Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Announces 2014-15 Liquid Music Series

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Announces 2014-15 Liquid Music Series

Saint Paul, MN -- The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's pioneering Liquid Music series announces today the full schedule of events for its 2014-15 season. Liquid Music, which begins its third season this fall, expands the world of classical music through innovative new projects, boundary-defying artists, and unique presentation formats. Each program features new works, world or regional premieres, and new collaborations including many artists working together for the first time. For the past two seasons, Liquid Music has seen sold-out shows filled with adventurous audiences of all ages. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine extols: "This is as cool as classical music gets."

Highlights of the 2014-15 season include a collaboration between electro-acoustic ensemble BRIGHT WAVE and indie rockers Wye Oak, performing composer William Brittelle's Spiritual America at Amsterdam Bar & Hall on June 11; Third Coast Percussion performing Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche's Wild Sound (co-commissioned by the SPCO's Liquid Music series and University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center) at the Music Room at the SPCO Center on October 5 and 6, featuring the construction and destruction of instruments on stage; and an evening with electric guitarist Noveller, singer/composer Glasser, and contemporary chamber group Victoire, featuring sets from each artist and new arrangements by Missy Mazzoli utilizing all performers on May 9 at the Walker Art Center's William and Nadine McGuire Theater, co-presented with the Walker Art Center.

A notable highlight of the season is Helado Negro's Island Universe Story, which will be heard at the newly completed Concert Hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts on March 21 as a part of the hall's opening celebrations. In this exclusive Liquid Music engagement, Roberto Carlos Lange (Helado Negro) will present new, evocative music that fuses Latin, rock, electronic and classical influences. He will be joined by an all-star group of guest artists that includes Atlanta-based vocalist Adron, electronics guru Jan St. Werner (Mouse on Mars), keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco), and percussionist Jason Trammell (David Byrne, William Onyeabor) with the Minneapolis Music Company and premieres new arrangements by composers Trey Pollard and Jason Ajemian. National Public Radio hails Helado Negro as "currently redefining Latino culture worldwide, with music that crosses borders as easily as a diplomatic passport."

In its third season, Liquid Music continues to expand its relationships with presenting partners across the Twin Cities. Liquid Music joins the Walker Art Center for three co-presentations, including a special two-night event April 3 and 4 exploring the musical landscape of composer/guitaristBryce Dessner featuring S? Percussion, musicians of the SPCO, Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry and Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw (with more to be announced). Amsterdam Bar & Hall, a Saint Paul club that Liquid Music has invested in since 2012 (recently awarded "Best New Venue for Classical Music" by the Star Tribune) will host three performances in the 2014-15 season. McNally Smith College of Music,American Composers Forum and Minnesota Public Radio will continue to play important roles in education and public engagement surrounding Liquid Music initiatives.

Liquid Music curator Kate Nordstrum looks forward to the breadth of talent next season holds. "To say that I'm excited for the 2014-15 season would be a great understatement. Nearly every project we're announcing is being developed uniquely for Liquid Music, swinging (wide, in some cases) from a classical center to encompass an expansive set of styles and sounds. I chose them for their creativity, forward focus, commitment to new work and collaborations, and fearlessness in exploration. Each musician is also a powerhouse of talent. I am inspired by their distinctiveness, knowing the gift they will be to ears of Liquid Music patrons over the course of a season."

Nordstrum has been widely praised for her programmatic vision and catholic tastes, with media outlets describing her as "the most adventurous music curator in town" (MinnPost), "a presenter of rare initiative" (Star Tribune), and "Twin Cities' curatorial powerhouse with international pull" (Minnesota Public Radio). Composer Nico Muhly, interviewed by MPR, expounded, "She's got hear ear to the ground, really, and she's looking for things that are not already happening but she could make happen."

The previous two Liquid Music seasons saw full houses take in world and regional premieres by artists such as Laurie Anderson, Ben Frost, Hilary Hahn, Hauschka, Jace Clayton, Olga Bell, Timo Andres, and Sisyphus (Serengeti, Son Lux and Sufjan Stevens).

Liquid Music 2014-2015 - Full schedule of events:


Co-commissioned with the University of Notre Dame's DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

Sun Oct 5, 2014 at 7:00pm | Mon Oct 6, 2014 at 7:30pm

The Music Room at SPCO Center

Chicago-based Third Coast Percussion are dedicated to exploring new sounds through their "vibrant, superb" playing (New Yorker) of ground-breaking percussion repertoire. With "unfailing taste, technique, and discipline" (Chicago Tribune), Wilco's Glenn Kotche joins Third Coast to present his expansive Wild Sound, a new piece written for the group that sees the onstage construction and destruction of instruments custom-designed by Kotche and University of Notre Dame engineers. Incorporating found recordings from Kotche's travels around the world, the piece is a sonic investigation into everyday life and our propensity to create and destroy. With music by Steve Reich and Glenn Kotche and performances by Kotche and Third Coast Percussion, the evening expands the definition of music as heard in both natural and urban settings.

Tickets: $15 ($10 Liquid Music subscribers)


Co-presented with the Walker Art Center

Sat Nov 15, 2014 at 7:00pm

Amsterdam Bar & Hall

With a grand piano, upright bass, and drum set, Dawn of Midi may look like any jazz combo, but their music is anything but standard. Drawing from jazz, minimalism, rock, and a variety of world influences, their sound is ambient yet engrossing, sparse yet rhythmically demanding. Their 2103 release Dysnomia ("a work of lunatic genius" - The Village Voice; "something totally unprecedented" - Pitchfork) expands the possibilities of acoustic sounds and was heralded by jazz, rock, trance and classical lovers alike. Berlin-based composer/keyboardist Nils Frahm's work is both explosively energetic and intensely thoughtful. His sonic experiments meld both electronic and acoustic sounds, and his latest release, Spaces, was named "one of the year's best albums" byThe Quietus. Frahm and Dawn of Midi share an evening that explores the interplay between extremes of sonic simplicity and complexity.

Tickets: $15


Mon Feb 23, 2015 at 7:30pm

Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Avant-pop composer/performer Julia Holter's releases strike a balance between haunting and ephemeral, her voice providing an other-worldly presence to her "jaw dropping" (Drowned in Sound) intricate melodies. Her eclectic sound is augmented perfectly by the "consistently impressive" (Chicago Classical Review) Chicago-based Spektral Quartet. Known for their performances of "spine tingling" (Time Out Chicago) classical chamber music standards and new, experimental works alike, the quartet is an avid commissioner of both emerging and renowned composers. Behind the Wallpaper, their latest commission from composer Alex Temple, is a four-song meditation on isolation and familiarity that joins Holter's introspective voice with the quartet's adept playing. The evening also includes fresh arrangements of Holter's luminous music and a tapas-sized taste of Spektral Quartet's signature "sampler pack" programming format.

Tickets: $15 ($10 Liquid Music subscribers)

HELADO NEGRO: Island Universe Story

Featuring an all-star lineup of special guests including Adron, Mikael Jorgensen (Wilco), Jan St. Werner (Mouse on Mars), Jason Trammell (David Byrne, William Onyeabor) and more to be announced

New string and electronic compositions by Roberto Lange, Trey Pollard (Matthew E White Band) and Jason Ajemian (Marc Ribot)

With the Minneapolis Music Company

Sat Mar 21, 2015 at 8:00pm

Ordway Concert Hall

Helado Negro is the moniker of Roberto Carlos Lange, a child of Ecuadorian immigrants who has synthesized the Latin influences he heard growing up in South Florida, his experience with various rock outfits, modern electronic beats, and work with progressive classical composers into the hazily upbeat, groundbreaking music he is known for today. "Among the musicians currently redefining Latino culture worldwide," Helado Negro "creates a sonic landscape that reflects 21st-century Latin America" (National Public Radio). This exclusive Liquid Music engagement offers an expansion of Helado Negro's sound and vision, retaining his love of synths and bass while engaging a cadre of all-star collaborators (including the sensational Atlanta-based vocalist Adron; Mouse on Mars' electronics guru Jan St. Werner; Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen; and David Byrne percussionist Jason Trammell) and premiering new arrangements by composers Trey Pollard (Matthew E White Band) and Jason Ajemian (Marc Ribot) for double string quartet, percussion and electronics. The performance will feature a multilingual mosaic of sound and strong visual elements - a natural translation of Helado Negro's evocative music.

Tickets: $10

Co-presented with the Walker Art Center

With S? Percussion, Acade Fire's Richard Reed Parry, Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, The National's Ben Lanz, original instruments by Buke & Gase, musicians of the SPCO, and more to be announced

Fri Apr 3, 2014 at 8:00pm | Sat Apr 4, 2015 at 8:00pm

The Walker's William and Nadine McGuire Theater

Composer Bryce Dessner's "gorgeous, full-hearted music" (National Public Radio) contains a richness unique to his myriad musical activities. Having worked with composers such as Philip Glass, Nico Muhly and David Lang, he is also a guitarist in acclaimed band The National and the instrumentalist group Clogs. But his life in classical music is not isolated from his life in rock; in Dessner's words, "You're the same musician wherever you go." Dessner's musical synthesis is celebrated in a jam-packed program featuring work for ensembles of various sizes and combinations. Collaborators new and familiar will be present as Dessner draws friends from both the pop and classical worlds to perform his music and theirs, bookended by two significant works by Dessner: Music for Wood and Strings for the "mesmerizing... brilliant" (The New York Times) S? Percussion and Lachrimae for chamber orchestra featuring musicians of the SPCO.

Tickets: $25 ($22 Liquid Music subscribers and Walker members)


Co-presented with the Walker Art Center

Sat May 9, 2015 at 8:00pm

The Walker's William and Nadine McGuire Theater

Composer/electric guitarist Noveller, synthpop chanteuse Glasser, and new classical chamber ensemble Victoire join forces for an evening that explores the sonic intersections of woman and machine, manipulation and composition. Hailed as "an orchestra of one" by National Public Radio, Sarah Lipstate (Noveller) conjures dense, sweeping soundscapes from her guitar that "call to attention all senses at once, to the point where even the word music seems somehow limiting" (Time Out New York). Cameron Mesirow (Glasser) similarly creates "a methodical, computer-tethered expedition into the vast, wild expanse of human feeling," her commanding voice soaring through her rhythmically-driven melodies to "communicate the unknowable" (Pitchfork). Hailed as a "postmillennial Mozart" by Time Out New York, Victoire founder Missy Mazzoli composes diverse, hypnotic pieces for the group, encompassing rock rhythms, meditative electronics, and classical minimalism, and Victoire's six virtuoso players perform her work in a manner both "evocative and alluring" (The New York Times). The evening features solo sets from each artists and culminates in a collaborative finale.

Tickets: $22 ($18 Liquid Music subscribers and Walker members)

WYE OAK AND BRIGHT WAVE: Spiritual America

Thurs Jun 11, 2015 at 7:30pm

Amsterdam Bar & Hall

Spiritual America is a new set of electro-acoustic art songs by Brooklyn-based composer William Brittelle that explores issues of secular spirituality in American culture. Brittelle's music is "deceptively dense, conceptually complex" but lands with an "easiness on the ear" (All Music Guide), infusing his rich, classical sounds with the visceral appeal of pop. For Spiritual America, Brittelle calls on collaborators Wye Oak, indie rock duo and creators of "moody, achy, beautifully blustery songs" (National Public Radio), and Brittelle's electro-acoustic chamber ensemble BRIGHT WAVE, whose music The New York Times describes as "bright, joyous" and "irresistible." The program will also include selections of each ensemble's own repertoire - most notably, special arrangements of work from Wye Oak's critically acclaimed new album Shriek.

Tickets: $15 ($10 for Liquid Music subscribers)

Subscription packages featuring all seven Liquid Music programs are available for $95 per person. Packages and tickets to individual events can be purchased online at or via phone at 651.291.1144 Monday through Friday, from 12:00-5:00pm.

Liquid Music is a concert series presented by The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra that seeks to expand the world of classical music through innovative new projects, boundary-defying artists, and unique presentation formats. Liquid Music performances invite adventurous audiences of all ages to discover the new and the fascinating in the colorful landscape of classical music today. Visit to learn more.