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MacPhail Center for Music Announces 2017-2018 Spotlight Series

Via an October 2 News Release from MacPhail Center for Music:

MacPhail Center for Music announces the fifth season of their premier concert series, the MacPhail Spotlight Series. The lineup includes four on-site concerts and four touring concerts, as the series expands its reach to the metro area and southeastern Minnesota for the first time.

This inspiring season showcases the phenomenal talents of MacPhail teaching artists and special guests. Four of the shows will take place in MacPhail’s award-winning Antonello Hall, while four will tour to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Mia), the Lakeville Area Arts Center, the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis and the Paramount Theater in Austin.

The 2017-2018 MacPhail Spotlight Series includes:

· Traveling MusiciansNovember 11, 2017For centuries, touring musicians have used rhythm and melody to record their impressions.  Liszt captured stunning Swiss landscapes and glorious Italian architecture with his dazzling Années de pèlerinage for solo piano. Bartók’s compositions were profoundly impacted by the years he spent researching indigenous folk music in far reaches of the Balkans. Dvořák’s famous stay in the USA inspired some of his most beloved works, including the charming Sonatina – part of which was sketched while visiting Minnehaha Falls! Ellington’s jazzy Far East Suite is a personal take on the exotic sights and sounds of the Middle East.

· Eyewitness Views at Mia, Details to be announced, see website for more information.

· Flirting with SondheimFebruary 10, 2018 (Antonello Hall) and February 11, 2018 (The Paramount Theatre in Austin): Stephen Sondheim is, without a doubt, one of America’s most accomplished musicians. This program is a tribute to his versatile genius, both as lyricist and composer. MacPhail performers will regale audiences with scenes and arias from his most beloved works, including West Side StoryCompany, Into the Woods, and Little Night Music. The repertoire was chosen with an eye to Valentine’s Day. So the concert’s secondary theme is love, but always with Sondheim’s signature realism and witty touch.

· Spotlight Series at Basilica of St. Mary in MinneapolisFebruary 22, 2018Performance of Quartet for the End of Time by Olivier Messiaen. Details to be announced, see website for more information.

· Virtuoso VivaldiMarch 10, 2018Antonio Vivaldi was one of history’s most prolific composers, with his best works hitting the classical top-ten charts for centuries. Enjoy the colorful ingenuity of his Four Seasons, performed by two virtuoso MacPhail violinists and the MacPhail Chamber Orchestra. Highlighting the music’s shifting textures and moods will be projected images by Minnesota photographers Alice Gebura and Layne Kennedy, who capture the four seasons in all their glory. The Vivaldi is paired with its 20th century counterpart, The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla. This 20th century work borrows themes from Vivaldi and mixes them with the irresistibly sultry harmonies of Tango tunes.

· Troubled SoulsApril 14, 2018: Our final Spotlight concert features the foreboding sensibilities of three very different composers. Nebojsa Zivkovic wrote Uneven Souls, a Marimba concerto complete with percussion and chorus effects. Based on Balkan culture, it’s a tribute to what the composer sees as the Slavic people’s uneven, “non-dogmatic” way of life, free of “ultimatums” or “strict rules.” Liszt’s Totentanz (Dance of Death) evokes the terrifying sounds of Judgment Day, with its extended quote from the famous medieval chant “Dies Irae.” Stravinsky’s masterpiece, The Soldier’s Tale, is a classic cautionary tale, complete with a Faustian bargain.

· Hungarian Fantasy, April 29, 2018 (Lakeville Area Arts Center)This eclectic show features the belovedHungarian Dances by Brahms performed by pianists Irina and Julia Elkina. They will be joined by imaginative and kinetic theatre group Impossible Salt who will set their show Wishing Skin to Brahms’ music.

“I am incredibly excited about the creative and unique performances that make up this season of Spotlight,” says Mischa Santora, artistic director, MacPhail Spotlight Series. “In particular, I am thrilled to be bringing this programming on the road throughout the metro area and Austin. This lineup highlights the virtuosity and creativity of our faculty, and I can’t wait for new communities and audiences to experience it.”

Tickets for concerts held at Antonello Hall are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors (ages 55 and older) and youth (ages 6 through 18), and may be ordered by calling 612-767-5250 or by stopping by Student Services at MacPhail locations in Minneapolis, Chanhassen, Apple Valley or White Bear Lake.  Ticketing information for metro area and Austin concerts is available on our website.

The MacPhail Spotlight Series is MacPhail Center for Music’s premier performance event. This concert series explores diverse musical themes performed by MacPhail Center for Music faculty and special guests – showcasing some of the finest musicians in the Twin Cities.

MacPhail Center for Music is a non-profit organization committed to transforming lives and enriching the community through exceptional music learning experiences. Each year, MacPhail opens its doors to more than 16,000 students offering programming for all ages, backgrounds and abilities, at locations in Minneapolis, White Bear Lake, Chanhassen, Golden Valley, Apple Valley and Austin, as well as 127 community partnerships across the Twin Cities and online at MacPhail Online. MacPhail has a 110-year history of excellence, promoting life-long learning and building long-term relationships between students and teachers. For more information, visit

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