St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s new artistic partner: Rob Kapilow

Posted on: March 4, 2020

“A composer and conductor, Rob Kapilow is best known for breaking down—eruditely, enthusiastically—what makes a piece of music work,” writes Jenna Ross in Tuesday’s (3/3) Star Tribune (Minnesota). “In his ‘What Makes It Great?’ program, as well as his books, he homes in on a melody or a few measures, illustrating why, when a motif shows up in a new form, it tickles us…. He explains symphonies and Sondheim without relying on technical music jargon … This month, during nine performances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, he’ll break down Beethoven’s iconic Seventh Symphony. But as the SPCO’s newest artistic partner, he also hopes to explain the chamber orchestra itself, especially the fact that it rehearses and performs without a conductor…. Talking through a piece with Kapilow always leads to new discoveries, [SPCO Artistic Director Kyu-Young] Kim said. ‘That’s very much why he has such a strong connection with these musicians. You can do a standard piece you think you know backward and forward, and then you realize you didn’t know this element. It changes how you think about it and changes how you play it, too.’… Kapilow will work with the SPCO for three years.”