This fall, we’re heading back to Europe

By Kyu-Young Kim

I’m pleased to share the news that we’ll soon embark on our first European tour since 2008, with concerts in Rome, Siena, Bologna, Berlin and Vienna. Violinist and Artistic Partner Patricia Kopatchinskaja will join us for an unconducted program featuring Schubert’s Death and the Maiden quartet, arranged for string orchestra by the SPCO and Patricia.

A meditation on the medieval fascination with death as seducer, friend and redeemer, our unique exploration of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden intersperses music on the same theme from many centuries, including an ancient Byzantine chant on Psalm 140, a Renaissance Pavan by John Dowland, and late 20th century works by György Kurtág.

Kopatchinskaja will alternate between two concertos on tour – Mendelssohn’s youthful Violin Concerto in D Minor, written when the composer was just thirteen, and Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian’s Second Violin Concerto, Four Serious Songs. The tour program opens with Gideon Klein’s Partita for String Orchestra, led by concertmaster Steven Copes. Klein wrote the original trio version of this work in 1944 as a prisoner at the Theresienstadt concentration camp during the Holocaust. Just days after completing the work was transferred to Auschwitz, where he was murdered by the Nazis.

We look forward to sharing the SPCO’s distinctive artistry with European audiences through a musician-led program that is emblematic of the kind of adventurous and engaging performances for which we are known. We seek to provide transformational musical experiences and this program certainly packs an incredible emotional punch that we hope will leave an impact on European audiences. Most importantly, international touring is one of the most powerful ways to elevate the artistic quality of the orchestra, which results in better performances for our Twin Cities community.

We’re also looking forward to performing in Europe with one of our favorite collaborators, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who writes that  “this project with the SPCO has enlarged our dimensions of hearing and together we approach the music as a soloist would, individually, but all souls mystically linked to an intuitive whole that does not need a conductor.”

The tour opens in Rome with a performance in the Aula Magna at La Sapienza University on Saturday, November 19. On Monday, November 21, we’ll perform at Bologna’s renowned Teatro Comunale, one of Europe’s most important opera houses, followed by a concert on Tuesday, November 22 at Siena’s Accademia Musicale Chigiana. After that, we’re off to Italy for Germany, with a performance on Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving Day) at Berlin’s Konzerthaus, followed by our final performance of the tour on Saturday, November 26 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna.

Kyu-Young Kim is SPCO Artistic Director and Principal Violin

Hear a preview of the tour program in the Twin Cities September 16-18:

Twin Cities audiences can hear a preview of the tour program during performances at the Ordway Concert Hall in downtown Saint Paul September 16-17 and at the University of Minnesota’s Ted Mann Concert Hall on September 18. Limited tickets are available starting at $10 each. Visit the online concert listing or call our Ticket Office at 651.291.1144 for more information or to purchase tickets.