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Classical Notes

Click on Classical: Saying goodbye to a conductor and hello to a new concert hall

Posted at 8:09 AM on June 16, 2014 by Jay Gabler
Filed under: Click on Classical

Ordway Rendering 425.jpg

Each Monday morning at 9:15, I go on Classical MPR to talk about stories we're featuring on our website. Here are the stories Melissa Ousley and I are talking about today.

After several years with the Minnesota Orchestra, associate conductor Courtney Lewis has just led his final subscription concerts as he prepares to move to new jobs at the New York Philharmonic and the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. This week, Lewis spoke with our writer Matt Beckmann. Lewis told Matt about why he has a passion for music education, and what he's going to miss about Minnesota.

Though we're saying goodbye to Courtney Lewis, we're about to say hello to a brand new 1,100-seat concert hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Built to replace the 300-seat McKnight Theater, the new hall is designed to provide an optimal setting for classical concerts. This week the Ordway and its partners announced the name of the new hall and provided renderings of how it's going to look when it opens in February.

The buzz of the classical world last week was the appearance of a very special guest vocalist with the Seattle Symphony. Renee Fleming? Bryn Terfel? No, it was 50-year-old Seattle native Anthony Ray, better known by his hip-hop moniker: Sir Mix-a-Lot. He joined the symphony for a performance of his ribald 1992 hit "Baby Got Back," in an arrangement by Gabriel Prokofiev — ​yes, Sergei's grandson. Watch video of the performance, if you dare!​