SPCO adds fourth Kopatchinskaja date; Christ Church Lutheran benefit concert

Photo by Marco Borggreve
Patricia Kopatchinskaja has made it clear that convention doesn’t interest her.

With the first three concerts sold out, the SPCO has added a fourth chance to see Patricia Kopatchinskaja play Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major — in her own unique, deeply researched version, not the one commonly used today for performances and recordings.

We forget that classical composers including Beethoven improvised, like jazz musicians. Kopatchinskaja, one of the SPCO’s newest artistic partners, has already made it clear to Twin Cities audiences that convention doesn’t interest her. She performs barefoot, she dons costumes, she doesn’t stay put on stage, she invents her own cadenzas. So rather than play the usual Beethoven, she went back to the original manuscripts, studied the changes and notes made by Beethoven (some based, perhaps, on suggestions made by violin virtuoso Franz Clement, who commissioned the piece), and came up with her own interpretation.

“In this concerto,” Kopatchinskaja wrote in an essay about her approach, “I often feel like a small bird flying over a majestic landscape. I take my twists and turns and sometimes even disappear between the clouds.”

Along with the Beethoven, the orchestra will perform Haydn’s “La Passione” symphony, with Kopatchinskaja leading from the violin, and the world premiere of a violin concerto by Michael Hersch, commissioned for Kopatchinskaja by the SPCO. (She’s calling the new work “poetic and sublime, radical, sharp as a knife.”) The added concert is Thursday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ordway Concert Hall. FMI and tickets. ($12-$50, kids $5). Better hurry. And don’t be afraid to sit in the first tier loft, behind the stage.

On Wednesday, Nov. 4 at MPR, you can hear Hersch and Kopatchinskaja talk about their collaborative and creative processes – and Hersch’s new work – at the season’s first Making Music program (formerly Composer Conversations). 7 p.m. Free, but reservations are required

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On the topic of smoking hot tickets, Christ Church Lutheran, the national historic landmark that hosts the chamber group Accordo, is holding a benefit concert for the preservation of the church on Tuesday, Feb. 2. That sounds too far away to think about now, but here’s who’s performing: Osmo Vänskä, Erin Keefe, Steven Copes, Maiya Papach, Anthony Ross. Tickets start at $40. Snooze and lose.

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’Tis the season for extensions. The Children’s Theatre has added a week’s worth of performances to “The Jungle Book,” the regional premiere of Greg Banks’ adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s stories. Eric Sharp is Mowgli, H. Adam Harris is Baloo the bear, CTC company member Autumn Ness is Bagheera the panther, Nastacia Nicole is Kaa the python, and Casey Hoekstra makes his CTC debut as the tiger Shere Kahn, Mowgli’s mortal enemy. Banks directs, and everyone but Sharp plays multiple roles as wolves, monkeys and vultures. FMI and tickets ($38-$58). Ends Dec. 13.

Photo by Dan Norman
The cast of “The Jungle Book”

The picks

Tonight (Tuesday, Oct. 20) at Subtext Books: Author Sue Leaf presents “Portage: A Family a Canoe, and the Search for the Good Life.” A two-time Minnesota Book Award winner, Leaf fell in love with canoes as a child. She and her family (husband Tom and four kids) have since canoed the waterways of North America, from the BWCA to the rivers of Minnesota and Wisconsin, Canada’s parks, the Louisiana bayou and the arid West. Leaf is a biologist and a birder; just out from the University of Minnesota Press, her book is part travelogue, part memoir, part natural and cultural history. 7 p.m. Free.

Tonight at Bryant-Lake Bowl: Café Scientifique: “Evolution Unleashed: The Making of the Dog.” Presented by the Bell Museum, Café Scientifique is a monthly happy-hour exchange of ideas about science, environment and pop culture. It takes place in a bowling alley and you can drink beer. In this month’s edition, dog expert Dr. Adam Boyko of Cornell University will speak on how natural and artificial selection have shaped the domestic dog we know and love. Doors at 6 p.m., program at 7. FMI and tickets ($5-$12 sliding scale).

Opens tonight in the Guthrie’s Dowling Studio: “Wrestling Jerusalem.” On the heels of Penumbra’s one-man “Rodney King,” written and performed by Roger Guenveur Smith, comes the Guthrie’s one-man piece written and performed by Aaron Davidman. First in a series of plays chosen by the Guthrie’s new artistic director Joseph Haj to inspire community dialogue, “Wrestling Jerusalem” tackles the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Davidman gives voice to 17 different characters in a play that had its premiere last year in San Francisco and earned critical raves. Michael John Garcés of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles directs. Each performance is followed by a post-show conversation. 82 min., no intermission, no late seating. Here’s the stage trailer. 7:30 p.m. FMI and tickets ($29-$35). Ends Nov. 1.

Tonight and tomorrow at the St. Anthony Main Theatre: The 50th anniversary restoration of “My Fair Lady.” The eight-time Oscar winner starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison has been restored frame-by-frame. Could Hepburn look even more loverly than we remember? FMI and tickets ($15).

Wednesday at the American Swedish Institute: A Night of Social Wonder: The Way Music Moves Me. ASI continues its popular series of open conversations among cultural movers and shakers with a look at music: how it influences other places around the globe and across industries; how it encourages social bridging and blurs the line of inequalities; what innovations are on the way. The Current’s Mark Wheat moderates a panel that includes Swedish musician, composer and music researcher Rickard Åström; multimedia artist, digital storyteller and “creative safarist” Adam Davis-McGee; Maria Genné, dancer, choreographer, founder and director of Kairos Alive!; and Minnesota Orchestra musicians Doug Wright and Roma Duncan, who will talk about musical diplomacy in Cuba. As always with these events, it all sounds fascinating. Doors at 6:30 p.m., program at 7. FMI and tickets ($12/$10).

Wednesday at the U’s Coffman Memorial Union: Andrew Solomon: “Far from the Tree: Parents, Children & the Search for Identity.” Winner of the National Book Award for “The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression,” Solomon presents his newest book, which looks at how families accommodate children with physical, mental and social disabilities and how these relationships can incorporate love. His book is based on 10 years of interviewing more than 300 families with “exceptional” children – in his words, children with “horizontal identities” – and nearly 40,000 pages of interview transcripts. 7 p.m. in the theater. Free, but registration requested.

Photo by Annie Liebovitz
Andrew Solomon

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