Dials are being moved, restrictions relaxed and venues allowed to reopen. The Schubert Club on Tuesday announced that Accordo, the stellar chamber ensemble composed of present and former principal players of the SPCO and the Minnesota Orchestra, will return to Westminster Hall on Monday, Oct. 12, to launch its 12th season.
Steven Copes, the SPCO’s concertmaster and Accordo member from the start, promises “a new season of renewal, healing and hopefully celebration” with “some amazing new performers.”
Four out of five programs will feature music by Mozart, starting with “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” on Oct. 12. Beethoven, Bach, Handel and Ravel will be heard. For music of our time, the ensemble will turn to György Kurtág, Stephen Hartke, George Tsontakis and Kronos Quartet cellist Paul Wiancko.
The fifth program will be the return of Accordo with Silent Film, back for its sixth year. This is always a delightful, relaxed and chatty evening, with composer Stephen Prutsman at the piano and silent films flickering on a screen.
Accordo came together in 2009 with help from Kate Nordstrum and played its first two seasons at the Southern, where Nordstrum was music director. It has bounced around since then, from the Southern to MacPhail to Christ Church Lutheran, the Amsterdam, the Ordway Concert Hall and Plymouth Congregational Church.
It seems to have found a permanent home at Westminster Hall in downtown Minneapolis, the James Dayton-designed expansion at Westminster Presbyterian Church that opened in January 2018. This will be its third season there. Accordo will also perform at the Ordway Concert Hall and Icehouse.
The performance dates for 2020-21 are Monday, Oct. 12; Monday, Feb, 1, 2021; Monday, March 22; Wednesday, April 21 (Accordo with Silent Film at the Ordway); and Monday, May 14. The Icehouse dates – relaxed, abbreviated concerts at the club and restaurant on Nicollet – will be announced later.
Subscriptions are on sale now. Because of COVID, the Schubert Club has adopted temporary new ticket policies. Whether concerts are able to go ahead or not, all ticket holders will have the option to turn back their tickets, bank their value for a later concert in 2020-21 or 2021-22, or request a refund.
‘Art Connects Us’ to continue with new artists and art
Back in April (which now seems waaay back), Hennepin Theatre Trust teamed up with Clear Channel to give Minnesota-based artists much-needed work, and the rest of us something heartening to look at. The “Art Connects Us” exhibit put new art on billboards, with messages of hope and thanks to those working on the front lines during COVID.
The project was originally scheduled to run for six weeks. Supported by a grant from the Minneapolis Foundation, it will continue through the end of August. Sixty digital roadside signs in the five-county metro area will display art by 30 more artists, 10 each month. They will be a diverse group – emerging and internationally renowned, BIPOC, LGBTQ, disabled, seniors and students.
Clear Channel estimates that the extension of the exhibit will continue to reach millions of people. All of the artists will be paid.
ICYMI, the 2020 Edina Art Fair has been canceled. Originally scheduled for the first week in June – it’s the first big art fair of the season – it was pushed forward to August. Now that’s too close for comfort for an event that usually draws big crowds. Next year’s dates are June 4-6, 2021.
Music in the Zoo 2020 has been canceled, a first in the series’ 27-year history. Sue McLean & Associates usually announce the lineup around this time of year. Now we don’t even know what we’ll be missing, which is probably a kindness.
And this just in: the 2020 Como Park Japanese Obon Festival has been canceled. It will not take place on Aug. 16, as previously announced. No taiko drumming, shakuhachis, dancing, singing, martial arts, ikebana, origami or lanterns this year.
Books on race in America, no waiting, from the Hennepin County Library: Check out ebook versions of Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility,” Ibram X. Kendi’s “How to Be an Antiracist,” Layla F. Saad’s “Me and White Supremacy,” Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow” and other titles. All are available at this writing, some also as audiobooks. You’ll need a library card.
Streaming for free on the PBS website: Anna Deavere Smith: “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992.” A one-woman, tour-de-force performance created from 300 interviews Deavere Smith conducted after the riots that followed the 1992 acquittal of the police officers who beat Rodney King. It first aired on PBS in 2001, returned as part of “Great Performances” in 2015, and look, it’s back, because clearly we need to see it again.
Today (Thursday, June 11) starting at 1 p.m.: Mixed Blood Responds. Mixed Blood Theatre in Cedar Riverside is open again – not as a theater, but as a food pantry serving its neighbors. Bravo, Mixed Blood! And now this: A new series of 10 short video performance pieces inspired by the racial equity movement set in motion by the death of George Floyd. “Mixed Blood Responds” starts at 1 p.m. today with Isabella LaBlanc’s “Takomni Hasa Wiconi Hecha,” which you can watch on Mixed Blood’s website and Facebook page. Look for new pieces every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon until July 14. Next up: Maria Isa’s “Como Duele (Bomba for Big Floyd)” on Tuesday, June 16.
Streaming today (Thursday, June 11) through 6 a.m. tomorrow (Friday, June 12) on the Children’s Theatre Company’s Facebook page: “Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams.” The Ethiopian acrobats opened CTC’s 2019-20 season last September. If you loved the show – and especially if you missed it – you can catch the full performance and a Q&A with co-creators (and jugglers) Bibi and Bichu Tesfamarian.
Tonight (Thursday, June 11) at 7 p.m. on CrowdCast: Jazz Fest Live: Aja Parham and Kavyesh Kaviraj. We’ve caught St. Paul-based vocalist Aja Parham (sometimes, not always, with her husband, trumpeter Solomon Parham) a few times here and there and have always come away wanting more. She’s a compelling singer of style and soul with a beautiful voice. Free. All donations made this month will go toward supporting efforts to rebuild, reopen and provide for essential needs in our community. Go here to save your spot.
Sunday, June 14, and Monday, June 15, on the Film Society’s website and Zoom: Free film screening and community conversation. Partnering with the Knight Foundation, FilmNorth and others, MSP Film Society will screen “Whose Streets?” for 24 hours starting Sunday at 1 p.m. Director Sabaah Folayan’s documentary looks at the 2014 Ferguson uprisings that followed the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police. On Monday at 7 p.m., MSP Film Society programmer Craig Rice will talk with Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder editor Mel Reeves and filmmaker/activist D.A. Bullock about ways to participate in social justice and anti-racism efforts. Register here for both. Please note that if you want to see the film, you must register by 11 a.m. Sunday. Next weekend, MSP Film will screen “Toni Morrison The Pieces I Am” on Sunday, June 21, and follow with a community conversation on Monday, June 22. We’ll tell you more about those next week.