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Events for June 26, 2016–August 07, 2016

About this Concert:

Symphony for the Cities has been a Minnesota Orchestra tradition for more than 40 years, with the Orchestra devoting a week each summer to performing free outdoor concerts for the community. Please join us for this magnificent summertime music-making! Each performance lasts approximately one hour.

SMITH/Skrowaczewski The Star-Spangled Banner

VERDI Overture to La forza del destino

WILLIAMS Adventures on Earth, from E.T (The Extra-Terrestrial)

WAGNER Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

WILLIAMS Selections from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ROSSINI Finale from William Tell Overture

TRADITIONAL/Lowden Armed Forces Salute

TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture

Please note: Decisions to cancel outdoor concerts due to inclement weather can be made up until moments before the concert start time. In the rare event that weather circumstances should deteriorate and impact this performance — updates will be posted here.

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Complete event details »

About this Concert:

Symphony for the Cities has been a Minnesota Orchestra tradition for more than 40 years, with the Orchestra devoting a week each summer to performing free outdoor concerts for the community. Please join us for this magnificent summertime music-making! Each performance lasts approximately one hour.

SMITH/Skrowaczewski The Star-Spangled Banner

VERDI Overture to La forza del destino

WILLIAMS Adventures on Earth, from E.T (The Extra-Terrestrial)

WAGNER Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

WILLIAMS Selections from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ROSSINI Finale from William Tell Overture

TRADITIONAL/Lowden Armed Forces Salute

TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture

Please note: Decisions to cancel outdoor concerts due to inclement weather can be made up until moments before the concert start time. In the rare event that weather circumstances should deteriorate and impact this performance — updates will be posted here.

Help us spread the word about these events! Invite your friends on Facebook »

Complete event details »

About this Concert:

Symphony for the Cities has been a Minnesota Orchestra tradition for more than 40 years, with the Orchestra devoting a week each summer to performing free outdoor concerts for the community. Please join us for this magnificent summertime music-making! Each performance lasts approximately one hour.

SMITH/Skrowaczewski The Star-Spangled Banner

VERDI Overture to La forza del destino

HEITZEG Blue Liberty

WILLIAMS Adventures on Earth, from E.T (The Extra-Terrestrial)

WILLIAMS Selections from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

TRADITIONAL/Lowden Armed Forces Salute

TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture

Please note: Decisions to cancel outdoor concerts due to inclement weather can be made up until moments before the concert start time. In the rare event that weather circumstances should deteriorate and impact this performance — updates will be posted here.

Help us spread the word about these events! Invite your friends on Facebook »

Complete event details »

About this Concert:

Symphony for the Cities has been a Minnesota Orchestra tradition for more than 40 years, with the Orchestra devoting a week each summer to performing free outdoor concerts for the community. Please join us for this magnificent summertime music-making! Each performance lasts approximately one hour.

SMITH/Skrowaczewski The Star-Spangled Banner

VERDI Overture to La forza del destino

WILLIAMS Adventures on Earth, from E.T (The Extra-Terrestrial)

WAGNER Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

WILLIAMS Selections from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ROSSINI Finale from William Tell Overture

TRADITIONAL/Lowden Armed Forces Salute

TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture

The June 30 concert is presented as part of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, which since 2007 has celebrated the music and legacy of Ludwig van Beethoven, in an unequaled environment of performance, discovery, and community, nestled in the quaint bluffs of southeast Minnesota. Click here to learn more.

Please note: Decisions to cancel outdoor concerts due to inclement weather can be made up until moments before the concert start time. In the rare event that weather circumstances should deteriorate and impact this performance — updates will be posted here.

Help us spread the word about these events! Invite your friends on Facebook »

Complete event details »

About this Concert:

You may have caught their holiday show or one of their gigs at the Dakota. Maybe you remember them from the Suburbs, Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic. Now you can be there for their first concert with orchestra—right here in Orchestra Hall!

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • The New Standards
  • Chan Poling, piano
  • Steve Roehm, vibes
  • John Munson, bass

Download program notes (pdf) | Read a Q&A with Chan Poling and John Munson »

More Details:

  • They’re called The New Standards because they wanted to play interesting songs that weren’t old standards—they play tunes from every musical era.
  • You may have heard Semisonic’s biggest hit, the bar anthem Closing Time at, well, closing time. But it was originally written to mark the birth of a band member’s first child.
  • Going back to their roots, The New Standards often cover the Suburbs hit Love is the Law; a tune that got a new lease on life as a theme song during the same sex marriage debate.
  • Pianist Chan Poling also wrote the music and lyrics for Glensheen, a musical based on a murder committed nearly 40 years ago in Duluth.

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Symphony for the Cities has been a Minnesota Orchestra tradition for more than 40 years, with the Orchestra devoting a week each summer to performing free outdoor concerts for the community. Please join us for this magnificent summertime music-making! Each performance lasts approximately one hour.

SMITH/Skrowaczewski The Star-Spangled Banner

VERDI Overture to La forza del destino

SMETANA Dance of the Comedians, from The Bartered Bride

SOUSA Foshay Tower Washington Memorial March

WILLIAMS Adventures on Earth, from E.T (The Extra-Terrestrial)

WAGNER Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

WILLIAMS Selections from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ROSSINI Finale from William Tell Overture

TRADITIONAL/Lowden Armed Forces Salute

TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture

The July 4 concert is presented as part of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s Red, White and Boom! Fourth of July celebration this summer, performing a free concert on the banks of the Mississippi River at Boom Island Park, 8:30 p.m. on Independence Day. The annual Red, White and Boom! fireworks display will follow the concert at 10 p.m. along the river. Click here to learn more »

Please note: Decisions to cancel outdoor concerts due to inclement weather can be made up until moments before the concert start time. In the rare event that weather circumstances should deteriorate and impact this performance — updates will be posted here.

Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

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Join a woodwind quintet from the Minnesota Orchestra at Fair State Brewing Co-op for a free Symphony and Suds micro-concert. This new initiative brings Minnesota Orchestra musicians to your favorite local brewpubs and your favorite local brews to Orchestra Hall.

After hosting our musicians on July 7, Fair State Brewing Co-op brews will be featured at Orchestra Hall for the July 14 Symphony in 60: Brahms' Double Concerto Minnesota Orchestra concert. Free samples will be distributed in the lobby pre-concert and select brews will be available for purchase at all lobby bars.

Please note: This not a ticketed event. Brewpub space and parking is limited. This event is not at Orchestra Hall. Please see off-site address listed below.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative
2506 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Directions »

#PintOfMusic

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About this Concert:

Sommerfest 2016 begins with dance-inspired showpieces for a virtuoso orchestra.

COPLAND
Rodeo, Ballet in One Act

LISZT
Totentanz for Piano and Orchestra

SAINT-SAËNS
Bacchanale, from Samson and Dalila

GINASTERA
Estancia

RAVEL
La Valse

More Details:

  • At the 1942 Metropolitan Opera premiere in New York City, Copland’s ballet about American cowboys earned choreographer Agnes de Mille 22 curtain calls.
  • Ginastera’s Estancia dates from the year after Copland’s ballet and tells a similar tale of cowboys, though set in Argentina. Estancia means ranch in Argentine Spanish.
  • 2016 is the 100th Anniversary of Ginastera’s birth.
  • The phenomenal young Chinese pianist, Zhang Zuo, makes her Orchestra Hall debut.
  • Zhang Zuo, who also goes by the name “Zee Zee,” was born in China and at five, her father moved the family to Germany. Not knowing anyone and not being able to speak the language, she was given a piano and threw herself at it with hours of daily practice.

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Stepping away from the ranks of Minnesota Orchestra cellists, Anthony Ross solos with pianist and Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton in a beautiful piece by the young Brahms; and Kenneth Freed and Eugena Chang will solo with Andrew Litton in a gorgeous teenaged work by Rachmaninoff.

BRAHMS
Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano

RACHMANINOFF
Trio élégiaque No. 1

More Details:

  • Andrew Litton is at the piano just a few hours before he takes the main stage to conduct the full orchestra. A huge gear-switch for our gifted Sommerfest Artistic Director—and exciting to watch!
  • Brahms was a superb pianist, and was at the keyboard for the 1865 premiere of his Sonata.
  • Here is the quieter side of Brahms, though full of Romantic passion and brilliant melodies for both piano and cello.
  • Though this Trio is one of Rachmaninoff’s earliest pieces, written when he was just 19, all the hallmarks of the brooding Russian genius are here: dark-chocolate harmonies and yearning, sweet melodies soaring above.
  • Played backwards, the opening melody of Rachmaninoff’s Trio is very close to the opening melody of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, which Rachmaninoff loved.

The event is FREE to patrons with tickets to the July 9  8pm performance.
Please note: this concert is approximately 45 minutes with no intermission. General Admission seating is available anywhere on the Main Floor.

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

The most sumptuous and famous symphony of the early 20th century, Rachmaninoff’s Second, is paired with a piano-and-orchestra beauty by American composer, Edward MacDowell.

MACDOWELL
Hamlet and Ophelia

MACDOWELL
Piano Concerto No. 2

RACHMANINOFF
Symphony No. 2

More Details:

  • This is the concert for lovers. Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 is the music of romance and, written in 1906, inspired legions of Hollywood composers over the next century.
  • This symphony is one of the most malleable pieces ever written: at full length it runs about 60 minutes, but various conductors whack it down to 35 minutes.
  • When André Watts was eight, he hated practicing, but his mother encouraged him with stories of the great 19th century pianist Franz Liszt, making it clear that Liszt practiced hard every day.
  • MacDowell was America’s most famous pianist and teacher in the last years of the 19th century, and was Columbia University’s first music professor. He died at only 46.
  • It’s a milestone—André Watts performs this concert only a couple weeks after his 70th birthday!

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Get closer to the music and musicians in this afternoon of discovery, with Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton at the piano and several of his talented Minnesota Orchestra friends.

POULENC
Sextet for Piano and Winds

HARBISON
Fourteen Fabled Folksongs

DEL AGUILA
Salón Buenos Aires

Download program notes (pdf)

More Details:

  • The Frenchman Poulenc was a rascal and, at the same time, devoutly religious. You’ll hear both strands of his personality in his brilliant Sextet.
  • Poulenc was Paris’ bon vivant in his teens and twenties, a cigarette always in hand while he took part in the café life of the City of Lights.
  • In his 30s, a dear friend was killed in a car accident, and from then on Poulenc’s music added deeper, softer, darker and more spiritual dimensions.
  • It’s all atmosphere: in Aguila’s “Salón…” the pianist reaches into the instrument and strums the bare strings with a fingernail…you can almost see the clouds of cigarette smoke clear in the Buenos Aires club, late, late at night.
  • Harbison’s Fourteen Fabled Folksongs was inspired by buskers, and he says these pieces “would be at home in both the subway station and the concert hall.”

Please note: this concert is approximately 70 minutes with no intermission.

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

This is a fine romance! Join Minnesota’s own Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana, in a cabaret-style version of A Broadway Romance, an acclaimed revue celebrating the highs (and lows) of love, courtesy of Great White Way legends ranging from Sondheim to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Magical!

  • Laura Osnes, vocals
  • Santino Fontana, vocals
  • Ted Sperling, music director and pianist

Download program notes (pdf)

More Details:

  • True love, crushes, bitter breakups and eternal amour are all fair game in this warm, witty night that will trace the path of romance through unforgettable Broadway classics.
  • You’ll hear: “Something’s Coming” (West Side Story), “The Man I Love” (Lady Be Good), “If I Loved You” (Carousel), “How To Handle A Woman” (Camelot) and many, many more.
  • Our stars are no strangers to Broadway. Laura Osnes is a two-time Tony Award nominee and has appeared in Cinderella, Bonnie and Clyde, South Pacific and Grease while Santino Fontana has appeared in Billy Eliot and Cinderella.
  • Laura and Santino are at home on the small screen too: she scored in the reality TV show Grease: You’re the One That I Want!, which had her winning the role of Sandy in the Broadway revival of Grease; and he has graced The Good Wife, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Shades of Blue.
  • Minnesota twins? Laura was born in Burnsville and grew up in Eagan; Santino may be a California native, but is a proud graduate of the legendary University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program.
  • Two more things they have in common: both Laura and Santino have been featured with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
  • Heard but not seen: Santino is the voice of the dastardly Hans in Frozen.

Please note: The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program.

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Feel the electricity of a classical concert in only 60 minutes! Come early for happy hour, enjoy the performance and stay late for a post-concert onstage gathering with Minnesota Orchestra musicians.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Andrew Litton, conductor
  • Nicola Benedetti, violin
  • Leonard Elschenbroich, cello

BRAHMS
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Double Concerto

TCHAIKOVSKY
1812 Overture

More Details:

  • A concerto is almost always written for one solo instrument with orchestra. Beethoven’s Triple (also this weekend) and Brahms’ Double are rare exceptions.
  • Nicola Benedetti and Leonard Elschenbroich are musical and life partners, sharing a home in Britain.
  • In her homeland of Scotland, Benedetti has developed an innovative music education initiative for young string players called The Benedetti Sessions.
  • Cocktails with a view: after the concert, join the musicians for a meet and mingle onstage!

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Brahms and Tchaikovsky, born a handful of years apart, were the 19th century’s most famous contemporary composers, as violinist Benedetti and cellist Elschenbroich are becoming concert superstars of our time.

BRAHMS
Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Double Concerto

TCHAIKOVSKY
Symphony No. 4

More Details:

  • Two great Romantic-era favorites: Brahms cherished tradition and structures, while Tchaikovsky relished freedom and experimentation.
  • A concerto is almost always written for one solo instrument with orchestra. Beethoven’s Triple and Brahms’ Double are rare exceptions.
  • Early critics of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 couldn’t say enough bad things about it. A German reviewer in 1897 wrote: “The composer’s twaddle disturbed my mood…” It is now one of the most frequently performed symphonies in the world.
  • Nicola Benedetti and Leonard Elschenbroich are musical and life partners, sharing a home in Britain.
  • In her homeland of Scotland, Benedetti’s developed an innovative music education initiative for young string players called The Benedetti Sessions.

Presented by:
US Bank

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Join us for a Minnesota Orchestra Open Rehearsal

In appreciation of supporters of the 2015-2016 Guaranty Fund, you and a guest are invited to attend a Minnesota Orchestra Open Rehearsal of the concert:

Beethoven Triple Concerto

BEETHOVEN
Overture to Fidelio

BEETHOVEN
Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Triple Concerto

BRAHMS
Symphony No. 4

8:45am Light refreshments in the Roberta Mann Grand Foyer
9:15am Concert preview with Andrew Litton in the Auditorium
9:30am Refreshments and mingling continue in the Roberta Mann Grand Foyer
10am Orchestral Rehearsal*

*Guests are invited to watch the Orchestra’s rehearsal only through the first break. The rehearsal music and an approximate time will be announced from the stage. Out of courtesy for the musicians, please do not leave the Auditorium before the first break of the rehearsal. Thank you.

Thank you for your support!

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Not yet a donor? Make a gift of $100 or more and join us for this event. 

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About this Concert:

American composer Alec Wilder, who constantly jumped the border between popular song and classical music, gave his big-band-era Octets tongue-in-cheek titles—and music to match.

WILDER
Octets

More Details:

  • Alec Wilder never became as famous as Gershwin or Bernstein. But like them, he was just as at home writing music for theater, movies, concert halls or nightclubs.
  • His delightful Octets are part swing, dance, classical…and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, here comes the harpsichord!
  • He wrote popular songs for Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and others at the same time he wrote serious concert music.
  • Wilder was one of the great characters of American music; born in 1907, he officially “divorced” himself from his family when he was a teenager, won part of the family fortune, and was largely self-taught as a composer.

The event is FREE to patrons with tickets to the July 16  8pm performance.
Please note: this concert is approximately 40 minutes with no intermission. General Admission seating is available anywhere on the Main Floor.

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Superstars in motion: our phenomenally gifted Andrew Litton conducts from the keyboard as two white-hot stars join him for Beethoven’s one-of-a-kind Triple Concerto.

BEETHOVEN
Overture to Fidelio

BEETHOVEN
Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Triple Concerto

BRAHMS
Symphony No. 4

More Details:

  • Beethoven’s Triple needs three great soloists, and Andrew Litton displays his dazzling gifts as he conducts and plays piano.
  • A concerto is almost always written for one solo instrument with orchestra. Beethoven’s Triple Concerto is for solo violin, solo cello, and solo piano with orchestra.
  • Beethoven was the greatest pianist of his day, yet the piano part in his Triple Concerto makes relatively modest demands on the soloist as Beethoven wrote it for a talented (and very wealthy) student of his.
  • Many conductors claim Brahms’ beautiful Fourth, his final symphony, as their favorite Brahms.
  • Partners in life as well as the stage, Nicola Benedetti and Leonard Elschenbroich come from their home in Britain to the Orchestra Hall stage to perform this audience favorite.
  • These two charismatic young artists sell out halls all over the world, and this is their first Minneapolis visit as a duo.

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Minnesota Orchestra’s Charles Lazarus brings music inspired by the sultry melodies and evocative rhythms of Brazil, Cuba, Hawaii and more. Hear originals, music from the Buena Vista Social Club and a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Andrew Litton, conductor
  • Charles Lazarus, trumpet
  • Mary Louise Knutson, piano and keyboards
  • Jeff Bailey, bass
  • David Schmalenberger, drums
  • Ken Chastain, percussion

CARRILLO
Dos Gardenias, from The Buena Vista Social Club

LAZARUS
Kilauea’s Fountains

MAY/GOZZO
Gopher Mambo

ELLINGTON/TIZOL
Caravan

JOBIM/Wasson
Tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim

Download program notes (pdf)

More Details:

  • Take the tiki lounge sounds of the 1960's, the rhythmic pulsing of bossa nova plus instrumental pyrotechnics, add mint and shake.
  • Samba was a style of music originating in the Afro-Brazilian favelas, or shanty towns, of Rio and other cities.
  • Jobim grew up listening to samba and other native sounds which he heard in the streets and clubs of Ipanema. Later Jobim would come under the influence of the French Impressionists, Debussey and Ravel, as well as the cool jazz of American artists like Miles Davis and Gil Evans.
  • While continuing to play music, Jobim enrolled in an architecture program but quit after one year to work full-time as a musician.
  • The Buena Vista Social Club was a members' club in Havana, Cuba, that closed in the 1940s, as well as a 1990s band, a 1997 album, a 1999 film, and an unofficial brand name representing the musical spirit of the original Havana club.
  • Charles Lazarus’ other programs for Orchestra include Merry and Bright, American Riffs and Fly Me to the Moon: Love Songs from the Big Band Era and Beyond. The later was performed on Valentine’s Day 2016—and sold-out Orchestra Hall!

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Shakespeare’s powerful tragedy inspired Verdi’s most glorious music. Otello, Desdemona, and Iago become tangled in passion, jealousy, betrayal, and revenge—the juiciest elements of grand opera.

VERDI
Otello

More Details:

  • Giuseppe Verdi was Italy’s master of opera, his nation’s most famous citizen in the late 19th century.
  • Verdi had been retired for over a decade when his publisher launched a full-on charm offensive to get him to start writing again, delivering an Othello-themed cake each Christmas for years; the cake decorated with the figure of the Moor, in chocolate, on top.
  • Once Verdi finally started writing Otello in 1884, “chocolate” became the code word for his top-secret work-in-progress.
  • Otello is one of his most-often-performed operas.

Please note: opera length is 2 hours and 30 minutes with one 20 minute intermission.

Presented by:
US Bank

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About this Concert:

Since his emergence in the late ’60s, Grammy-winner® Loudon Wainwright III has been entrancing audiences all over the world with his unique skills as singer, songwriter, performer and brutally direct truth-teller.

Download program notes (pdf)

More Details:

  • Not comfortable being labeled “the New Bob Dylan” shortly after his first album release, Wainwright wrote the self-mocking song, Talking New Bob Dylan.
  • Wainwright has also been dubbed “the Woody Allen of Folk” and “the Charlie Chaplin of Rock,” but so far hasn’t responded to those nicknames with a song.
  • He’s at the center of an incredibly musical family: his first wife Kate McGarrigle, their children Rufus and Martha, Loudon’s onetime girlfriend Suzzy Roche, and their daughter Lucy Wainwright Roche are ALL singer songwriters.
  • Who else could score with a song about road kill (Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road) or the politicization of federal arts funding (Jesse Don’t Like It)?
  • The jacket for Jesse Don’t Like It features a likeness of then Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) smashing a Picasso (the late Senator Helms crusaded against government funding for art he deemed offensive).
  • Since 1985, Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road, Wainwright’s only single to make the charts, has been played every Friday near 9am, on radio station KRRY in Quincy Illinois.

Please note: the Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. Concert length is two 50 minute sets with one 20 minute intermission.

Presented by:
US Bank

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