The Arts Partnership Announces ROCK THE ORDWAY

Jessica Petrie, Ordway 9/9/14

The Arts Partnership Announces ROCK THE ORDWAY, A 22-Day Grand Opening Celebration for the New Concert Hall

The Arts Partnership, a nonprofit collaboration among Minnesota Opera, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) and The Schubert Club, announced today an exciting month-long eclectic music showcase celebrating the grand opening of the new world-class, state-of-the-art Concert Hall. ROCK THE ORDWAY launches on March 1 with a ribbon-cutting and community open house and runs through March 22, 2015.

The ROCK THE ORDWAY line-up features offerings by each of the four Arts Partners, along with several special concerts by critically-acclaimed artists from outside Minnesota. Highlights include the world premiere of Minnesota Opera’s The Manchurian Candidate (March 7-15); Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with soprano Ying Fang making her SPCO debut (March 13-14); The Schubert Club’s Love Songs, featuring vocal soloists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with Artistic Director Wu Han and Gilbert Kalish (March 20) and a highly-anticipated concert by the versatile stage and screen star Bernadette Peters (March 22).

Free all-age programming includes the community Open House (March 1), Family Day (March 14), The Schubert Club’s Student Scholarship Competition Winners’ Recital and a concert by the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (both on March 22).

World music is part of the month-long celebration with Twenty Years of Freedom, featuring two of South Africa’s renowned musical icons, guitarist Vusi Mahlasela and flugelhornist Hugh Masekela (March 7); Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto with Irish accordionist Dermot Dunne, (March 8); Grammy Award-winning Latin rock band La Santa Cecilia (March 12), the all-female Irish supergroup Cherish the Ladies (March 17) and the electronic pop collaborative Helado Negro (March 21).

Local artists with international followings will also help dedicate the new Concert Hall, including contemporary Indian dance company Ananya Dance Theatre (March 11), vocal ensemble Cantus (March 15), indie-pop singer-songwriter Haley Bonar (March 18) and Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness (March 19).

“We are so proud of our elegant, state-of-the-art building, which will provide an acoustically superior home for The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and The Schubert Club. And we’re even more excited about the variety of artists who will be on stage and the diverse audiences who will be welcomed into the hall,” said Patricia A. Mitchell, Ordway president and CEO, and president of the Arts Partnership. “ROCK THE ORDWAY is a stellar inaugural showcase that shakes things up and offers something truly unique and unexpected with a range of musical forms, styles, genres, traditions and works!”

All events take place at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., Saint Paul. Packages will be available September 14. Single tickets will be available beginning September 28. Tickets can be purchased by phone at 651.224.4222, in person at the Ordway box office, or online at

About the Concert Hall

The Concert Hall is a project of the Arts Partnership, a collaboration made up of the Ordway’s principal resident organizations:

  • Minnesota Opera
  • The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts\
  • The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
  • The Schubert Club

The Concert Hall was designed by Architect Tim Carl of Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA) and Acoustician Paul Scarbrough of akustiks. The General Contractor is McGough Construction, who built the original Ordway facility in 1985.

The addition of this new venue allows the Arts Partnership to reach more than 600,000 patrons from all over the state and beyond. The world-class Concert Hall was designed specifically for the presentation of acoustic and electro-acoustic music in a most intimate and beautiful setting. The space creates a visceral and direct connection – an artistic conversation – between the audience and the artists on stage. The Concert Hall is also suited to popular music, family events, lectures and small corporate events. Equipped with a full service recording facility and a digital infrastructure, it can also be used as a recording site.

The 1,100-seat state-of-the-art facility is a “shoebox” style concert hall where there is no separation between the performance platform and the audience. Acoustic dampening curtains can be drawn to accommodate percussive or amplified programming. Reverberation time of the Concert Hall has been designed to showcase small ensembles, especially The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

A spectacular sweeping dowel ceiling adds drama and is integral to the acoustic treatment of the room. The ceiling is also practical, as it masks the catwalk structures that support the lighting, sound and rigging infrastructures, as well as the dampening curtain systems.

The Concert Hall also includes 3M Plaza (first floor lobby and outside area in front of the Ordway), Target Atrium (public spaces through the Ordway’s second level), the Securian Sky Lobby (the third-level lobby of the new hall) and the Ecolab Grand Staircase.

For more information on the entire ROCK THE ORDWAY lineup, visit

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