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The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Saint Paul, MN         

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra strives to present diverse and adventurous programming that both demonstrates world-class artistry and advances the public’s appreciation for the breadth, depth, and vibrancy of new musical composition. Renowned for its artistic excellence, remarkable versatility of musical styles and adventurous programming, the SPCO is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. The SPCO has recently undergone transformational change, with the opening of its new home, the Ordway Concert Hall, the addition of a new generation of players, and significant changes in the scope of its artistic aspirations and profile. Committed to championing new music, the SPCO is primarily an unconducted ensemble that works in close collaboration with a diverse series of Artistic Partners.

New American music is an integral component of the SPCO’s artistic profile. This is underscored by nearly six decades of distinguished artistic output, permeated with the exploration, creation, presentation, and promotion of new music. In its 57-year history, the SPCO has commissioned 146 new works, premiered 49 additional compositions, and has earned the distinction of 17 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. We believe that great music exists on a historical continuum; commissioning and presenting new works sustains this continuum and helps to foster the entry of diverse and provocative music into the canon of works for chamber orchestra.

We are also dedicated to providing access points to these new works. The SPCO’s pre-concert Fanfare lectures reach more than 7,000 patrons each year, who learn from prominent guest speakers such as composers, conductors, contemporary music experts, and SPCO musicians. Our Music in the Making series introduces patrons to the new and innovative voices of today’s classical music landscape, featuring live Q & A sessions and informal post-show receptions. Past guests have included Michael Hersch, Derek Bermel, Meredith Monk, Steve Mackey, Kevin Puts, Bryce Dessner with Caroline Shaw and Richard Reed Perry, Fred Lerdahl, and Missy Mazzoli. Both of these programs work to educate audience members and potential audience members about Music of Our Time in a thoughtful and engaging way.

To further its commitment to new and diverse classical music programming, the SPCO launched the Liquid Music Series in the fall of 2012. Drawing a broad, diverse audience, the boundary-defying Liquid Music series is the SPCO’s platform for the new and the now. The presentation of innovative and cutting edge new projects serves as an entry point for new and younger listeners, and allows experienced classical music fans to expand their horizons. The series makes classical music more accessible to adventurous listeners of all age, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, while providing a platform for experimentation by both established and emerging artists. Liquid Music intentionally programs underrepresented artists, including women, artists of color, and music makers whose views are not typically represented in the classical sphere.

Prokofiev's Classical Symphony

Recorded March 6, 2015 at the Ordway Concert Hall in Saint Paul, MN. Led by SPCO Musicians.

John Luther Adams' Become River

Recorded April 4, 2014 at the Ordway Music Theatre in Saint Paul, MN. Steven Schick, conductor. World premiere commissioned by the SPCO.