St. Paul Chamber Orchestra to premiere pieces for its wind players, by Cuong, Davids, Assad, Wiancko

Posted on: May 10, 2021

“Last June, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s artistic leadership was discussing the stigma assigned to wind players who some feared might spread COVID through their instruments,” writes Ron Hubbard in Friday’s (5/7) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “George Floyd’s murder also had musicians discussing how to be more inclusive in programming. It led concertmaster Steven Copes to ask: ‘Why don’t we commission solo pieces for our wind players from composers of color?’ So the orchestra has done just that. Four small-scale works will premiere in the next month, as the final three concerts of the SPCO season are livestreamed from St. Paul’s Ordway Concert Hall…. On Saturday, oboist Cassie Pilgrim will debut a piece by Viet Cuong, ‘Circling Back,’ with cellist Sarah Lewis. Wisconsin-based Indigenous composer Brent Michael Davids will have a work for solo flute, ‘Taptonahana,’ premiered by the SPCO’s principal flutist, Julia Bogorad-Kogan, on May 22. The season’s final program June 12 doubles up on small-scale music as the orchestra premieres new pieces by Clarice Assad (for clarinet and bass) and Michi Wiancko (for solo clarinet). SPCO principal clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim will be part of both of those premieres, joined by bassist Zachary Cohen for Assad’s piece.”