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Introducing our newest Artistic Partner: Baroque specialist Jonathan Cohen

We’re excited to announce that British Baroque specialist, conductor, keyboardist, and cellist Jonathan Cohen has been named as our Artistic Partner, beginning with the 2016-17 season. Our audiences will remember him from two SPCO programs in recent seasons, including a well-received Messiah in 2014. You won’t have to wait long to meet him: beginning Saturday, he’ll lead two weekends of performances in venues around the Twin Cities. In those concerts, he will conduct from the harpsichord on Rameau’s Suite from Les Boréades, move to the podium for Mozart’s Symphony No. 34, and will end the program on the cello along with SPCO musicians for Schubert’s String Quintet.

Known for his passion and commitment to chamber music, Jonathan Cohen is well-versed in such diverse activities as Baroque opera and the Classical symphonic repertoire. He frequently directs ensembles from the keyboard, as he has in all of his previous performances with the SPCO. Already respected as an artistic leader, he is Artistic Director and Founder of Arcangelo (with whom he has made nine highly acclaimed recordings in the past five years) as well as Associate Conductor of Les Arts Florissants and Artistic Director of the Tetbury Festival in England. In addition to his reputation as a keyboardist and conductor, Cohen has developed a reputation as one of Britain’s finest young cellists and has been in increasing demand for concerts and festivals throughout the UK, Europe and America.

Artistic Director and Principal Violinist Kyu-Young Kim writes: “Jonathan Cohen is uniquely gifted and ideally suited to be the SPCO’s go-to collaborator for Baroque and early classical repertoire. He is part of a new wave of interpreters who are equally at home on period instruments as well as modern instruments, and his ability to direct from the keyboard is unmatched. His masterful interpretation of Handel’s Messiah in 2013 blew all of the SPCO musicians away, and we have all been itching for the chance to work with him more regularly and to delve into the Baroque repertoire. His ability to lead in a collaborative way, whether from the keyboard or podium or the cello, and inspire musicians and audience with his interpretations make him a perfect fit for the SPCO, and I look forward to many exciting programs and projects with Jonny.”

For more, check out the official press release (PDF) and the YouTube clips below.