SPCO's Dawn Upshaw extends contract through 2013by Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — World-renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw will stay with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for an additional three years.
Instead of having a music director, the SPCO has a rotation of five Artistic Partners who work with the orchestra several times a year. Upshaw said she is excited about being invited back, and for future collaborations.
"It's a unique situation here, the potential for this kind of relationship between a performer, and artists and the entire ensemble," she said. "I wish that there were more organizations that used this model."
Instead of having a full-time music director the SPCO is run by a creative committee of musicians and management representatives, with the artistic partners focusing on the concerts for which they are responsible.
She said working with the orchestra a number of times a year allows greater understanding, and she wants to build on that.
"Rather than just bringing music that I think will work well in St Paul or with this particular orchestra, I want now to have a deeper exchange of ideas," she said.
Upshaw, who joined the SPCO as an artistic partner in 2007, will stay until at least the 2012-2013 season. She has performed a world premiere commission of new music in each of the three years of her SPCO tenure so far, and will continue that over the next three seasons.
Upshaw becomes just the fourth SPCO artistic partner to extend her contract.