SPCO concerts are canceled through May 10 in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

A closer look at Scott Yoo’s Notable Encounter series

Scott Yoo

This week, the charismatic conductor Scott Yoo brings his popular Notable Encounter series back to Saint Paul with an exploration of Berg’s Chamber Concerto. We asked him how this series came to be and what audiences can expect during this week’s SPCO performances. Tickets + Information

When I was living in the Upper West Side of New York, I was a member of the Museum of Modern Art.  I was completely blown over by audio headsets that they provided, which offered audio. These commentaries gave me the tools to better understand pieces that, at first glance, were opaque. What was even more impressive to me were the many points of entry that MoMA offered the public, providing commentary in multiple languages, for children, for teenagers, and even for the visually impaired.

Unfortunately for those who love music, audio commentary is completely impractical, because by its very nature, the medium in which music exists is not the canvas, but silence. I developed this weekend’s Notable Encounter as a way to offer our audience a museum docent’s tour through Berg’s Chamber Concerto.  Berg’s masterpiece, like a work by Jackson Pollock or Wassily Kandinsky, may at the first listening feel impenetrable.  In our Notable Encounter, we will offer in-depth analysis of the work, with musical examples from nursery rhymes to Beethoven, to illuminate the many layers of this fascinating work.


Examples of past Notable Encounter performances:

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