Twin Cities’ classical music scene remains dynamic – Twin …


From reimagining Vivaldi in the wake of climate change to choral music interrogating masculinity, the classical music scene in the Twin Cities continues to reveal itself as ever-dynamic. Thomas Søndergård begins his tenure with the Minnesota Orchestra in earnest, the popular Sphinx Virtuosi returns to St. Paul, the Minnesota Opera adds a dose of mariachi to its season, and revered guest artists descend into town.

Minnesota Orchestra: Søndergård, Debussy and Ravel

Thomas Sondergard
Thomas Søndergård (Chris McDuffie)

Sept. 28-30: Thomas Søndergård, the Minnesota Orchestra’s new music director, brings that expertise working with singing voices to his first collaboration with the Minnesota Chorale in Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloe.” Also on the program are works by contemporary composer Lera Auerbach, “Medea’s Dance of Vengeance,” by Samuel Barber loosely based on Euripides’ tragedy, and Claude Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.” 11 a.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, Orchestra Hall, $31-$106612-371-5600 or minnesotaorchestra.org.

Classical Uprising: The [uncertain] Four Seasons

Four musicians standing together
Naomi Stewart, Sofia Vanderlan, Jesse Irons and conductor Emily Isaacson (Rebecca Slater)

Sept. 30: Conductor Emily Isaacson, and Grammy-nominated violinist Jesse Irons, both from the Maine-based Classical Uprising, juxtapose Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” with “The [uncertain] Four Seasons,” a piece that sets the famous concerto in 2025 using geospatial data from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. Students of St. Catherine University contribute poetry for the work, presented by The O’Shaughnessy and co-produced with Minnesota Opera.7:30 p.m. The O’Shaughnessy, $5-33, 651-690-6700 or oshag.stkate.edu.

Sphinx Virtuosi: Generations

Group of musicians
Members of Sphinx Virtuosi (Scott Jackson)

Oct. 15: Poetry by Langston Hughes and Julia Alvarez fuel this evening of classical music created and performed by this touring ensemble of Black and Latinx composers and musicians. 3 p.m., Ordway Concert Hall, $13-31, free for kids and students, 651-224-4222 or ordway.org.

Schubert Club: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Lisa Batiashvili, Gautier Capuçon

Oct. 17: Three rockstar classical musicians team up for a concert of trios by Joseph Haydn, Maurice Ravel, and Felix Mendelssohn. You may have heard pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in the movies including Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” and “Pride and Prejudice.” Violinist Lisa Batiashvili, meanwhile, performs with top ensembles across the globe, while cellist Gautier Capuçon returns to the Schubert Club after previously appearing in 2019 with pianist Yuja Wang. 7:30 p.m., Ordway Music Theater, $36-$75, 651-292-3268 or schubert.org.

Cantus: Brave

Oct. 21: The a capella vocal ensemble for lower voices Cantus engages in discourses around masculinity in a program that investigates strength, vulnerability, and what it means to identify as a man. You’ll hear works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Sara Bareilles, Mari Esabel Valverde, Sydney Guillaume, and Griffin Candey. 7:30 p.m., Sundin Hall, $36 or pay what you can starting at $5, 612-435-0046 or cantussings.org.

Alcée Chriss III, Organ Recital

Alcée Chriss III
Alcée Chriss III (Emily Gan)

Oct. 24: Star of the PBS documentary “Pipe Dreams,” organist, composer and conductor Alcée Chriss III fuses gospel and jazz into his compelling organ performance. 7 p.m., Northrop, $23, 612-624-2345 or northrop.umn.edu.

Minnesota Opera: Cruzar la cara de la luna

Nov. 4-12: The Minnesota Opera performs David Hanlon’s new orchestration for José “Pepe” Martínez’ mariachi-infused opera, with lyrics by Martínez and Leonard Foglia. The story spans three generations across two cities across the U.S.-Mexico border, with the metaphor of the monarch butterfly’s journey anchoring this family story. 4 p.m. Nov. 4, 9, & 11; 2 p.m. Nov. 12, Ordway Music Theater, $26-239, 612-333-6669 or mnopera.org.

The Frederick Chopin Society: Richard Goode

Richard Goode
Richard Goode (Steve Riskind)

Nov. 12: Hot off the heels of his tour of the British Isles, Grammy award winning pianist Richard Goode heads to St. Paul for a performance of his two specialties: Beethoven and Mozart. Currently a member of the distinguished artist faculty at the Peabody Institute, Goode will perform Mozart’s Fantasia in C minor, K. 475 and Sonata in F Major, K. 533. After intermission, he’ll channel the emotion of Beethoven performing the Diabelli Variations, Op. 120. 3 p.m., Mairs Concert Hall, Macalester College, $40, 612-822-0123 or chopinsocietymn.org.

SPCO: Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with Gabriel and Jeffrey Kahane

Combination of portraits of Jeffrey Kahane and Gabriel Kahane
Pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane, left, and his son, composer and singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane. (Courtesy of EF Morton Productions and Jason Quigley)

Nov. 24-26: It’s a family affair when American composer and singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane teams up with his father, pianist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane for a concerto the younger Kahane wrote for and will conduct with his father, who will perform. The program also includes selections from Kahane’s recent albums as well as popular songs and jazz standards, while Jeffrey will perform George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, arranged for piano and orchestra. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Ordway Concert Hall, $12-55, 651-291-1144 or thespco.org.

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