An Account from Cuba

imgres-3Unless 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:

About the author

Zachary Preucil
Zachary Preucil

Zachary Preucil enjoys a varied career as cellist, educator, and writer. Currently, he serves on the faculties of the Music Institute of Chicago and the Music for Youth Suzuki program in Arlington Heights, IL, in addition to maintaining a private studio in the Chicago area and coaching chamber music for the Schaumburg Youth Orchestra. Previously, he served on the faculty of the Kanack School of Music in Rochester, NY, and as a teaching assistant at the Eastman School of Music.

Zachary received his M.M. in Cello Performance and Literature and an Arts Leadership Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he was inducted into the Beta Pi chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda. He received his B.M. in Cello Performance with Academic Honors from the New England Conservatory of Music in May 2012. Zachary's primary teachers have included David Ying, Yeesun Kim, and his father, Walter Preucil; additionally, he has studied chamber music with members of the Borromeo and Ying Quartets. He has also studied at several summer music festivals and institutes, including the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Maine, the Castleman Quartet Program in New York and the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. In recent summers, he has performed with the Midsummer's Music Festival in Wisconsin and the Caroga Lake Music Festival in New York. In June 2014, Zachary made his solo debut with the Schaumburg Youth Orchestra in Chicago's Orchestra Hall.

As a writer, Zachary has served as a co-editor of "The Penguin", New England Conservatory's student-run newspaper, and has blogged for Polyphonic On Campus since 2012. Recently, his work has also been featured on the Chicago Cello Society blog, the Huffington Post Arts blog, and the blog of the CREDO Music Festival. Along with flutist Elizabeth Erenberg, he is a co-founder of, a multifaceted website dedicated to promoting the latest positive and innovative trends in the music world.