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A last-minute change to Saturday night’s concert


An SPCO string sextet performs Mozart’s Grand sesetto concertante on Saturday night’s program.

By Kyu-Young Kim

As those who attended last night’s concert know, Patricia Kopatchinskaja had to withdraw from her final performance in St. Paul because of an arm injury. She offers her sincerest regrets as she looked forward to sharing concertos by Beethoven and Michael Hersch. Patricia has had a grueling month of concert activity, premiering three new concertos and performing a total of 27 solo works with orchestra since October 3. Even a Moldovan superwoman has her limits, and she had to make the very painful last minute decision to cancel her performance to avoid further aggravation of her injury.

Fortunately, we were pleased to be able to perform two wonderful works in place of the two concertos. Following the Haydn Symphony No. 49, a sextet of SPCO musicians performed Mozart’s Grande sestetto concertante, a transcription by an unknown hand in the early 1800s of Mozart’s iconic Sinfonia concertante for violin and viola. The musicians were Sarah Grimes and Kayla Moffett, violins, Hyobi Sim and Shuangshuang Liu, violas, Sarah Lewis on cello, and Zachary Cohen on bass. This is a delightful transcription that beautifully highlights the virtuosity and chamber music prowess of each musician, and for those who are intimately familiar with the original, continually surprises us with this unknown arranger’s musical choices.

On the second half, guest conductor Tito Muñoz, one of the most gifted young American conductors on the scene today, led us in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

It’s always difficult to make last minute changes to a program, particularly one as eagerly anticipated as this one, but I hope Saturday night’s concertgoers will agree that no concert is worth the risk of serious injury to the soloist. Personally, I’m incredibly proud of how my colleagues stepped up to make incredible music under difficult circumstances. And the thoughts of SPCO musicians and audiences alike are with Patricia Kopatchinskaja. We look forward to her return in April.

Kyu-Young Kim is The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Principal Second Violin and Senior Director of Artistic Planning. In January, he will become the SPCO’s Artistic Director.