A beautiful spring day was the backdrop for the Minnesota Varsity Showcase Concert's debut in Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis on May 13, marking the annual program's eighth season of celebrating top high school musicians from across our region. The University of Minnesota's School of Music generously welcomed Classical MPR to its world class concert auditorium for the 2018 performance and live broadcast.
On this Mother's Day, as 10 gifted young performers and composers prepared to take the stage, host Brian Newhouse took a few moments to acknowledge not only the moms in the audience but also the dads and grandparents and teachers who support and nurture their students' commitment to music. The 10 were among more than a hundred high school music students who submitted applications last fall to the Minnesota Varsity competition, which is jointly administered by American Composers Forum.
We're pleased to bring you the complete recording of the 2018 Minnesota Varsity Showcase Concert. The artistry, skill, and dedication of these young musicians will assure you that the future of classical music is in good hands!
The 2018 Showcase Artists were featured first. Cellist Maximus Gurath, 15, of Sioux Falls, S. Dakota, opened the program with the first five of Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33. Pianist Vinh Nguyen, 17, of Faribault, followed with Tchaikovsky's Dumka, Op. 59. Next was percussionist Elan Rochell-Share, 18, with the first movement of Concerto for Marimba & String Orchestra by Emanuel Sejourne, arranged for marimba and piano. Pianist Margaret Wang, 15, of Eagan, performed the 1st and 3rd of Schoenberg's Three Pieces, Op. 11. The first movement of Mendelssohn's String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80, was then played by Quartet Fourzando: Joelle Chen, 16, of Lakeville, violin; Makaela Foerderer, 17, of Minneapolis, violin; Elizabeth Bergmann, 18, of St. Paul, viola; and Dylan Kinneavy, 16, of Minneapolis, cello.
Closing the concert, the 2018 Showcase Composers' new works were performed by Robert Wakeley, flute, Rina Sugawara, clarinet, and Rodrigo Lima, alto saxophone, all of whom are pursuing graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota School of Music. Those pieces were:
Sarabande for flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone by Isadora White, 16, of Minneapolis; and The Burning Signals for flute, clarinet, and alto saxophone by Reid Spreiter, 16, of Mantorville.
Get to know the 2018 Showcase Artists and Composers via their video interviews:
Showcase Artists Maximus Gurath, cello (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
Quartet Fourzando, string quartet (Minneapolis) – Audience Vote Winner
Vinh Nguyen, piano (Faribault)
Elan Rochell-Share, marimba (Minneapolis)
Margaret Wang, piano (Eagan)
Showcase Composers Reid Spreiter (Kasson): The Burning Signals
Isadora White (Minneapolis): Sarabande