Violinist and SPCO Artistic Partner Pekka Kuusisto will lead two works on the program, including Prokofiev’s “Classical Symphony.” (Photo by Kaapo Kamu)

St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will perform in New York City next year for the “Great Performers” season at Lincoln Center, featuring some of the world's most celebrated classical artists. 

Currently in its 53rd year, “Great Performers” is one of the most prestigious classical music platforms in New York City. With more than 30 concerts spread across the Lincoln Center campus, the 2019-20 series includes other big names such as the Emerson String Quartet, baritone Christian Gerhaher and the London Symphony Orchestra with Simon Rattle.

Playing the 2019-20 season's closing concert, the SPCO’s May 2020 program will look familiar to Twin Cities concertgoers. It includes Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and Haydn’s Symphony No. 99, both played without a conductor -- one of the SPCO's specialties.

SPCO Artistic Partner Pekka Kuusisto will be the violin soloist for Swedish composer Anders Hillborg’s “Bach Materia,” a piece based on Bach’s concerto and written specially for Kuusisto. Kuusisto played the U.S. premiere of “Bach Materia” with the SPCO in November 2017 in Stillwater. The "Great Performers" date marks the work's New York premiere.

Also on the program is Prokofiev’s “Classical Symphony,” led by Kuusisto just as it was in a 2017 SPCO performance described by the Star Tribune as “positively incendiary in its impact.”

In a statement, SPCO Artistic Director Kyu-Young Kim said: "Lincoln Center has embraced the kind of innovative programming that the SPCO has become known for. We can't wait!"

It's been a quarter-century since the SPCO last performed at Lincoln Center, though the orchestra is no stranger to New York City. Recent trips include performances at Carnegie Hall in 2008, 2010 and 2011, plus a 2016 concert at the 92nd Street Y.

The SPCO's May 2020 concert will take place at Alice Tully Hall, a mellow, wood-panelled space tucked into the Juilliard School building at 65th and Broadway. The venue should feel a lot like the orchestra's home away from home, with the same seating capacity as the SPCO’s base at Ordway Concert Hall.

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