Minnesota Orchestra principal bassoon Fei Xie doubled as his own piano accompanist to perform the second movement of Mozart's Bassoon Concerto for the orchestra's new "At Home" video series.
Just days after the Minnesota Orchestra was forced to cancel its summer 2020 tour to South Korea and Vietnam due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has announced a new online initiative to bring music to its audiences digitally in the absence of live concerts.
A new webpage called Minnesota Orchestra at Home (www.minnesotaorchestra.org/athome) provides free access to a special area of the orchestra’s website, with video, audio and educational materials available in three categories - Watch, Listen and Learn.
Videos posted so far include a violin and viola duet played by associate concertmaster Felicity James and violist Sifei Cheng, a short lesson about violin bows with Pamela Arnstein, and a brass quintet from the orchestra playing in a parking lot -- before Minnesota’s “Stay at Home” order was introduced, but with appropriate social distancing.
The “At Home” webpage also features concert clips from the 2019-20 season, Spotify playlists curated by individual musicians, and a “Guide to the Orchestra” with video demonstrations. More content will be posted in the days and weeks to follow.
Principal horn Michael Gast is one of the online performers, and hopes the “Minnesota Orchestra at Home” project will help to compensate for the orchestra’s enforced absence from the concert platform.
“We miss making great music with our colleagues, and we want our community and our audiences to keep hearing the music as we take on this unprecedented challenge,” he says.
“We're going to make it together, and hopefully the music inspires you, as much as it does us, to hang in there and know that better days are ahead. We want you to know that we're thinking about you.”