Coronavirus recently forced the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to cancel all live events with an audience this fall, but it will still make music at the Ordway.
The SPCO announced a string of six live concerts beginning Oct. 3 that will be streamed free of charge at its online Concert Library.
That first show features a visit by the outstanding Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear, who'll play his own Piano Quartet, and one by Brahms.
Repertoire for the series is wide-ranging, with a strong commitment to living composers — 10 of their works are featured, including four world premieres of newly commissioned music.
Among the premieres are Adolphus Hailstork's St. Paul's Blues for Solo Flute (Oct. 17, with soloist Alicia McQuerrey), and a new work for double bass by Ambrose Akinmusire, played by SPCO principal Zachary Cohen.
All of the music in the series is scored for small combinations of musicians, to enable social distancing of at least six feet on the platform. A raft of safety measures — mask wearing, ventilation improvements, frequent surface cleaning — will also be taken to minimize the risk of viral transmission among support staff and performers. In addition, the SPCO is investing in COVID-19 testing for those involved in the weeks of live streaming.
The live series will be augmented by rebroadcasts of past SPCO concerts at the Ordway. These include Jeremy Denk playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 (Sept. 26-27), and Handel's Messiah with conductor Jeannette Sorrell (Dec. 19-20).
"We are thrilled to be able to play together again after so many months," SPCO artistic director Kyu-Young Kim commented. "These live streams will be the next best thing to being in the concert hall with us."
Terry Blain is a freelance classical music critic for the Star Tribune. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.