What’s your most memorable experience of the Ordway’s 25 years?

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Classical Minnesota Public Radio is marking the event with special programming this evening. Today’s Question: What’s your most memorable experience of the Ordway’s 25 years?

  • Peg Keenan

    My most memorable thoughts of the Ordway was during Pinchus Zuckerman’s tenure with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. We had seasons tickets with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Itzhac Perlman was the guest violinist. At the end of the evening’s program Mr. Zuckerman and Mr. Perlman played a duet – I believe violin and viola? It was so breathtaking that at the end there was a moment of silence, the audience in complete awe, before the enthusiastic applause began. This is still the most memorable music moment of my entire life. The feeling has never been duplicated.

    I wish many more memorable moments for the Ordway.

  • Brian Ruhl

    Among many wonderful memories of the Ordway, one of the most memorable experiences was attending performance of “Les Miserables” (in late 1989 or early 1990). As “Newlyweds”, we were treated to the performance as a wedding gift from my brother and his wife, and the experience was unforgettable!

  • Tamara Pavlov Kosin

    In Junior High (Battle Creek), my choir teacher was Mr. Gale. A few years ago I saw him being interviewed on TV on behalf of the Ordway and I shouted out “that’s Mr. Gale!” “He was my choir teacher for 3 years and I was in a few of his musicals”. He was awesome…many of us from Battle Creek still talk about him.

    I’ve seen many performances at the Ordway, but seeing Mr. Gale on TV is my fondest memory.

  • Q

    Lies about Vitamin D and looking at the building from Landmark center thinking how unaffordable the tickets are.

  • Sam

    In my early teens I played my cello with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony at the Ordway. I think that was the first time I realized I was a decent musician.

  • Beth

    I was a percussionist in a youth orchestra that performed at the Ordway. The guest conductor was Bobby McFerrin. That was one of the experiences as a kid that influenced me to grow up to be a professional musician/conductor.

  • Carol voight

    I always remember back in the mid 90s going to an SPCO concert at the Ordway in Feburary when it was 30 below out. The person who sat in front of me came dressed in a snowmobile suit. In a Minnesota winter there is only one dress code – keeping warm!

  • RE

    Years ago I chaperoned my son’s elementary school class to an educational performance at the Ordway. I was expecting some beautiful classical music. Instead it was a loud, rambunctious performance of break dancing. The rhythm and the energy were contagious. It was great, unexpected, fun!

  • Ken Heer

    In 1998 I was working for a small theatrical production company trying to produce a national touring show. My boss made a deal with the Ordway to be our partner in this venture. As a part of the partnership I was given a cubical in the Ordway as my office. It was there that I met my wife. She worked in the development department at the Ordway. Terry and I have been happily married for 19 years.

    Ken Heer

  • DS

    Back in the mid 1990’s I had decided to propose to my (then) girlfriend during a performance of La traviata. To make it more special, I purchased season box seat tickets and had planned a fabulous evening with formal wear, limosine, dinner at Goodfellows and a suite at a downtown hotel. A week before the big day, she broke up with me so I ended up attending the show alone. However, it was during that performance in that beautiful space that I feel in love with opera, and have enjoyed many operas since at the Ordway and worldwide. I am now happily married (to a different woman) who shares my passion and wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Buzz Marzolf

    About 20 years ago, as a Christmas gift to them, my wife and I took our 4 children to the Ordway Center for a George Winston concert. It was a bitter cold Saturday evening, as we bundled up against the frigid January (or perhaps February) air.

    I dropped my family off at the main entry and then parked the car on the street several blocks away.

    Mr. Winston played a stellar program, rivaled only by the beauty of the newly built Ordway Center. After the performance had ended, I asked my family to wait in the lobby while I went for the car.

    I left the lobby and headed north to 5th Street. As I turned left (west) onto 5th Street, I was confronted by a blast of artic air which literally took my breath away. At that very point, I came upon a homeless person, curled up into a tiny ball, and lying across a steel sidewalk vent, through which stale (but warm) air from inside the Ordway Center was being exhausted.

    I was immediately struck by the stark contrast between the wonderful performance my family and I had just enjoyed, along with the opulent, beautifully furnished, warm concert hall from which I had just exited and this poor, indigent human being who had no place to lay his(her) head.

    In retrospect, I’ve often wished that I had stopped to offer this person my coat, or to give them some money with which to buy food. What I did take from the experience was a promise to myself to be grateful for life’s blessings, and to be kind and generous to others, especially to those who are less fortunate.


    Buzz Marzolf

    Hudson, Wisconsin

  • Sharon Fortunak

    It was awesome being at the Ordway on Opening Night 25 years ago, with Leontyne Price performing.

    The person I went with had a foot problem; she left at intermission because she thought her foot would swell so much she couldn’t get it out of the boot. So I had to go to the parking ramp alone after the delightful event.