Steve Staruch Feature Archive

As the music is soft and light-footed it is a perfect work for the season. From just last week at the Madeline Island Music Camp, the Arianna String Quartet, in residence at the University of Missouri, St Louis opened their recital program on June 15 with the Andante and Scherzo Op 81 by Felix Mendelssohn. Their performance in this week's Regional Spotlight sparkles like a fizzy lemonade. (06/28/2012)
Avdeeva performs two works by Maurice Ravel From her Minnesota debut in Chopin Society recital, given May 13. (06/14/2012)
As the summer festival season gets underway, here's a performance that garnered whoops and hollers from the audience. In the Regional Spotlight this week is an August 2011 performance from the Alexandria Festival of the Lakes. Members of the SPCO and Minnesota Orchestra collaborated on the fiery Brahms Piano Quartet Op. 25. (06/08/2012)
Following the Artaria String Quartet as they continue their series of performances of the entire cycle of quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich, this week's Regional Spotlight this week features the bright and powerful String Quartet No 6. The performance was recorded in the Art Gallery at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. (05/31/2012)
Ravel revels in both the darkest notes of the piano and brightest tones of the violin in his monumental Piano Trio in a minor. In this week's Regional Spotlight is a performance with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio from last month's the Schubert Club/Music in the Park Series. It's delicious! (05/24/2012)
From a recent performance at Sundin Music Hall, the Bach Society of Minnesota demonstrate why it is that Telemann was the most popular composer of the early 18th century. (05/17/2012)
Think of it as the afterglow of a year-long celebration of the life and music of Franz Liszt. Pianist Eric Himy performs an all Liszt program from last December at the Landmark Center in St Paul in this week's Regional Spotlight. (05/10/2012)
From a concert titled New Landscapes Sunday, April 22 comes this week's Regional Spotlight. The Singers: Minnesota Choral Artists sang several gorgeous works that date from this last decade. Two of those pieces are by Minnesota composers. Matthew Culloton led his most dedicated ensemble in Abbie Betinis' Carmina mei cordi (2004) and Jocelyn Hagen's Laus Trinitati (2005). New landscapes indeed! (05/03/2012)
The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) celebrates its 40th anniversary with a performance this Sunday, May 6 at Orchestra Hall. Steve Staruch spoke with selected alumni, representatives of all four decades of GTCYS and a most current member. All share their fondest memory of playing in GTCYS. (05/03/2012)
The Twin Cities Compline Choir gathers for a monastic service that dates from the 6th century, a service for the close of the day or Compline. (04/26/2012)
Shostakovich himself said that his String Quartet No 4 was "written for the drawer," a poetic way of saying that it was not for public consumption, especially since works similar in style and mood had already been banned in the Soviet Union. Completed in 1949 the first performance of the quartet did not take place until after Stalin's death. The work is haunting in its use of Jewish themes and motives. In this week's Regional Spotlight is a January performance from Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church with the Artaria String Quartet, part of their series of presenting the complete set of Shostakovich quartets this season and next. (04/19/2012)
The only difference between a major professional orchestra and the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (gtcys) is experience. Music Director, Amir Kats and his colleagues coax and draw out wonderful, full-bodied and colorful performances from their young classical players. In the Regional Spotlight this week is a performance of Three Dances from "Gayaneh" by Aram Khachaturian from this past March 4th. The hoops and cheers from the audience say it all. GTCYS is hot! (04/12/2012)
Psalm 42 speaks of the desire for peace and rest in the midst of sorrow and want. The image of a deer seeking a cool drink from a running stream is the starting point for poetic language that itself calls for musical treatment. Two composers' settings of Psalm 42 are featured in this week's Regional Spotlight. From just this last weekend the Augsburg Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra with soloist Katherine Skovira led by Peter Hendrickson perform Sicut Cervus by Palestrina and also Mendelssohn's powerful setting of "As the Deer Cries Out for Running Streams." (04/05/2012)
The Chamber Music Society of St Cloud is to be commended for bringing the European group known as La Morra to the region for a performance at St Mary's Cathedral on March 9. The program, titled "Tears of a Lion," featured this small but sassy ensemble in a mix of instrumentals from early Renaissance Spain. With the kind of music that might have entertained Columbus, their performance was both inviting and lively. La Morra is in this week's Regional Spotlight. (03/29/2012)
Who knew that Haydn could be so hot? The Frederic Chopin Society presented pianist Imogen Cooper earlier this month in a recital that began with Haydn. His Sonata in Eb is typical of his music with plenty of playfulness and wit and wide-eyed humor. Cooper's proud performance from Sundin Music Hall in St Paul was all about the joy of music making. Her March 4th (2012) performance is in this week's Regional Spotlight. (03/22/2012)