“One of the Twin Cities’ finest chamber music groups”
-Classical Minnesota Public Radio host Alison Young
“Musical Offering season highlights Paris and immigration” by Pamela Espeland, August 2016
“Last November, the musicians of the chamber ensemble The Musical Offering were preparing for the second concert of their 45th anniversary year, a season titled “La Vie Parisienne.” The Nov. 22 concert was meant to be especially lighthearted, spotlighting the fun, bubbly side of the French temperament. And then came the Paris terrorist attacks of Nov. 13 that left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.
The concert went on as planned, but it began with remarks by co-artistic director Susan Billmeyer that spoke to the recent horrific events, and the role of the arts and music in troubled times. TMO’s Paris-inspired season took on new meaning. The organization’s thinking shifted…” click here to continue reading.
Classical MPR – February 2015
Executive Director Alex Legeros and Co-Artistic Director Norbert Nielubowski are interviewed by Shelia Regan, a blogger for Classical MPR about the Mozartiade! concert, touching on the Viennese tradition of incorporating food, conversation, and intimate live performances, as well as the direction of the group being closely related with food & music: “We’re trying to incorporate enjoying food and talking about ways chamber music is supposed to be enjoyed with atmosphere, so the music can be digested.”Click here for the link.
Later in the week, Co-Artistic Director Susan Billmeyer with David Pharris, Clainet, and Gareth Zehngut, guest Violist from the Minnesota Orchestra, gave a live in-studio performance of Mozart’s Kegelstatt trio and interview with MPR host Alison Young. Here’s a link to the article, and below is the audio piece:
American Public Media & MPR – Spring 2014
The Musical Offering’s artistic director Norbert Nielubowski appeared on MPR twice during the 2014 season, once as a solo interview to preface the Schubertiade, and again in the spring accompanied by John Snow, oboe, and Susan Billmeyer, piano, to preview our Mother’s Day concert. Below is the audio from the latter performance, with a link to the Schubertiade interview here.
“To the delight of those present [at a royal audience with Frederick II], Bach — according to lore — improvises the three-part fugue on ‘The Royal Theme’ that has become part of the collection we hear today. It’s a perfect chamber moment — up close, intimate, informative, concentrated, enjoyed by a small audience of enthusiasts. That’s [also] the goal of The Musical Offering, which has 11 members this year, along with some guest performers, and is planning a season of four concerts. ‘Our goal is to make chamber music as accessible as possible,’ said Norbert Nielubowski, a Minnesota Orchestra bassoonist who is sharing the ensemble’s artistic directorship with pianist Rees Allison, the only remaining founder of The Musical Offering who is still performing with the group.” — David Hawley, MinnPost.com, October 2009
National Public Radio
“Basil Reeve began playing with the then-brand new chamber music group, Musical Offering, almost the minute he moved to town in 1971. For almost four decades, he’s enjoyed presenting concerts of varied repertoire, building an audience, and discovering new pieces and new ways to play old pieces. This weekend, he steps down from Musical Offering, but not before playing a new piece written for him by an old friend, James Bolle….” —Alison Young, National Public Radio, 27 May 2009
“After 35 years, the Musical Offering has become multigenerational. Some of the newest members hadn’t even started music lessons when Allison and Reeve were anchoring the group. With every new member, ‘the musical and personal dynamics change,’ [Norbert] Nielubowski [the Offering’s bassoonist] said. ‘[Members] sometimes have different views on how the music should be played. It’s up to us to come up with a musical statement that takes these different views into consideration while remaining faithful to what the composer wanted.’” — Janet Lunder Hanafin, Avenues, January 2007
“This lively program devoted to 20th-century music” featured Bartok (played with “ample rhythmic punch and … pungent harmonies”), Francaix (a “lovely tune … played with special grace”), and Carter (“clear and rhythmically assured”). —Michael Anthony, Star Tribune, 2-20-2001
The Musical Offering should “play to packed houses, given the quality of its playing and the creativity of its programming.” In this Baroque concert, J. S. Bach was set in context along with works by W. F. Bach, his eldest son, and the little known Bohemian composer, Jan Zelenka. “There is little stuffy about the Musical Offering. Amusing program notes delivered from the stage give the feeling of an intimate salon — and that is the best way to hear this kind of music.” — William Randall Beard, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 11-20-2000
“Despite being the area’s oldest continuously performing chamber music ensemble, the Musical Offering plays with uncommon skill and a youthful spirit.” — Michael Anthony, Star Tribune, 11-19-2000
The Musical Offering was “masterful in [the] season ender,” a concert of Viennese Masterpieces by Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms. The Mozart trio was performed with all of its “playful exuberance” and “rich textures.” The Schubert piano sonata featured “elegant, if restrained, accompaniment.” Brahms’ piano quartet was played with “appropriate passion and energy.” Altogether, “This was some of the most exciting chamber playing of the season. It is always a treat to watch the committed and intelligent performances that the Musical Offering offers.” — William Randall Beard, St. Paul Pioneer Press, 4-9-2000