The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) announces today the creation of the role of Assistant Director for Programming and Projects and the appointment of violinist Maureen Nelson to this new staff position.
Under the direction of the Artistic Director, the Assistant Director for Programming and Projects is responsible for researching and exploring repertoire by composers who have been historically underrepresented in orchestral programming, particularly composers of color, women and non-binary composers. The Assistant Director will identify works by underrepresented composers, share them with colleagues on the musician Artistic Vision Committee (AVC), and advocate for inclusion of these works as the AVC makes programming decisions for each SPCO concert season. The Assistant Director for Programming and Projects will work closely with the Artistic Director in developing programmatic themes for each season and will build on the SPCO’s Creative Lead program, liaising with other orchestra members to solicit and develop more programs curated by individual SPCO musicians.
With the appointment of violinist Kyu-Young Kim to the role of Artistic Director in 2016, the SPCO was the first professional orchestra in the United States to hire an active member of the orchestra to serve as its Artistic Director. This new Assistant Director position builds on the orchestra’s unique model of musician leadership and creates additional opportunities for close collaboration between orchestra members and administrative staff. The Assistant Director for Programming and Projects is a two-year, part-time staff position open to tenured members of the orchestra and selected through an open application and interview process. Having first joined the orchestra in 2016 following nearly two decades of leading the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet, violinist Maureen Nelson will serve as the SPCO’s first Assistant Director for Programming and Projects.
“The SPCO is committed to exploring the abundance of music written by underrepresented composers and sharing these works with our audiences. The creation of this position ensures that more time and resources are dedicated to this important endeavor, and I’m looking forward to leading the effort and working with my orchestra colleagues to continue to diversify the SPCO’s repertoire.”
“Maureen Nelson is not only an extraordinary violinist, but an intensely curious musician and a naturally collaborative team player,” said SPCO Artistic Director and Principal Violin Kyu-Young Kim. “She has a deep understanding of the SPCO’s unique artistic model and how to lead from within the ensemble and I look forward to working with her in her new role.”