The Saint Paul Chamber OrchestraMore Info
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, now in its 52nd season, is the nation's only
full-time professional chamber orchestra and is widely regarded as one of the finest
chamber orchestras in the world. The 34 virtuoso musicians present more than 130 concerts
and education programs each year, and are renowned for their artistic excellence and
remarkable versatility of musical styles.
The SPCO is also recognized for its innovative approach to artistic leadership. In 2004,
the SPCO transferred broad artistic responsibilities from a music director to the SPCO
musicians and an intentionally diverse group of Artistic Partners-currently Italian
conductor Roberto Abbado, Dutch conductor Edo de Waart, American soprano Dawn Upshaw,
German pianist and conductor Christian Zacharias, and Austrian violinist and conductor
Thomas Zehetmair. Past Artistic Partners include pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, conductor
Douglas Boyd, violinist Joshua Bell, Baroque specialist Nicholas McGegan, and pianist and
composer Stephen Prutsman.
The SPCO makes its concerts accessible to the entire Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan
area through performances in seven neighborhood venues in addition to its home venue at
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in downtown St. Paul. In addition to increasing the
orchestra's accessibility through location, the SPCO has focused on making ticket prices
accessible. Tickets for SPCO concerts in all venues are only $10, $25, or $40, and
children's tickets are $5.
The SPCO is regularly heard on public radio's Performance Today, which reaches
1.1 million listeners each week on 242 stations, and SymphonyCast, which reaches
340,000 listeners each week on 124 stations nationwide. The SPCO has released 67
recordings, commissioned 127 new works, performed the world premiere of 49 additional
compositions, and earned 15 ASCAP awards for adventurous programming. The orchestra tours
nationally and internationally, including performances in premiere venues in Europe, Asia,
and South America. Launched in 1994, the SPCO's award-winning CONNECT education program
reaches more than 5,500 students annually in 16 Minneapolis and St. Paul public
After beginning his musical studies at age three, Scott Yoo performed
Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age 12. He received
first prize in the 1988 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, was selected at
the 1989 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and received the 1994 Avery Fisher
Career Grant. After graduating with honors from Harvard University, Yoo founded the
Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, conducting the ensemble in its series at Jordan Hall in
Boston, and more than 90 performances on tour.
Yoo has collaborated with eminent artists such as Sarah Chang, Edgar Meyer, Benita
Valente, and Dawn Upshaw. He is currently Music Director and Principal Conductor of the
39-year old Festival Mozaic, which presents more than 30 orchestral, choral, and
chamber-music concerts and events each year on California's central coast.
As a guest conductor, Yoo has led the Colorado, Dallas, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and
Utah symphony orchestras. He has conducted the New World Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of
Chicago, and the orchestras of Columbus, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Kansas City, Louisville,
Winnipeg, Mexico City, Nashville, and Phoenix. In Europe, he has conducted the City of
London Sinfonia, Orchestre de Bretagne, Odense Symfoniorkester, and the Estonian National
Symphony Orchestra. He made his debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007 and his
debut with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo in 2009.
A proponent of the music of our time, Yoo has premiered 59 works by 30 composers. With
Metamorphosen, Yoo has recorded Mark O'Connor's American Seasons for Sony
Classical; John Harbison's chamber orchestra works with soprano Dawn Upshaw for Archetype;
and song cycles of Earl Kim with sopranos Benita Valente and Karol Bennett for New World,
named a 2001 Critics Choice by The New York Times. His recent recording projects
include the complete orchestral works of Earl Kim with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
of Ireland for Naxos and works of Mozart and Elliott Carter for Bridge Records.
Yoo studied violin with Roman Totenberg, Albert Markov, Paul Kantor, and Dorothy DeLay,
and studied conducting with Michael Gilbert and Michael Tilson Thomas.