Northrop Presents Accordo, Season 3, Concert 3: Brahms/Haydn Variations, 5/14


Accordo, established in 2009, is a Minnesota-based chamber group. Its third season, which opened with a program of Romantic String Sextets and closes with tonight's May 14 offering, is presented by The Schubert Club, Northrop Concerts and Lectures, and Kate Nordstrum Projects at the National Historic Landmark Christ Church Lutheran.

Accordo includes Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra principal players Steven Copes, Ruggero Allifranchini, Maiya Papach, Ron Thomas, and Tony Ross. This season also features guest artists violist Rebecca Albers, cellist Edward Arron, percussionist Ian Ding, clarinetist Burt Hara, and violinist Erin Keefe.

Its third concert of three - Brahms/Haydn Variations - includes String Quartet in F minor by Joseph Haydn, Concerto a Tre by Ingolf Dahl, and Clarinet Quintet in B minor by Johannes Brahms.

Accordo closes its third season with Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet, one of three pieces he wrote at the end of his life for the young clarinetist Richard Muhlfeld (after he had decided to stop composing). The Minnesota Orchestra’s Principal Clarinetist, Burt Hara, joins forces with Accordo to perform the Brahms, as well as the rarely heard Concerto a Tre by film and radio composer Ingolf Dahl, given its premiere in 1947 by jazz legend Benny Goodman. Mozart’s hero Joseph Haydn earned his reputation as the ‘father of the string quartet’ with the Opus 20 quartets, and the haunting opening melody of the fifth quartet begins this rich and varied spring evening of chamber music.

The concert will be tonight, Monday, May 14, 2012 at 7:30pm at Christ Church Lutheran, 3244 34th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406-3493 . Tickets are $20, $17 senior and U of M Alumni, and $12 for students. Tickets can be purchased at, by phone: 651.292.3268 or in person. The Schubert Club Office is located at Landmark Center, Saint Paul, Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm. Tickets may be purchased the day of concert, pending availability at Christ Church Lutheran, 3244 34th Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55406-3493, Monday, 6:30 - 7:30pm. ???

The audience is welcomed to join musicians and patrons in the Luther Lounge after each Accordo concert. Enjoy wine courtesy of Spill the Wine Restaurant and Kowalski’s Markets.

Ruggero Allifranchini is the associate concertmaster of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He was born into a musical household in Milan, Italy and raised on a diverse musical diet, ranging from Beethoven to John Coltrane. He studied at the New School in Philadelphia with Jascha Brodsky and later at the Curtis Institute of Music, with Szymon Goldberg and, for chamber music, Felix Galimir. He was the recipient of the Diploma d’Onore from the Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy. In 1989, he co-founded the Borromeo String Quartet, with which he played exclusively for eleven years. As a chamber musician of diverse repertoire and styles, Allifranchini is a frequent guest artist of the Chamber Music Societies of Boston and Lincoln Center, as well as chamber music festivals in Seattle, Vancouver and El Paso, among many others. He is the violinist of the trio Nobilis, with pianist and former SPCO Artistic Partner Stephen Prutsman and cellist Suren Bagratuni. Nobilis has performed chamber music and solos with orchestras in Europe, South America, and South Africa, as well as in North America. Allifranchini plays on the “Fetzer” violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1694, which is on loan to him from the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

In 24 years as the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal clarinet, Burt Hara has drawn acclaim for his solo appearances- in works of Nielsen, Debussy, Weber, Copland, Bernstein and others-and many chamber performances. Before his appointment in Minnesota, Hara was principal clarinet of the Alabama Symphony. He also served for one year as principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. An active chamber musician, Hara has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Pensacola Chamber Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Vineyards, Salt Bay Chamberfest, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, and the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest. Hara has been a faculty member at the University of Alabama and University of Montevallo and now serves on the faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Music. He is also a faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival. A native of California, Hara is a Buffet Crampon USA performing artist.

Violinist Erin Keefe is the newly appointed Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra as well as an Artist Member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Ms. Keefe has appeared as soloist in recent seasons with orchestras such as the New Mexico Symphony, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic and Gottingen Symphony and has given recitals throughout the United States, Austria, Italy, Germany, Korea, Poland, Japan and Denmark. She has collaborated with artists such as the Emerson String Quartet, Edgar Meyer, Gary Hoffman, Richard Goode, Menahem Pressler and Leon Fleisher, and she has recorded for Naxos and Deutsche Grammophon. Ms. Keefe has made festival appearances with Music@Menlo, the Marlboro Music Festival, Music from Angel Fire, Ravinia, and the Seattle, OK Mozart, Mimir, Bravo! and Bridgehampton chamber music festivals. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music.

Maiya Papach is acting principAl Viola of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and served as acting principal last year. She has made frequent national and international appearances as a chamber and orchestral musician, performing both traditional and contemporary repertoire. This past fall, Papach performed Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Concertmaster Steven Copes and the SPCO. She is a founding member of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), which is rapidly establishing itself as one of the leading new music ensembles in the United States. She is also a member of Accordo, a new chamber ensemble in the Twin Cities. Papach has performed across the former Soviet Union with the Da Capo Chamber Players and toured the Philippines with Cultures in Harmony. Prior to joining the SPCO, she performed regularly with the IRIS Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. In New York, Papach has performed in chamber concerts at Bargemusic, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Miller Theater, among others. As a former member of the Andros and Rothko string quartets, she was a finalist and prizewinner in a number of competitions, including the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Concert Artists Guild. Papach has participated in such festivals as Kneisel Hall, Yellow Barn, and the Marlboro Music Festival. In addition, she performs with Musicians from Marlboro, the touring extension of the festival. Papach is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and the Juilliard School and has studied with Roland Vamos, Karen Tuttle, Benny Kim, and Hsin-Yun Huang.

Principal Cello Anthony Ross has been a soloist many times with the Minnesota Orchestra, performing concertos by Schumann, Dvorák, Victor Herbert, James MacMillan, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Elgar and Shostakovich, among others, as well as many chamber works. In May 2010 he played the Brahms Double Concerto alongside Acting Concertmaster ?Sarah Kwak. He returned to the solo spotlight in October 2010, performing Walton’s Cello Concerto. He will next be featured as soloist in February 2012, when he will perform Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante for Cello and Orchestra under the baton of James Gaffigan. Ross was principal cello of the Rochester Philharmonic in New York before joining the Orchestra in 1988; he assumed his current position in 1991.

Away from Orchestra Hall, Ross is active as a chamber musician, festival performer and educator. He has appeared in the Mostly Mozart, Cactus Pear (San Antonio), and Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society (Madison) festivals, and has performed on stages from Pensacola, Florida, to Rhodes, Greece. Ross has taught at the Eastman School of Music, the Aspen Festival, and the Grand Teton orchestra seminar. Ross’ recordings include Bernstein’s Three Meditations with the Minnesota Orchestra under Eiji Oue, the George Lloyd Cello Concerto with the Albany Symphony under David Alan Miller, and works of Rachmaninoff and Elliott Carter for Boston Records.

A graduate of Indiana University, Ross earned a master’s degree at the State University of New York, Stony Brook. In 1982 he was awarded the bronze medal at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition, and he received McKnight Fellowships in 2001 and 2005.

The Schubert Club is an internationally renowned performing arts organization dedicated to expanding the enjoyment of music through world-class recitals, premier educational programs and rare collections of musical treasures.

Founded in 1882, The Schubert Club maintains a highly regarded national and international reputation among leading classical music performers. Its International Artists Series has brought Jascha Heifetz, Arthur Rubinstein, Cecilia Bartoli, Alfred Brendel, Renee Fleming and Yo-Yo Ma, among many others, to the Twin Cities to perform in recital for sold-out audiences.

The Schubert Club is a member of the Arts Partnership, programming a vibrant future for the performing arts in downtown St. Paul together with The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, the Minnesota Opera and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Northrop Concerts and Lectures at the University of Minnesota Northrop Concerts and Lectures at the University of Minnesota is the performing arts presenting organization for the University of Minnesota. Northrop Concerts and Lectures is dedicated to the advancement of the education, research, public engagement, and diversity mission of the University of Minnesota through the pursuit of excellence and innovation in the performing arts, community service and creative exchangE. Northrop Concerts and Lectures is also committed to civic engagement and community discourse with the values of partnership and collaboration, committed to bridging the intellectual and artistic life of the University with the goals and issues of the local community, the nation, and the world.

Kate Nordstrum is a special projects curator at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and director of Kate Nordstrum Projects, a Twin Cities based arts management agency specializing in independent music curation and communication strategies for adventurous artists, ensembles, and institutions. Current projects include co-presentations and partnerships with the Walker Art Center, New Amsterdam Records, Northrop Concerts & Lectures, The Schubert Club, and Cedar Cultural Center.

Nordstrum’s previous employers include Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts Inc., New York City Center, and the Southern Theater (Minneapolis). In 2008, Nordstrum created a robust new music program at the historically dance- centric Southern Theater that in just two seasons established the venue as a national hot spot for innovative new ??music programming. Nordstrum collaborates regularly with dance, theater and film makers on cross-disciplinary programming initiatives; creates sustainable series and thematic festivals; and digs deep for the most virtuosic, visual and visceral music in the world to bring to the theatrical stage. Her work in the field of performing arts marketing and communications is extensive.

Christ Church Lutheran is a congregation rooted in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, centering its life on creative, liturgical worship with excellence in music and preaching. A vibrant, inclusive community, it is marked by joyful hospitality, care for our neighbors, lively imagination, and thoughtful engagement with the world.

Christ Church is a congregation with a rich architectural heritage. It is housed in a remarkable modernist structure designed by Eliel Saarinen and his son, Eero Saarinen. Named a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior in 2009, it is the only church building in Minnesota with this designation.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary, Christ Church Lutheran is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and welcomes all people to its life of worship, community, and service. Sunday worship services are at 9:30 a.m.

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