Your First Chance To Stalk Judd
12 Apr 2011
Inside the Classics

I’ve mentioned this a couple of times over the last few weeks, but the big week is finally upon us, and I wanted to be sure to give you all plenty of notice that our MicroCommission composer, Judd Greenstein, as well as a mighty handful of his New Amsterdam Records cohorts will be descending on the Twin Cities this week, here to play a variety of concerts and master classes as part of the Southern Theater’s amazingly ambitious String Theory Music Festival.

The fest is packed with far too many events for me to detail here, but here are a few highlights not to be missed:

  • Judd and the New Amsterdam gang will be playing a showcase concert at MPR’s UBS Forum in downtown St. Paul on Saturday afternoon at 5pm (taking on Garrison in his own time slot, I might add! Gutsy.) Judd’s music will be featured along with pieces by Nico Muhly, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Rob Moose. (You might know Rob from his outstanding guitar and violin work with Antony & the Johnsons, as well as Sufjan Stevens. I know him because he once attended the summer camp I work at and cheated death after pulling a basketball hoop down on his own neck while attempting to dunk.)
  • It’s pretty unusual for a violist to develop a cult following for her work as a soloist specializing in new music, but somehow, my old pal Nadia Sirota has done exactly that. She hosts a nightly cavalcade of contemporary music on Q2, the live internet station supported by New York’s WQXR-FM, and has also played to packed houses at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis multiple times over the past few seasons. This Thursday, she’ll team up with the deeply impressive composer Missy Mazzoli (a Composer Institute alum) for three brief sets of music at the Walker Art Center, beginning at 6pm. This show is 100% free, and… what’s that you say? You’ve got tickets to see the Minnesota Orchestra play the world premiere of a new MacMillan concerto that night? So do Judd and I – we’re planning to catch Nadia and Missy’s first set and maybe a bit of the second, then walk over to Orchestra Hall for our 7:30 start. You’re welcome to join us.
  • I’ve never actually heard the JACK Quartet in person, or met any of its members, but this foursome, which formed at the highly regarded Eastman School of Music, has been turning a lot of heads (ears?) in recent years. Judging from the clips I’ve heard, they’re the real thing – wonderfully adventurous, but also possessed of serious chops. They’ll play a split bill at the History Theatre in St. Paul on Sunday night, hosted by Performance Today host Fred Child.

So, there it is. Your whole musical week mapped out and ready to go! (And there’s a ton more worth checking out at the String Theory fest – check out the Southern’s dedicated page for info and tickets.) And if you do wind up at one of the programs Judd’s involved in, definitely take a moment to say hi to him afterward, and if you haven’t done so already, consider tossing a donation our way for the MicroCommission Project. We’re more than halfway to our goal, and Judd’s already writing for our big showcase premiere next March!

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