While the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra customarily takes the summer off, its musicians dispersing to festivals far and wide, it's keeping the band together for another month in order to enjoy some outdoor music making in the Twin Cities.
The SPCO will present four free outdoor concerts June 3-13, two in Minneapolis, two in St. Paul. The orchestra will require audience members to wear masks (when not eating or drinking) and socially distance between household groups.
The al fresco miniseries opens at 6 p.m. June 3 on the plaza outside the Capri Theater on Minneapolis' north side, featuring pieces by Adolphus Hailstork, Viet Cuong, Joseph Haydn, George Walker and Valerie Coleman. Local jazz singer Dennis Spears will narrate Alan Ridout's musical adaptation of "Ferdinand the Bull."
Some George Frideric Handel and Beethoven get blended into the mix for a 7 p.m. concert June 4 at Mears Park in St. Paul's Lowertown neighborhood, as does "Summer" from Antonio Vivaldi's collection of violin concertos, "The Four Seasons." The soloist will be the SPCO's Nina Tso-Ning Fan.
The orchestra will perform the same program at the Como Lakeside Pavilion in St. Paul at 7 p.m. June 6.
The series concludes with a 2 p.m. concert June 13 at Minneapolis' Lake Harriet Bandshell. That program will be similar to that of the previous night's livestream from St. Paul's Ordway Concert Hall, with music by Caroline Shaw, Clarice Assad, Felix Mendelssohn, Beethoven and that Vivaldi concerto. As it stands now, that will be the SPCO's final concert until fall.
Rob Hubbard is a freelance classical music critic. • firstname.lastname@example.org