On the evening of July 6th, NEXUS will be performing to a sold-out house at the Minnesota Beethoven Festival in Winona, Minnesota. Ned Kirk, a musician himself, has served as Artistic Director of the festival since 2007. He extended an invitation to NEXUS last December. Single ticket sales began for the concert a few short weeks ago, and it has been gratifying to see them sell so quickly.
Now in its fourth season, the festival is dedicated to showcasing Minnesota’s regional talent as well as “some of the most important international concert artists of our time.” The festival also features the Minnesota Orchestra in two performances each summer.
NEXUS is looking forward to visiting southeast Minnesota. The city of Winona, founded by a steamboat captain, is positioned on a large island in the Mississippi and nestles between wooded limestone river bluffs and the mighty river itself. By 1900 Winona, “The Island City”, had more millionaires per capita than any place in the United States! Not surprising, then, that it boasts some wonderful architecturally-significant historic buildings and vintage homes.
J.R. Watkins was a famous resident. He invented the “money back guarantee” in 1868 when he started Watkins Incorporated, one of the oldest companies in the USA. You very likely have some of his products on your shelf. There are a couple of other unusual facts about Winona. Mud retrieved from Lake Winona is used to make the thermal tiles found on the surface of the space shuttle for reentry in to the Earth’s atmosphere. Winona is also the stained glass capital of the United States.
And – oh yes – the actress Winona Ryder was born nearby and was named after the city!