The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Names New Artistic Partners

Cellist Abel Selaocoe and violist Tabea Zimmermann, who are nominated by members of the orchestra, will join the SPCO for concerts in the coming season

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Minnesota's Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) recently named two musicians who are to serve as the group's new Artistic Partners: South African cellist Abel Selaocoe and German violist Tabea Zimmermann.

Abel Selacoe made his SPCO debut in March of 2022 to explore his musical roots with a concert titled "Where's My Refuge?" Selacoe utilized body percussion, singing, and improvisation in a program of both African folk music and Western classical music. The concert was live-streamed, and you can view the concert here.

"I am beyond excited to be taking up an Artistic Partnership with the SPCO," said Abel Selaocoe. "The wonderful thing about this collaboration is that it is based on curiosity, a high level of creativity, playing around with the unknown and really celebrating the known. Each concert will have an essence that reflects society or brings a message of well-being for the community. This is a very exciting venture for me and I’m so grateful for it.”

Tabea Zimmermann first performed with the SPCO in late 2019, with a performance of her own viola transcription of Robert Schumann's Cello Concerto. At that concert, she also led the group from within, playing in the viola section for a performance of Brahms's First Symphony.

Zimmermann will begin her tenure next season with two weeks of concerts in the spring of 2023 — to include works by Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Felix Mendelssohn, Johannes Brahms, and Béla Bartók.

"I am happily looking forward to the artistic partnership with the SPCO and feel very honored to continue in the impressive line of current and former Artistic Partners," said Tabea Zimmermann. "My own goals in music coincide fully with the mission statement of the SPCO, and I cannot wait to experience and develop a common musical language with the fantastic musicians of the SPCO."

"We shall strive for a maximum range of differentiation in music and will let the musical themes guide us to find a liberating answer to the ever-demanding question of individual versus group interests," she added."For me, classical music offers the most beautiful key to life, and I am more than excited to share my sound visions with the musicians and the audience of the SPCO."