ST. PAUL (Feb. 6, 2013) — Classical MPR has announced the Featured Artists and Composers for “Minnesota Varsity”, a program to showcase the best young Minnesota classical musicians and composers.
To participate in Minnesota Varsity, young musicians, ages 14-18, from around the state were asked to submit a recording of themselves performing. Student composers (also ages 14-18) were invited to submit an original score for flute, oboe, and clarinet. The call for compositions was new to the project this year, thanks to a partnership with the American Composers Forum.
Classical MPR staff received more than 85 submissions from across the state. From those, 15 were chosen as Featured Artists and 4 were chosen as Featured Composers.
In this phase of the program, the Featured Artists will be matched with a professional recording engineer from MPR to produce a high-quality recording. These recordings will then be broadcast throughout the month of March on Classical MPR — on air and online. The Featured Composers will be invited to a Mentorship Day with charter ACF member and composer Carol Barnett as mentor, to have their works performed by Mill City Winds (Lexi Zunker, flute, Lindsey Thompson, oboe, and Jennifer Runck, clarinet) and receive assistance in polishing their compositions and presenting them to an audience.
“We continue to be awed by the amazing young musical talent across the state of Minnesota, which you can hear online right now via our website,” said Tim Roesler, senior vice president and general manager, Minnesota Public Radio. “We’re really excited about this year’s Featured Composers and are delighted to invite the Featured Artists to St. Paul for a professional recording experience. We can’t wait to hear all of their performances and compositions on Classical MPR’s airwaves statewide.”
Crystal Cheng of Maple Grove, attends Wayzata High School and is performing Piano Concerto Op. 54, 1st movement, with cuts, composed and arranged by Robert Schumann.
“Through music, I can express emotions and feelings that all people across the globe can relate to,” Cheng said. “I know people will appreciate the beauty of music. Music can bring happiness and enjoyment to others. I hope that I can inspire people to love music.”
Miri Choi if Plymouth attends Wayzata High School, She is performing Undine Flute Sonata 1st movement, composed and arranged by Carl Reinecke.
“As a Korean immigrant, I love to connect with others through music and convey emotions and stories,” Choi said. “I chose Undine Flute Sonata because the story of a girl searching her love in the ocean resembles my journey across the Pacific Ocean.”
Marisa Lin of Rochester, studies with the Rochester Chamber Music Society, and is performing Ondine, fr. Gaspard de la Nuit composed and arranged by Maurice Ravel.
“I love expressing the subtle harmonies, textures, and colors in this piece,” Lin said. “Ravel wrote Ondine based on a poem by Aloysius Bertrand of a water nymph seducing a mortal, and the music I think captures it perfectly. It’s very sensuous and fluid.”
Madison and Alan Wang of Roseville, attend MYS. They are performing Hungarian Dance No. 1, composed and arranged by Johannes Brahms.
“When we first heard this piece on Youtube, we enjoyed the fast paced melody and how the two parts fused together creating balanced and intricate music,” they said in their artistic statement. “The sudden dynamic changes give the lively dance different flavors.It’s fun to play this piece.”
Youngjun Park of Shoreview, attends Mounds View High School. She is performing Introduction, Theme & Variation, composed and arranged by Gioacchino Rossini.
“I love to perform because the time I am performing is the time when I can truly feel the music,” Park said. “After practicing hard, when performing, I just let the music carry me away to its world. I believe this is when true miracles happen.”
Jonathan Yeung of Woodbury High School and performs with the school orchestra. It is an SEC All-Conference Honor Orchestra, District 833 Masterworks. He is performing Piano Concerto #20 in d minor, K.466, 2nd movement, composed and arranged by W.A. Mozart.
“I love to perform music because I enjoy bringing joy to others,” Yeung said. “I share my piano and violin music through volunteering in the community. I am the Concert Master for my High School Orchestra. My goal is to continue to grow as a musician.”
Jeesoo Lee of Eden Prairie, attends Central Middle School, MYS. He is performing Waltz in e, Op. Posth.; and Nocturne Op. 9 #2, composed and arranged by Frederic Chopin.
“Piano is part of my everyday life,” said Lee. “To make people love classical music. Chopin is one of my favorite composers and has deep emotion.”
Minnesota Varsity 2013 Featured Artists:
• Kristina Butler, voice, Burnsville
• Brandon Caplin, marimba, Burnsville
• Micah Cheng , cello, Woodbury
• Alex Cyert, euphonium , Winona
• Michael Davis, piano, Bloomington
• Brayden Drevlow, piano, Thief River Falls
• Aaron Fagerstrom, piano, Thief River Falls
• Hartman-Warren-Doyle Trio , piano/violin/cello trio, New Brighton
• Emily Johnson, marimba, Forest Lake
• Jeesoo Lee, piano, Eden Prairie
• Luna String Quartet , string quartet, Minneapolis
• David Nelson, voice, Woodbury
• Megan Ruan, piano, Arden Hills
• Abram Sanderson, trumpet, Maple Grove
• Eric Sargent, voice, Minnetonka
• Norah Doyle, cello, Minneapolis
• Luther Warren, violin, New Brighton
Minnesota Varsity 2013 Featured Composers:
• Judy Jackson, Edina
• Austin Kraft, Savage
• Spencer Hammersten, Circle Pines
• Grant Luhmann, Lino Lakes
The Showcase Round
Showcase Artists: Beginning March 18, the general public will be able to choose one of the Showcase Artists from the 15 Featured Artists by participating in the online Audience Vote at classicalmpr.org.
At the end of March, a panel of celebrity judges, including Ken Freed, Mankato Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Minnesota Orchestra violist, Doug Nimmo, Professor of Music and Wind Orchestras conductor at Gustavus Adolphus College, Bradley Greenwald, distinguished actor, musician and singer, and Rene Clausen, Professor of Music at Concordia College, Concordia Choir conductor and composer, will choose four performers to be Showcase Artists.
All five Showcase Artists will be asked to perform at MPR’s Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul on April 28, 2013, for a live theater and radio broadcasts. Audience members will get to vote live for their favorite performer.
Showcase Composers: Two Showcase Composers will be selected by Mill City Winds and the American Composers Forum. The Showcase Composers’ works will be premiered at the Fitzgerald Theater as part of the live Showcase concert broadcast.
The Minnesota Varsity Showcase Concert will be held Sunday, April 28, 4 p.m. at MPR’s The Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., in downtown St. Paul.
The 2013 Minnesota Varsity Showcase will include performances by the five finalists during the event, audience members and radio listeners (via web) will have the chance to participate in the “Encore Vote,” with the winner performing the encore at the concert. Mill City Winds will perform the premieres of the Showcase Composers’ pieces.
Admission is free and open to the public but a ticket is required. Tickets can be reserved by calling the Fitzgerald Theater Box Office at 651-290-1200.
Listen to Featured Artists of Minnesota Varsity on Classical MPR March 4-22. Classical MPR can be heard in the Twin Cities on KSJN 99.5 FM. A complete list of Classical MPR stations can be accessed online: go to ClassicalMPR.org, and click on “stations.”