History

The Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra (LSCO) was founded in 1987. Area musicians and music lovers wanted to continue the classical music season into the summer months, so a new ensemble was created. Under the direction of Warren Friesen, the LSCO has produced twenty-nine highly successful seasons of diverse repertoire. Under Warren’s direction the LSCO has received the ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) Award from the American Symphony Orchestra League four times for “Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.” In 2014 and 2015 the LSCO won a national grant from the Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy in recognition of its past performances of works of women composers and its intention to continue to do so.

Concerts consist of a mix of the old masters and living composers as well as collaborations with artists of other disciplines. A few memorable examples include Louis Jenkins reading his poetry to a composition created by local composer Bradley Bombardier, members of the Minnesota Ballet performing in a newly commissioned work by composer Tyler Kaiser and an LSCO collaboration with the comedy troupe Colder by The Lake in Peter and the Wolf. In celebration of its twenty-fifth season, the LSCO commissioned new works from five composers, one for each of five concerts. The organization’s fresh approach to programming and its willingness to take risks has earned the LSCO a dedicated following.

In addition to the regular concert series, the LSCO sponsors the “Quartet Project,” an intensive summer workshop for teens that involves twenty to thirty student musicians whose study concludes with a side-by-side performance one work on an LSCO concert and additionally a concert of their own.

The audience is drawn from Duluth, Superior, Two Harbors and Cloquet areas, often including people from as far away as Hinckley and the Iron Range, as well as summer visitors to this area. The LSCO makes a concerted effort to encourage a diverse audience offering affordable student, senior, and family tickets.

Please join with the LSCO as we celebrate thirty years of providing our community with unique, innovative and adventurous chamber orchestra music during the summer months.