Unless you’re living under a rock (or in a practice room), you knew about the Minnesota Orchestra’s historic tour to Cuba last week. Presenting two concerts on May 15th and 16th, the orchestra’s visit marked the first significant cultural exchange between America and Cuba following President Obama’s initiative to open a new chapter in the countries’ relations.
While there have obviously been many articles written about the tour and its significance, I was particularly moved by the account of Scott Chamberlain, well-known in the musical blogosphere through his blog, “Mask of the Flower Prince.” Scott is a remarkably versatile writer and musician, and actually raised the necessary funds for the trip himself via a GoFundMe campaign. In his review of the two performances for MinnPost, he presents a detailed and captivating overview of his experience, incorporating the reactions of audience members as well as musicians, and effectively conveying the deep meaning and impact of the occasion. I don’t know how anyone could read this and still deny the relevance and potential of the orchestra in contemporary culture. Check it out for yourself via the link below: