Paul Bunyan welcomed the Minnesota Orchestra to blustery Bemidji on Wednesday. The Orchestra arrived here as part of a one-week, three-city Common Chords tour across Minnesota that began in the western part of the state with a Monday night performance in Willmar.
Photos and updates from the road
Grand Rapids | Bemidji
Now up north just 30 miles from the famed headwaters of the Mississippi, the Orchestra began its day with a Symphonic Adventures concert for Bemidji students at the high school. Musicians fanned out in the afternoon for small ensemble performances, with a string trio performing at KAXE Radio and a brass quintet at the beloved Paul Bunyan statue.
Drizzle and strong winds meant the brass players weren’t able to perform outdoors in the shadow of Paul and Babe the Blue Ox. They moved instead into the adjacent, wood-clad Visitor’s Center that is filled with giant-sized Paul Bunyan memorabilia.
In the evening, the full Orchestra took the stage again, led by Associate Conductor Roderick Cox, and the day ended as it began: with the powerful swells of Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Thursday, the Orchestra travels to Grand Rapids.
A chamber music performance by Sam Bergman (viola), Sarah Grimes (violin) and Katja Linfield (cello) was shared on KAXE Community Radio Wednesday afternoon.
Our brass quintet—and Paul Bunyan's rifle.
Ole Paul with our brass quintet.
Bass Trombonist Andrew Chappell warms up backstage at Bemidji High School.
Assistant Concertmaster Rui Du (left) and violist Kenneth Freed warm up backstage.
Associate Conductor Roderick Cox led the orchestra in a performance that included Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4.
Associate Conductor Roderick Cox
Associate Principal Horn Herbert Winslow (left) and bassoonist Norbert Nielubowski
Associate Principal Clarinet Gregory Williams (left) and clarinetist David Pharris.
Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora (left) and Acting Principal Bassoon Mark Kelley.
The Minnesota Orchestra at the conclusion of Tchaikovsky's Fourth.