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St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra:

2017 Lemonade Concert

Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 7:30pm

Atwood Mall, St. Cloud State University - St. Cloud, MN

Dates and programs for the 2017-18 season are coming soon, but if you just can’t wait to hear the St. Cloud Symphony orchestra, join us on June 22 for an evening of music, art and community! Learn more about the SCSO at www.stcloudsymphony.com.

Recent Performances

Liszt: Tasso, lamento e trionfo

Saturday, January 28, 2017 7:30pm

Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis

Franz Liszt was best known during his lifetime has the lean, black-haired virtuoso whose skill and daring at the piano caused audiences to faint, exclaim, and otherwise lust over the music and the man. In 1844, journalist Heinrich Heine called the phenomenon "Lisztomania." In 1848, Liszt gave up his career as a pianist, moved to Weimar and set his sights on the orchestra. Liszt the composer would soon be crowned inventor of the “symphonic poem.” Les Preludes, Liszt’s third of thirteen symphonic poems has become a staple of the symphonic repertory. Yet the other twelve masterworks of musical narrative have gone largely unexplored. One of these twelve is Tasso, lamento e trionfo, a continuous narrative in sound that describes the life, suffering and artistic immortality of 16th century Italian poet Torquato Tasso. I was privileged to conduct this little-known masterwork on January 28, in a lecture-recital with the University of Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. I was thrilled to speak with many audience members whose first encounter with Tasso left them wanting to hear more of Liszt’s orchestral works. Having conducted Les Preludes and Tasso, and having since completed my doctoral thesis on Liszt’s symphonic poems, I can’t wait to conduct more of them!

“Fairy Tales and Dances” with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, April 29, 2017, 7:30pm

Pre-concert Discussion @ 6:30pm

Ritsche Auditorium, St. Cloud State University

St. Cloud, MN

Humperdinck - Prelude from “Hänsel und Gretel”

Tchaikovsky - Selections from “Swan Lake”

Beethoven - Symphony No. 7

What a joy it is to work with an orchestra for the first time and to get to know a new community of musicians and music lovers! Many thanks to all who came out on April 29 for a program of masterworks by Humperdinck, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Thanks also to the hundreds of teachers and students who attended our Classics for Kids performances! I will never forget the boisterous sound of some 500 fourth graders answering the question, “Who did Hansel and Gretel meet in that gingerbread house?”....”THE WITCH!!!!!”

Mississippi Valley Orchestra - Spring Concerts

MVO kicked off 2017 with music of hope and heroism. Our spring concerts featured collaborations with Chorus Polaris, University of Minnesota Campus Singers Maroon, St. Paul Piano Teachers Association competition winner Daniel Stein, violinist Cecilia Belcher, cellist Richard Belcher, soprano Abigail Martin, mezzo-soprano Yun Kyong Lee, tenor Joshua Diaz, and baritone Jeffrey Martin. Thanks to all who came out on February 26 and May 7!

"Let the Spirit Sing"

-with Chorus Polaris, John Hoffacker - Artistic Director

University of Minnesota Campus Singers Maroon - Amanda Weber, Director

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 - 3 pm

First Lutheran Church

     Beethoven: Egmont Overture

     Coleridge-Taylor: Danse Nègre

     Schumann - Concerto in A Minor, I.

          Daniel Stein, piano

     Copland: Variations on a Shaker melody

     Tippett: 4 Spirituals from A Child of Our Time

          Steal Away

          Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen

          Go Down, Moses

          Deep River

               with Abigail Martin, Yun Kyong Lee, Joshua Diaz, and Jeffrey Martin

     Sibelius: Finlandia


"Heroes and Homelands"

Sunday, May 7, 2017 - 3 pm

Augustana Lutheran Church,

1400 S. Robert St., West St. Paul 55118

     Brahms: Double Concerto

     Cecilia Belcher,violin

        Richard Belcher, cello


Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia


Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

For more information, visit


University of Minnesota Campus Orchestras

Campus Orchestra musicians come from all walks of University life. Behind their instruments sit future chemical engineers, plant scientists, sports medicine practitioners, music therapists and more. From such diverse areas of study, our students come together to perform masterworks of Western classical music, from Mozart to Gershwin.  As I complete my doctoral studies at the University and say farewell to Maroon Festival Orchestra, Gold Chamber Orchestra and the Northstar Philharmonia, I am grateful to have worked with so many talented, brilliant and enthusiastic students. Thanks to all who attended our Spring 2017 concerts at Ted Mann Concert Hall or via live stream. If you’ve never attended a Campus Orchestra concert, be sure to check out dates for the 2017-18 season at music.umn.edu.

Benjamin Britten’s “The Rape of Lucretia”

Thanks to all who came out to the University of Minnesota Ted Mann Concert Hall for Benjamin Britten’s acclaimed and tragic chamber opera, “The Rape of Lucretia.” Congratulations to two fabulous casts, the University Symphony Orchestra, Director David Walsh, Mark Russell Smith, and Ted Mann staff for bringing this powerful, challenging, and timely opera to life. It was a great privilege to conduct this masterwork, to work with all involved, and to perform for such an engaged audience.

Mississippi  Valley Orchestra Fall 2016


Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016 - 3 pm

St. Paul United Church of Christ

900 Summit Avenue, St. Paul 55105

     Sibelius: Karelia Overture

     Borodin: Symphony  No. 2

     Strauss: Horn Concerto  No. 1

          Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, horn

"A Christmas Fantasy"

Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 - 7 pm

Augustana Lutheran Church

1400 S. Robert St., West St. Paul 55118

     Humperdinck: a storytime suite from Hansel and Gretel

          Jeffrey A. Martin, bass-baritone

          Abigail Leah Seaman, soprano

     Holiday Carol sing along

     Anderson: Sleigh Ride

     Tchaikovski: Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker

     Debussy: The Snow is Dancing from Children’s Corner

     Rimsky Korsakov: Polonaise from Christmas Eve

University of Minnesota

Summer Orchestra 2016

“Magic and Majesty”

Every summer, community members come together with University of Minnesota students and a guest faculty soloist to perform beloved and bombastic masterworks. This year we were proud to feature pianist Kyung Kim, who delivered a stunning performance of Beethoven’s beloved “Emperor” Concerto. I was proud to conduct the orchestra, made up of students and community members from the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota, in Beethoven’s masterpiece and selections from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Thanks to all who played and came out to listen!

Summer Orchestra 2016 - "Magic and Majesty" 

Featuring Kyung Kim, faculty soloist

Brian Dowdy and Pamela Mayorga, conductors

     Verdi - Nabucco Overture

     Tchaikovsky  - Swan Lake (selections)

     Strauss II - Kaiser-Walzer

     Beethoven - Piano Concerto No. 5 ("Emperor")

University Opera Theater Presents: Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah

Bravi!! to cast members, orchestra musicians, directors, conductors, and the entire production team; and a big thanks to all who came out to our shows! Carlisle Floyd’s beautiful and devastating musical drama came to life in a big way this past November in Ted Mann Concert Hall.  I was thrilled to conduct the University Symphony Orchestra and a stellar cast on Thursday and Saturday, my colleague Chad Hutchinson conducted on Friday and Sunday, and all four shows were wonderfully performed and attended.  For information on future University Opera Theater productions, visit the School of Music events page. We’d love to see you in Ted Mann for the next show!

Feel free to contact me at briandowdy@briandowdy.com


Photo by Jürgen Frank

Photo by Joel Larson