CAYO 2017 Fall Academy

The Cuban American Youth Orchestra proudly presented the inaugural Fall Academy in Minneapolis-St. Paul from Oct 29–Nov 5, 2017.

The Fall Academy was comprised of eight handpicked pre-professional musicians from Havana and Minnesota. With the support of CAYO’s established partners, the University of Minnesota School of Music and Minnesota Public Radio, and assistance from the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Fall Academy offered outstanding educational and performance exposure to eight participating string players – four from the University of Minnesota, and four from Havana’s Instituto Superior de Arte, a string quartet known as Crisantemi.

Students received coaching and private lessons, attended workshops in business and arts administration, presented at city elementary schools, recorded for American Public Media’s Performance Today, and gave public performances, both in the lobby of Minneapolis’ Orchestra Hall (Nov 2 & 3) and at the University of Minnesota School of Music Collage Concert (Nov 4). Through artistic and cultural collaborations with other students as well as with professionals, all eight participants prepared to serve as mentors and advisors to CAYO’s future members.

The Crisantemi Quartet was also celebrated in an Atrium performance at Orchestra Hall, playing Cuban music and joining Minnesota Orchestra principals Erin Keefe, Peter McGuire, and Anthony Ross, along with section violist Sam Bergman, for Mendelssohn’s beloved Octet (Nov 3).

Photo credit © Courtney Perry/The Minnesota Orchestra

Our Future

Strong seeds have already taken root. As a result of the Fall Workshop, the Crisantemi Quartet extended an invitation to their Minnesotan counterparts to join them in a new international festival taking place this coming February. This project, initiated by the Vermont Mozart Festival and co-sponsored by CAYO, will culminate in the performance of the complete string quartets of Mozart along a route of historic plazas in old Havana. Stay tuned for news of a patron tour and join us in Havana this February!

Photo credit MPR Photo/Nate Ryan