Theater Review: Thornton Wilder’s “The Matchmaker”

Girl Friday, a stellar theater company based here in Minneapolis, is finishing up its run of Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker this week. Given that time is running out, I wanted to provide a quick review so that you still have a chance to see it before it closes.

And to be clear, you most definitely should see it. Continue reading

The 10 Greatest Works of the 20th Century

A while back, I ran across an interesting tidbit on my Facebook feed: Pierre Boulez’s list of the 10 greatest works of classical music in the 20th Century. Boulez, for those who aren’t immediately familiar with him, is a hugely influential/controversial composer, conductor, performer, and writer who has long been associated with the avantiest of avant-garde music.

I was intrigued to read his top 10 list—as he was at the epicenter of 20th Century music, his insights are invaluable. But in looking them over, I found myself in disagreement with several of his choices.

Naturally, I decided to come up with my own list. Continue reading

Remembering Nights in the Gardens of Spain

There are many fantastic concerts happening at Orchestra Hall here in Minneapolis, as the Minnesota Orchestra launches into its annual summer festival, Sommerfest. But there is one concert that has a particular resonance for me… a particular and personal resonance: the performance of Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s Noches en las jardines de España (“Nights in the Gardens of Spain”) taking place July 18.

Allow me share my story with you. Continue reading

Recording With a Great Symphony Orchestra

The Minnesota Orchestra just finished (…or perhaps “Finnished”) recording its CD of Sibelius’s Third, Sixth, and Seventh Symphonies for the Swedish label, BIS.  Principal Trumpet Manny Laureano posted his thoughts on the recording process over on his Facebook page; it was such a good piece, I asked if he’d allow me to cross-post it here on my blog.  He agreed!  Please enjoy—I think it gives a fantastic insider look into the creative process.  I’ll keep you posted on when the CD is released! 


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Lots of you know this past couple of weeks has had the Minnesota Orchestra recording in addition to playing our season finale and “Inside the Classics” concert. But precious few really know the inside baseball of putting out a memorable recording with a great orchestra. Here’s your chance. I hope I do the process justice. Continue reading

Season Finale, Season Review

It’s been a week since the finale of the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2014-2015 season… a season filled with remarkable achievements that I don’t know I could have imagined at this time last year. And of course, things didn’t end with that final concert… the Orchestra jumped right into a week-long, monster recording session to finish up their album of Sibelius’s Third, Sixth, and Seventh Symphonies.

But before it gets any later, I wanted to share my feelings on the final concert, as well as the season as a whole. Continue reading

Looking Back on a Joyous Recording Session

This week (today, if I’m not mistaken) the Minnesota Orchestra is finishing up its recording session of Sibelius’s Third, Sixth, and Seventh Symphonies for the Swedish recording compnay, BIS.  This has me thinking back a previous recording I was privileged to make with them in 2006—Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The Ode to Joy.  I took part as a singer of the Minnesota Chorale.

I was also the Public Relations Writer for the Orchestra at the time, and my boss asked me to write about my experiences for the Orchestra’s newsletter, Orchestra Times. I happily obliged with the following piece. Shortly after it appeared, Osmo himself told me how much he enjoyed it, and suggested with a wink that BIS producer Rob Suff would appreciate how I portrayed him (I hope so!).  Enjoy! Continue reading