The SPCO appoints two new orchestra members: Andrew Brady, Principal Bassoon and Daniel Orsen, viola

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) announces today that bassoonist Andrew Brady and violist Daniel Orsen have been appointed as the newest members of the orchestra. Orsen will join the viola section and Brady will take on the role of Principal Bassoon. Their first concerts as full-time members will occur at the beginning of the 2022.23 season. Orsen will be featured as soloist on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola September 16-20, and Brady will debut as soloist on Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Winds September 23-25.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Andrew Brady as our new principal bassoonist. He brings to us many attributes that we value: great soloistic capabilities, a chamber music sensibility, and an experienced voice in orchestral playing,” said SPCO Principal Flute Julia Bogorad-Kogan.

“I am so thrilled to be joining The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as Principal Bassoon this season!” said Brady. “The ensemble and organization provide flexibility and many opportunities that are just not possible in a symphony orchestra setting. In addition to the extremely high level of musicianship, there is also the ability to participate more actively in the rehearsal process and contribute meaningfully to shaping interpretations. I’m very much looking forward to an expanded sense of ownership over the final product. The SPCO also has a fantastic lineup of artistic partners and guest artists. I’m especially excited to work with my friend and incredible musician Abel Selaocoe.”

“The members of the orchestra have been very warm and welcoming so far, and I look forward to getting to know them better,” continued Brady. “I’m not very familiar with the Upper Midwest, but what I’ve seen so far has been beautiful. Having lived almost all of my life in the South, I am actively taking any and all suggestions regarding winter gear and tips to help acclimate. I’m excited to make Minnesota my home and explore all the great things the area has to offer, all while making music of the highest caliber.”

Regarding Orsen’s appointment to the viola section, Principal Viola Maiya Papach said, “Daniel played with such commitment and passion in his audition recital, completely winning over the audition committee. His musical curiosity and interests align perfectly with the SPCO’s repertoire and I am thrilled to have him join the viola section of the SPCO!”

“I’m elated to be joining the SPCO! This is a dream job for me, and a long time coming. I’ve had my sights set on this since the fall of 2019,” said Orsen. “Each member of the orchestra has a high degree of agency and responsibility, which makes this ensemble so excellent and unique. In addition to the music making, I’m looking forward to living in Saint Paul because I have family roots in Minnesota, I love cross-country skiing, and as a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan, it will be nice living in Central Time, where prime-time NFL games end at a reasonable hour.”

“Recruiting the finest musicians to join the SPCO is a critical part of our artistic vision and absolutely vital to the success of our musician-led model,” said Artistic Director and Principal Violin Kyu-Young Kim. “Andrew and Daniel were drawn to the SPCO by the kinds of creative outlets that we offer to all of our members and will both hit the ground running with their solo performances in September. We look forward to their musical contributions to the SPCO and to our community.”

Native Tennessean Andrew Brady joins The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the 2022.23 season as Principal Bassoon. Brady comes to Minnesota from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, having served there as Principal Bassoon since January 2016. Prior to the ASO, Brady held the same
position for two years with the Louisiana Philharmonic.

As a soloist, Brady has performed concertos by Hertel, Rossini, Mozart, Weber and Zwilich with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Southeast Symphony, the Los Angeles Doctor’s Symphony and The Colburn Orchestra. He appears regularly as Principal Bassoonist with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, and he has performed as guest principal with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as at Carnegie Hall and on European tours with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Brady’s artistry is in high demand and has taken him to South Africa, Korea, China, Mexico and the United Kingdom as well as many destinations within the contiguous United States for both performances and teaching engagements. In past summers, Brady has been a proud member of
the Chineke! Orchestra including a performance at the 2017 BBC Proms. The ensemble is the UK’s first Black and ethnically diverse orchestra and seeks to promote diversity and change within classical music by increasing representation and visibility of musicians of color. Andrew is also
thrilled to have participated in the “Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom” concert with the Re-Collective Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl in June 2022. The concert was broadcast live on CNN and marked the first performance of an all-black orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. The
celebration featured such legendary artists as Chaka Khan, The Roots, Michelle Williams and Earth, Wind & Fire.

Enthusiastically involved in music education, Brady has taught as an Artist-in-Residence at Kennesaw State University, and he is sought after for masterclasses and private tutelage. He has also served on the faculties of the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Brevard Music Center, Festival Napa Valley and National Youth Orchestra/NYO2 through Carnegie Hall.

Brady graduated with his Bachelor of Music degree from The Colburn School Conservatory of Music in 2013, where he studied with Richard Beene. Other major teachers and influences include Anthony Parnther, Rick Ranti and Suzanne Nelsen.

Violist Daniel Orsen will be joining The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in the 2022.23 season. He will begin his tenure with the SPCO performing Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola in September. During six years in Boston, Orsen performed with A Far Cry, the
Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Fermata Chamber Soloists, and the Phoenix Chamber Orchestra, and he ran Jamaica Plain Chamber Music from 2019-2022. Additionally, he was Guest Solo Violist with the Arctic Philharmonic in Norway during the 2018.19 season. Festival credits include Krzyzowa, Ravinia, Verbier, Prussia Cove, Oak Hill and the Perlman Music Program.

Orsen has a keen interest in culture and intellectual history, which is currently manifesting itself in Wagner’s Nightmare: a tongue-in-cheek exploration of Richard Wagner’s life, work, and legacy, which will culminate in an album of music Wagner would not like. Wagner’s Nightmare is Orsen’s second collaboration with pianist Pierre Nicolas Colombat, after their debut recording of Franz Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata. The Wagner’s Nightmare album will be released in February 2023, via CD and NFT only. His writing has also been published in The Anglican Way and The Journal of the American Viola Society. Orsen is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. He was taught and mentored by members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Credo, and the Perlman Music Program before his studies at the Oberlin Conservatory with Peter Slowik and the New England Conservatory with Kim Kashkashian. He plays on a 2013 Philip Injeian viola and a 2014 Benoit Rolland bow, both specially made for him.

Renowned for its artistic excellence, remarkable versatility of musical styles and adventurous programming, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the finest chamber orchestras in the world. Entering its 64th season in September, the SPCO is primarily an unconducted ensemble that performs a broad range of repertoire from Baroque to new music and works in close collaboration with a dynamic roster of Artistic Partners. The current roster of Artistic Partners consists of British Baroque specialists Jonathan Cohen and Richard Egarr, American composer and musical commentator Rob Kapilow, South African cellist Abel Selaocoe and German violist Tabea Zimmermann.

The virtuoso musicians of the SPCO present more than 100 concerts and educational programs in the Twin Cities each year. The orchestra’s free online Concert Library offers both live and on-demand videos of concerts that can be viewed anytime, anywhere, completely free of charge. Through its partnership with YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media, the SPCO is regularly heard 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.

The SPCO is deeply committed to expanding the orchestral repertoire, commissioning more than 160 new works throughout its 63-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 new Sandbox Composer Residency program invites composers to experiment freely across a variety of new works created in collaboration with the musicians of the SPCO. This alternative residency model will allow composers to workshop new pieces, experiment and revise, take risks, develop relationships with SPCO musicians and engage with SPCO audiences.

The SPCO is nationally recognized for its commitment to broad community accessibility and inclusion, along with its innovative audience engagement efforts. 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 has expanded accessibility even further by offering free tickets for children and students starting in the 2016.17 season as a part of the New Generation Initiative. The orchestra also offers an innovative ticket membership model in which members pay $9 per month to attend unlimited concerts, with a $5 per month concert membership option for members of club2030, the orchestra’s free program for audience members in their 20s and 30s. The SPCO’s award-winning CONNECT education program reaches over 3,000 students and teachers annually in 10 Minneapolis and Saint Paul public schools, and its Free Family Music program provides engaging musical experiences designed for children and their families in various locations throughout the Twin Cities.

The SPCO is a proud member of the Arts Partnership, a 501(c)(3) organization composed of the four organizations that perform regularly at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts – Minnesota Opera, the Ordway, the SPCO and Schubert Club. The Partnership’s mission is to strengthen its
organizations in service to the community through growing collaboration and stewardship of its shared assets. The Partnership works together to maintain the Ordway venue, to expand access for other community arts organizations to perform in the Concert Hall and to engage in collaborative artistic programming.

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.