Poster Side-by-side portraits of Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks
Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks will perform at the U.S. Bank Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
Ethan Miller; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Birge's Picks

Virtuoso voices

It’s a week of superb soloists with area orchestras. If you haven’t heard of these three yet, hear them now and you’ll appreciate discovering wonderful young talent.

Pianist Avery Gagliano will feature as a soloist with the Rochester Symphony. She’s still in school (at the famous Curtis Institute in Philadelphia) but already a veteran of Carnegie Hall and the 2021 Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Fresh from last month’s Paderewski Festival in Poland, she will play Clara Schumann’s Piano Concerto Saturday night, with the orchestra’s latest conductor candidate, Rober Kahn.

Alexi Kenney brings his violin to the La Crosse Symphony for Mozart and Stravinsky. (By the way, he loves Clara Schumann, too.) This Avery Fischer Grant recipient is hot off the heels of a concert with the Rochester (New York) Philharmonic and former St. Paul Chamber Orchestra conductor Hugh Wolff.

Eric Haugen roams the world with his cello but returns to his Bemidji hometown roots with the Bemidji Symphony this weekend for the world premiere of Leviathans, composed by fellow Bemidji Symphony alumni Max Wolpert.

And if you want to counterbalance all this fresh, young talent with a couple of living legends, remember Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks are in Minneapolis on Friday and Saturday. Has it really been 50 years since Piano Man? A good run for a kid whose dad was a classical pianist, inspiring Joel to write a classical album of his own.

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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment‘s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.