Staupe at the Landmark Center

This “review” is rather delayed, but let’s just say that the fact that I’m writing about it more than two weeks after the performance means that it was quite a concert. (It also means that I have two little sopranos stealing my attention, but still, it was a good concert.)

Landmark Center, photo from Wikipedia

On Sunday, October 23, 2011, the Saint Paul Civic Symphony played a concert of epic music – “Gustav Mahler’s Musical Journey” – at the grand Landmark Center in Saint Paul.  It was part of the Landmark Center’s series Sundays at Landmark.  Kudos to both the Landmark Center and the SPCS for providing such high quality music experience for the public at no cost. This particular concert drew my attention because of their guest pianist, Andrew Staupe, a former classmate of mine at the University of Minnesota.

photo from

Two days prior to this event was the day that Nathan and I went to hear Cantus at Colonial. This was a little odd for two reasons. First, I honestly rarely get out to concerts much these days, so to hit up two in a single weekend was a change, and a welcome one. Second, this venue was, for me, another step into the past. The last time I was at the Landmark Center was in the fall of 2003 when Nathan and I performed there for a wedding – one of our many fun memories of collaborating back when we were just friends.

I could have danced all night…

Speaking of weddings, I do believe that our wedding in 2007 was the last time we saw Andrew, who so beautifully played for our ceremony and reception. On this day in St. Paul, Andrew commanded the keys with all manner of regality called for by Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor.” I have always been so impressed by the intentionality with which Andrew plays.  He makes it very clear that each note, each sound, each nuance is on purpose.  He has no fear of the mamoth instrument in front of him as he basks in the atmosphere that his highly trained fingers create.

What a pleasure it was to be carried away into the music, the powerful essence of Beethoven’s strands sending its strength to the hearers.  As the busyness of life so frequently interupts my pursuit of experiencing art, I am grateful for the times that I do go sit and listen.  Every time I do I find myself thinking, “This is beautiful. I want to do this more.”
And I do believe I will. There are plenty of opportunities.  Join us.
The next Saint Paul Civic Symphony concert is
  • Sunday, December 4, 3:00pm, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in North Saint Paul, music of Ives, Finzi, and Glazunov

The next time to hear Andrew Staupe in MN is

  • January 6-7, Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis, Mozart Concerto K. 491