Renowned for its artistic excellence, remarkable versatility of musical styles and adventurous programming, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Entering its 58th season in September 2016, 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. The SPCO is primarily an unconducted ensemble that performs a broad range of repertoire from Baroque to new music and works in close collaboration with a diverse series of Artistic Partners. The orchestra’s current Artistic Partners are Jonathan Cohen, Jeremy Denk, Martin Fröst, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Pekka Kuusisto and Thomas Zehetmair. Past Artistic Partners include Christian Zacharias, Roberto Abbado, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Douglas Boyd, Joshua Bell, Nicholas McGegan, Stephen Prutsman and Dawn Upshaw.
The virtuoso musicians of the SPCO present more than 130 concerts and educational programs each year, and are regularly heard on public radio programs which reach 1.2 million listeners each week on 289 stations. The SPCO has released 67 recordings, commissioned 146 new works, and tours nationally and internationally, including performances in premier venues in Europe, Asia and South America. Recent engagements in Berkeley, CA, New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Ojai Festival, and tours to Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Europe were met with great critical acclaim.
The SPCO is nationally recognized for its commitment to broad community accessibility, its innovative audience outreach efforts, and its educational and family programming. Regular subscription series are performed in a variety of different venues across the Twin Cities metropolitan area each season, a unique commitment to geographic accessibility for a major orchestra. The SPCO offers the most affordable tickets of any major orchestra in the United States, with over 50 percent of tickets available for $12 or less. The orchestra also recently launched an innovative new ticket membership model in which members pay $5 per month to attend unlimited concerts. The SPCO’s award-winning CONNECT education program reaches over 5,000 students and teachers annually in 12 Minneapolis and Saint Paul public schools, and its Target® Free Family Music program provides engaging and educational experiences for thousands of Twin Cities children and families each year. The SPCO’s Liquid Music Series (named “Best of Classical” by The New York Times) creates a space for innovative new projects and iconoclastic artists in unique presentation formats and invites adventurous audiences to discover the new and the fascinating within the flourishing landscape of contemporary chamber music.
The mission of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Society is to present a world-class professional chamber orchestra in the Twin Cities, dedicated to superior performance, and artistic innovation and education, for the enrichment of community and world audiences.
Affirmation of the Board of Directors, March 18, 1998