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The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

The Mission of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Our mission is to sustain a world-class chamber orchestra at the highest standards of artistic excellence that enriches the Twin Cities community by sharing dynamic, distinctive and engaging performances. We are actively committed to accessibility and intentional inclusivity in all aspects of our work and continually strive to provide all people in our community with opportunities to connect with the music we perform.

About The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Renowned for its artistic excellence, remarkable versatility of musical styles and adventurous programming, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Entering its 66th season in September, the SPCO is primarily an unconducted ensemble that performs a broad range of repertoire, from Baroque works to new music, in close collaboration with a dynamic roster of Artistic Partners. The current roster of Artistic Partners consists of British Baroque specialist Richard Egarr, American composer and musical commentator Rob Kapilow, South African cellist Abel Selaocoe and German violist Tabea Zimmermann.

In its commitment to making music accessible to everyone, the virtuoso musicians of the SPCO present over 80 concerts each season, sharing live music with over 70,000 people throughout the Twin Cities from September through June. 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 ticket prices of any professional orchestra in the United States, with over 50 percent of tickets available for $15 or less and with free tickets for children and students as a part of its New Generation Initiative. The orchestra also offers an innovative ticket membership model in which members pay a monthly fee to attend unlimited concerts, with a $5 per month concert membership option for first-time Concert Members and members of club2030, the orchestra’s discount program for audience members in their 20s and 30s.

The SPCO’s free, online Concert Library offers audio and video concert recordings — both live and on-demand — that can be accessed anytime, completely free of charge thanks to donors. Through its partnership with YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media, the SPCO is regularly played on public radio programs that reach nearly 850,000 listeners each week on over 250 stations. Additionally, the SPCO has released 68 recordings, including its recent critically acclaimed album of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Concertos with former Artistic Partner Jeremy Denk and the 2018 Grammy Award-winning recording of Franz Schubert’s Death and the Maiden with violinist and former Artistic Partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja. In addition to its programs in the Twin Cities, the orchestra also tours nationally and internationally, including recent engagements in Europe and New York City, and prestigious residencies at the 2021 and 2022 Bravo! Vail Music Festival with violinists Joshua Bell and Stefan Jackiw, bassist Xavier Foley, and pianist and Bravo! Vail Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott.

The SPCO is deeply committed to expanding orchestral repertoire, commissioning more than 160 new works throughout its 65-year history and receiving 17 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. In a divergence from the industry standard of commissioning individual works from composers, the SPCO’s Sandbox Residency program invites composers to experiment freely across a variety of new works created in collaboration with the orchestra. This groundbreaking residency model allows composers to workshop new pieces, experiment and revise, take risks, develop relationships with SPCO musicians and engage with SPCO audiences.

The SPCO is a proud member of the Arts Partnership, a strategic alliance of four performing arts organizations — Minnesota Opera, the Ordway, the SPCO and Schubert Club — that ensures equitable sharing and effective care of the Ordway Center as a vital cultural asset in the Twin Cities.