Mobile Mini-Concert Series
May 10 - 23, 2021
Click on the location nearest you for schedule and details or view the map below
Featured Performing Artists
Marcoantonio Real-d’Arbelles, Conductor and Violinist
Marco was appointed Associate Artistic Director of the Bach Society of Minnesota in 2018 where he works as conductor, violinist, and speaker bringing diverse communities together through music. He leads BSM’s successful “Bach with Friends” workshops and can be seen performing violin in solo, recital, chamber, and orchestral performances.
Equally comfortable in modern and baroque performance, Marco recently led a production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea in collaboration with BSM, Bold North Baroque Opera, and University of Minnesota Opera Theatre, and a newly commissioned opera titled In Media Res with An Opera Theatre (AOT). Both are due to be released in the Spring of 2021. Marco was also Music Director for Opera on the Lake’s premiere production of Die Fledermaus and Bold North Baroque Opera’s La Dafne. Previous conducting postings and appearances include Winter Opera St. Louis, Chicago Summer Opera, Miami Classical Music Festival, CCM’s Opera Bootcamp, and Oberlin in Italy Opera Festival.
Born in Nicaragua, Marco was raised in Miami, Florida where he formally began studying violin at the age of 11. He was admitted to the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees under the tutelage of Sergiu Schwartz and Carol Cole. While there, he also began studying conducting with Maestros Albert George Schram and Jon Robertson. He later trained with conducting masters Mark Gibson, Riccardo Frizza, Jorma Panula, and Ennio Nicotra.
After graduate studies, he went on to become Assistant Conductor of The Miami Symphony Orchestra where he led outreach, educational, and family concerts. He spent the summer of 2011 in Venezuela working in the world famous EL SISTEMA as assistant conductor. In 2014, the Chamber Philharmonic of Catalonia (Spain) awarded Marco the Conducting Prize. In 2016, he was given Special Recognition by the City of Doral (Florida) for his contributions to the arts and his work with youth.
Marco currently lives in Minneapolis with Yunyue (wife and recital partner) and their baby boy.
ArtVocate and Flutist
Violinist Margaret Humphrey maintains a vibrant freelance schedule as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra member, performing in ensembles in the US and Europe. Previously a 25 year core member of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, she now performs regularly with Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the Bach Society, Ensemble Carrissimi, and Tempesta is Mare in Philadelphia. A founding member of Belladonna Baroque quartet, she has toured throughout the US, Europe and Brazil. Cerulean Fire, her most recent ensemble, collaborates with dancers and percussionists crossing over genres to create dynamic performance experiences.Ms Humphrey is also a member of the Kingsbury Ensemble in St. Louis as well as soloing yearly in the Ancient Music Series in St. Savin France. She has recorded on the Chondos, Dorian, Ten Thousand Lakes and Naxos labels.
Photo by Bob Stacke
Flautist and Composer
Lute and Vihuela Soloist
Lutenist Phillip Rukavina performs as a lute and vihuela soloist and as a continuo lutenist. He has appeared at major festivals specializing in early music, including the Utrecht Early Music Festival (2013) and the Boston Early Music Festival (2015). In 2017, Phillip was invited to perform as a soloist at the European Lute Festival in Fussen, Germany and the Lute Society of America’s WestFest held in Victoria, BC Canada.
Phillip is a founding member of the Venere Lute Quartet and has performed with many prominent ensembles including; Newberry Consort, Texas Early Music Project, Rose Ensemble, and the Bach Society of Minnesota. He has also worked with renowned sopranos Emma Kirkby and Ellen Hargis.
Phillip has served on the faculty of the Lute Society of America’s LuteFest in Cleveland, OH and the Amherst and Vancouver Early Music Festivals.
Brendon Bushman is an active freelance musician and teacher in the Twin Cities area. He is currently principal oboist of the Saint Cloud Symphony Orchestra, and adjunct oboe faculty at the University of Minnesota, Morris and the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University. He maintains private studios in St. Cloud and St. Louis Park.
In addition to the SCSO, Brendon can be heard with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Journey North Opera, Minnesota Dance Theatre, VocaleEssence and the South Metro Chorale. Over the last 20 years Brendon has performed with regional orchestras throughout the southeastern US and Texas. From 2005-2008, he was a core member of the Atlanta Chamber Winds, including performing on the 2009 Albany Records CD & digital release “Music from Paris.” Learn more @ brendonbushman.com.
Violinist, Artistic Director, Loring String Quartet
Since moving to Minnesota from his native Ireland, Conor O’Brien has built an eclectic professional portfolio that covers almost every facet of the music business. As a violinist, he has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and is a core member of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra. Conor has performed on three continents, including a tour of South Korea with the World Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded extensively for television and radio, performed in Broadway shows, and collaborated with artists in many diverse genres including hip-hop, rock, and pop. As a baroque violinist, he has performed with Christ Church Baroque, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the Bach Society of MN, La Grande Bande, and Oratory Bach Ensemble. Conor has been a faculty member and/or guest clinician at Luther College, Bemidji State University, Gustavus Adolphus College, Shattuck St. Mary’s pre-conservatory program, MacPhail Center for Music, and many other schools and programs in the Midwest. His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for working with people complement his work as performer and teacher. He is artistic director of the Loring String Quartet, and music contractor and consultant for many local and national music organizations.
Performer, Conductor, Composer
Gary Ruschman is a critically-acclaimed performer, conductor, and composer who works in styles ranging from historically-informed Baroque music to jazz, rock, and electronica.
The Kentucky native is a regular soloist across the U.S. and abroad, appearing in recent seasons with Festival Musique en l’Île de Paris, Urbino Musica Antica, Bach Society of Minnesota, Twin Cities Early Music Festival, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Consortium Carissimi, West Edge Opera, MN Bach Ensemble, and the Prague Choral Festival. He was a member of Cantus from 2004-14, and currently serves as music director for St. Timothy Lutheran Church in St. Paul, OVation chamber choir, and Mixed Precipitation’s Pickup Truck Opera.
Gary composed underscore for the 2021 U.S. National Prayer Breakfast and just released his sophomore album Not Alone, a collection of light-hued instrumental interludes fusing folk, jazz, and chamber music colors. http://ruschman.com
Rebecca Merblum, originally from Connecticut, has been dedicated to chamber music throughout her life as a cellist. The Hartt School gave life to this connection as Rebecca worked with the Emerson String Quartet and Mitchell Stern (American String Quartet). It continued through her studies at the Cleveland Institute and the New England Conservatory where she went on to earn her Bachelor and Masters Degrees respectively.
Based in Minneapolis, Rebecca is a frequent substitute with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Liquid Music series. In addition, she was a guest artist with the acclaimed Cavani Quartet in 2018 and 2019. This collaboration furthered her connection to string quartets, as a former member of the Artaria Quartet (2016-2017) and a founding member of the Azmari Quartet, the Corbett Ensemble in Residence at Northern Kentucky University (2004-2009).
Ms. Merblum also enjoys performing engagements with the Cincinnati Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and has performed in the past as a guest artist with the Salastina Chamber Music Series, Sundays at LACMA, the Green Umbrella Series (Los Angeles Philharmonic) and Classical Encounters. Additional chamber music performances involved collaborations with Michele Zukovsky (LAPhil), Martin Chalifour (LAPhil), Ronald Leonard (LAPhil), Andrew Schulman (Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra) and Panic Group, an ensemble dedicated to the presentation of new music. Rebecca was also a substitute with both the LAPhil and LAOpera from 2010-2016 and can be heard on several film soundtracks.
A dedicated teacher, Rebecca served as the Chair of the String Department at the Pasadena Conservatory from 2014-2016 where she was a member of the cello and chamber music faculties. Her students have gained recognition in numerous competitions and festivals including the Piatigorsky International Festival. Rebecca currently teaches at MacPhail Center for Music.
Rebecca continues to be drawn to the larger connections between music and the sciences, literature and cultural trends. She began an Artist Residency at the Weisman Museum in the Spring of 2020 to explore the concept of integrating the sound of the cello, and listening, as primary players in any given conversation. The panel discussion to reflect on this project is slated for Spring 2021.
Most recently, Rebecca has been working with students in Kenya at the Art of Music Foundation. She has taught students as well as organized international masterclasses for the Ghetto Classics program and hopes to make her way to Kenya as new commissions are in the works for the students as well.
Rebecca is currently preparing to record the catalogue of Chad “Sir Wick” Hughes and will be collaborating with the James Sewell Ballet for a Spotlight Series performance at the MacPhail Center this Spring, playing his First Suite for Cello.
She has also dedicated time to the exploration of Baroque performance practices and repertoire with Elinor Frey. She was and will continue to be engaged by the Bach Society of Minnesota.
Lastly, Rebecca was a recipient of a 2020 Springboard for the Arts Grant – Artists Combating Isolation. Her chosen project, Your Dance, brought children into the fold as her collaborative dancers. Rebecca presented five dance movements, weaving the history of the Minuet from Bach to Chad Hughes while sharing in the experience with students from near and far (including Nairobi).