Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Southern Theater will co-present the String Theory Music Festival, showcasing the work of national and regional composers and musicians, at five Twin Cities venues, April 14-17, 2011. The festival is a joint project of the Southern, McNally Smith College of Music, New Amsterdam Records, History Theatre, Minnesota Public Radio, Invisible Button Entertainment and the Walker Art Center.

Designed to engage music novices and aficionados alike, the festival will shine a celebratory spotlight on the role of bowed-string instruments as a focal point and compositional centerpiece within modern popular, indie/alternative, new music, and classical ensembles.

The four-day event will include six public concerts, a youth recital, workshops, and master classes.

The festival will open at two Minneapolis venues on Thursday, April 14, when Missy Mazzoli and Nadia Sirota will present three, 20-minute sets in the Walker Art Center’s Gallery 2, an event that is part of Walker Free Thursdays.

Across town at the Southern on the same evening, Chris Koza and Adam Levy will host the third installment of the Southern’s 2010/11 Southern Songbook series. Guest musicians for “The Rites of String: Intersection of song, songwriter and strings” will include Dessa, Mississippi Peace, Martin Devaney, Eliza Blue, Chan Poling, music director DeVon Gray, and the instrumentalists of Heiruspecs as house band.

Moving to St. Paul on Friday evening, April 15, a triple bill at the History Theatre will feature Owen Pallett, Nat Baldwin (Dirty Projectors), and yMusic string players performing their own material with new arrangements by yMusic’s Rob Moose.

Events on Saturday, April 16, will get underway with a 2pm performance at the McNally Smith Recital Hall by winners of the Eclectic Strings Competition in three age categories, sponsored by the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association.

Action then shifts across the street to Minnesota Public Radio’s UBS Forum for a 5pm concert showcasing compositions and performances by artists of New Amsterdam Records. Members of ACME and yMusic will present a selection of works by William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans, Judd Greenstein, Nico Muhly, and Sarah Kirkland Snider, plus the world premiere of newly expanded arrangements by Rob Moose of his own solo works.

Following a post-performance reception at MPR, the focus will return to the History Theatre and an 8pm string sampler performance by Tom Hagerman of Devotchka (with full band), Anni Rossi trio, Robert Black of Bang on a Can All-Stars (world premiere by Mary Ellen Childs), and Mississippi Peace (Christopher Cunningham, Melissa Matthews, Michelle Kinney, Graham O’Brien, Gregory Reese and Nicholas Gaudette). Each ensemble will present approximately 30 minutes of material.

The festival’s sixth and final performance, Sunday, April 17, will feature the split bill of two of today’s most highly praised classical ensembles, JACK Quartet and Victoire, beginning at 7pm at the History Theatre.

A variety of workshops and master classes throughout the festival will be coordinated by Christopher Cunningham, head of the songwriting and composition department at McNally Smith.

The String Theory Music Festival is the brainchild of Southern music curator Kate Nordstrum and Cunningham, with planning and resource assistance from Judd Greenstein, a founder of New Amsterdam Records.

Nordstrum took the lead in assembling the roster and pairings of musicians and featured-composers from the classical and contemporary music worlds.

“This is an opportunity for classical and non-classical music lovers to converge, listen, and learn,” said Nordstrum. “My hope is that attendees will take a chance on music that is new to them.”

“While the sight of a stage full of violins, violas, cellos, and basses is five or six centuries old,” said Cunningham, “recent years have seen increased visibility of these instruments in popular music. And the use of computers, controllers, software, and artificial intelligence in general have pushed even further the boundaries of what is musically possible.”

Financial and tactical support for the String Theory Music Festival has been provided by McNally Smith College of Music.

Performances: April 14-17, 2011

Venues: Southern Theater; Walker Art Center Gallery 2; History Theatre; MPR’s UBS Forum; McNally Smith Recital Hall

Tickets: Single and package tickets available at Southern Theater box office. Save 15% on 3-5 performances, OR save 15% on first 3 performances purchased & 10% on later add-ons.

Southern Theater box office: 612.340.1725

1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN  55454

www.southerntheater.org/2011_04-14_string_theory_music_festival.htm

 

Schedule of events, April 14-17

Public concerts

THURSDAY, APRIL 14 6pm-8pm (3, 20-minute sets), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: Gallery 2

“Sound Horizon” featuring Missy Mazzoli & Nadia Sirota

Non-ticketed event, part of Walker Free Thursdays

www.walkerart.org

 

THURSDAY, APRIL 14 7:30pm, Southern Theater, Minneapolis

“Southern Songbook” installment 3

The Rites of String: Intersection of song, songwriter and strings

Hosted by Chris Koza and Adam Levy

Guests musicians include Dessa, Mississippi Peace, Martin Devaney, Eliza Blue and Chan Poling

With music director dVRG and the instrumentalists of Heiruspecs as house band

Tickets: $25, $22, $12 student rush

Reserved Seating

www.southerntheater.org/2011_04-14_southern_songbook.htm

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 15 8pm, History Theatre, St. Paul

Owen Pallett, Nat Baldwin and yMusic strings

A triple bill featuring each artist/ensemble with backing by the others

New arrangements by Rob Moose (yMusic) for music of Owen Pallett and Nat Baldwin

Tickets: $22, $15 student (advance), $12 student rush

General Admission

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 5pm, UBS Forum (MPR), St. Paul

New Amsterdam Records showcase concert

Members of ACME and yMusic perform new works for New Amsterdam Records by William Brittelle, Caleb Burhans, Judd Greenstein, Nico Muhly, and Sarah Kirkland Snider, plus the world premiere of new expanded arrangements by Rob Moose of his own solo works.

Tickets: $15, $12 student rush

General Admission

Post-show reception at MPR

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 8pm, History Theatre, St. Paul

String Sampler

Tom Hagerman of Devotchka (with full band), Anni Rossi trio, Bang on a Can’s Robert Black (world premiere: new work by Mary Ellen Childs), and Mississippi Peace

Tickets: $24, $15 student (advance), $12 student rush

General Admission

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 17 7pm, History Theatre, St. Paul

JACK Quartet & Victoire

Split bill featuring two exciting, virtuosic and oft-praised classical ensembles

Victoire to perform works from their new release Cathedral City. Jack Quartet to perform Contritus by Caleb Burhans (MN Premiere), Dig Deep by Julia Wolfe and Tetras by Iannis Xenakis.

Tickets: $24, $15 student (advance), $12 student rush

General Admission

 

Recitals

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 2pm, McNally Smith Recital Hall

Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association presents winners of the Eclectic Strings Competition, ages 10-25

Non-ticketed event

www.mnsota.org/events

 

Workshops/Master Classes

 

THURSDAY, April 14 1pm-5pm McNally Smith Auditorium and recording studios, St. Paul

McNally Smith College of Music presents an in-the-studio master class on string arranging and production with members of yMusic recording original works by two selected McNally Smith composition majors. Open to the public and participating high school music students, including Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Event will be webcast live.

Other workshops and master classes will be announced soon on the Southern’s event page:

www.southerntheater.org/2011_04-14_string_theory_music_festival.htm

 

Venue information

History Theatre – Fri. Apr. 15, 8pm; Sat. Apr. 16, 8pm; Sun. Apr. 17, 7pm

30 East 10th Street, St. Paul, MN

Parking: Free street parking after 4:30pm & all day Sunday; Allright Parking, Exchange Street

www.historytheatre.com

 

McNally Smith Recital Hall – Sat. Apr. 16, 2pm

19 East Exchange Street, St. Paul, MN

Parking: Free street parking after 4:30pm & all day Sunday; Allright Parking, Exchange Street

www.mcnallysmith.edu

 

UBS Forum at Minnesota Public Radio – Sat. Apr. 16, 5pm

480 Cedar Street, St. Paul, MN

Parking: Free street parking after 4:30pm & all day Sunday; Allright Parking, Exchange Street

www.mpr.org

 

Southern Theater – Thu. Apr. 14, 7:30pm

1420 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Parking: Seven Corners Ramp, 1504 Washington Ave. S.

www.southerntheater.org

 

Walker Art Center Gallery 2 – Thu. Apr. 14, 6pm-8pm

1750 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN

Parking: City of Minneapolis garage, Vineland Place at Bryant Ave.

www.walkerart.org

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