseudonym that Cure frontman Robert Smith used for hotel stays, and he proceeded to usher a semi-crazed fan to Smith’s room. He told an inquisitive hotel clerk: “Yeah, I’m Paul Westerberg, and I’m trying to say hi to my old friend Robert Smith.”
A near miss
Minneapolis model and artist Valerie Carpender had hoped to become the next Claudia Schiffer. But while she lost her bid to be the new Guess Girl in an online contest sponsored by the fashion brand, she nearly finished among the top five, out of 25 finalists (and 30,000 overall entrants). Guess brass will choose the winner from those five. “It was a tough loss, but still a wonderful opportunity to get to meet the people at Guess,” Carpender, a Forest Lake native, posted after voting ended last weekend. “How many girls get to do that?”
It’s easy being breezy
Paul Shaffer took an amusing trip down memory lane on “The Late Show With David Letterman” this week. Dave was doing a “Small Town News” segment when he got to an item from the Brainerd Dispatch. “I know that place!” said the bandleader. Turns out that Shaffer’s family spent summers at Breezy Point Resort. “It was the Catskills of Minnesota,” he said, regaling Dave with memories of a resort comic who used to play a version of “Simon Says” called “Jack Says.” Dave’s response? “It sounds like boot camp.”
As he geared up to watch the Tony Awards Sunday, Children’s Theatre artistic director Peter Brosius beamed proudly over Twin Cities-bred nominee Laura Osnes — who kissed her husband, Nate Johnson, for the first time on the CTC stage as castmates in “Aladdin,” Brosius recalled fondly. “We feel thrilled to have played a small part in her evolution.” Twin Cities theatergoers can see the work of some Tony winners next season. Diane Paulus, who won for directing “Pippin,” is staging Cirque du Soleil’s “Amaluna,” a circus treatment of “The Tempest” that opens Sept. 26 under the grand chapiteau at the Mall of America. And next July the Guthrie will stage Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” which took the best-play Tony.
Five Americans are finalists in the Minnesota Center for Book Arts’ biennial competition for the $2,000 MCBA Prize, the premier international award in the field. With entries by 158 artists from 22 countries, the American sweep surprised Jeff Rathermel, MCBA’s executive director. Finalists are Amy Borezo of Orange, Mass., Inge Bruggeman and Barbara Tetenbaum of Portland, Aaron Cohick of Colorado Springs, Clifton Meador of Chicago and Julie Chen of Berkeley, Calif. The award ceremony is July 27 in Minneapolis.