The Fitzgerald Theater
Saint Paul, MN«archive page
Violinist Ruggero Allifranchini is associate concertmaster of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Born into a musical household in Milan, Italy, and raised on a diverse musical diet, he studied at the New School in Philadelphia and later at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1989, he co-founded the Borromeo String Quartet, with whom he played exclusively for 11 years. A frequent guest artist of the Chamber Music Societies of Boston and Lincoln Center, among others, he is also the violinist of world-renowned trio Nobilis, and a member of chamber group Accordo.
Violinist Steven Copes joined the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as concertmaster in 1998. He has led the orchestra from the chair in several highly acclaimed, eclectic programs, and has performed concertos by Berg, Brahms, Hindemith, Kirchner, Lutoslawski, Mozart, Prokofiev, and Weill. He was co-founder and director of Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado, and is a member of Accordo, a new chamber group in residence at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis. He has performed at festivals and concert series such as Boston Chamber Music Society, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, La Jolla Summerfest, Marlboro, Mozaic, Music in the Vineyards, Norfolk and Seattle Chamber Music Society, and others across the globe. He holds degrees from the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School of Music.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, pianist Denis Evstuhin started his musical training at the age of five. He has performed in major cities throughout Europe and the United States, at venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall in L.A., Great Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov Halls in Moscow, Mariinsky Theater and the Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. He is a laureate of numerous piano competitions, including Andorra International Competition, Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, and Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition.
In addition to her 45-plus operatic roles, soprano Maria Jette has performed pop songs, chamber music, or oratorio with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and with numerous symphony orchestras coast to coast. She is a frequent collaborator with VocalEssence and a regular guest at the Oregon Festival of American Music. For years, Twin Cities audiences delighted in her Sopranorama performances with Molly Sue McDonald, Janis Hardy, and Dan Chouinard.
Mandolinist/composer Peter Ostroushko grew up listening to tunes played at family get-togethers in the Ukrainian community of northeast Minneapolis. It's the music that provides the basis for many of his compositions. His first recording session was an uncredited mandolin set on Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.Since then, his works have been performed by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, among others, and his music has been featured on public television specials such as Ken Burns' film The National Parks.A new CD, When the Last Morning Glory Blooms, will be released in May on Red House Records.
While Linda Radimecky was earning a degree in natural history and environmental biology from Saint Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota, she scored an internship at Woodlake Nature Center near Minneapolis. She'd barely started the job when she was asked to lead a program for a group of preschoolers. It was then that she realized that she'd be happy making this her life's work. Since 2002, she has been a park naturalist at Minnesota's Fort Snelling State Park, where she has taught park visitors about animals, how to tap trees for maple syrup, what makes the leaves turn colors, and much more.
As a kid on the Florida/Alabama gulf coast, Guthrie Trapp was always drawn to music. At age seven, he was playing blues harmonica; by 10, he had moved on to guitar. Then came mandolin. “I grew up listening to everything from Taj Mahal to Tony Rice, Jean-Luc Ponty to the Allman Brothers, Van Morrison and Bob Dylan to Sam Bush and Béla Fleck,” he says. Now living in Nashville, he has worked with more artists than he could have imagined back in those growing-up years, including long-running stints with Patty Loveless and Jerry Douglas.
Andra Suchy spent her childhood on a farm near Mandan, North Dakota, the daughter of two talented singers. By the time she was in grade school, she was traveling around, doing concerts and festivals with her family. These days, she sings with several groups in the Twin Cities area including the all-girl trio The Dollys. She also works as a back-up singer and as a jingle singer on commercials for White Castle, Target, and more. Andra's solo CD is called Patchwork Story.
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. A masterful keyboard player, composer, and improviser in any style, he writes all the script themes and underscores, and he has accompanied guests from James Taylor to Renée Fleming. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.
Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today. And he writes songs too recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others. Freewayman (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's nine albums.
Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. with whom he toured for several years and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).