SPCO launches new projects, hires ex-Southern staffer

The New York-based Augustine Foundation has given an undisclosed amount of money to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra to plan new projects and collaborations in the 2012-13 season.

In conjunction with the grant, the SPCO has hired Minneapolis-based music curator Kate Nordstrum, perhaps best known for her work bringing high profile artists to the Southern Theater. Under her curatorial leadership, the Southern quickly became a go-to venue for such new music performers and composers as Nico Muhly and Gabriel Kahane.

The SPCO is looking to develop new projects for its 250-seat Music Room in the Hamm Building in downtown Saint Paul. While the Orchestra rehearses in the Hamm Building during the work week, and performs its chamber music and contemporary concerts there, the large majority of SPCO weekend performances take place at the Ordway Center or in one of the Orchestra’s neighborhood venues.

With Nordstrum’s help, the SPCO hopes to transform the Music Room into a casual performance setting that introduces contemporary classical musicians and composers to local audiences.

While an inquiry was made into the size of the grant, SPCO staff said it was not able to release the specifics.

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