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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.

STRAVINSKY
The Rite of Spring

More Details:

  • Please note: this concert is a mixture of conversation and performance.
  • Optional activities are offered before and after each Symphony in 60 concert, including pre-concert happy hour and onstage gathering with musicians following the concert.

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About this Concert:

Once the long Minnesota winter is behind us, you'll feel the molten musical power of the earth reawakening with Stravinsky’s revolutionary The Rite of Spring.

BRAHMS
Piano Concerto No. 1

STRAVINSKY
The Rite of Spring

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More Details:

  • Say it like this: Rafał Blechacz = “RAH-fal BLEH-hahsh”
  • Blechacz won the 2014 Gilmore Prize, which is a little like a visit from Tinkerbell and her fairy dust. There is no actual competition, and a pianist doesn’t learn he or she is even under consideration from the anonymous judges—until the phone rings informing the stunned pianist of the $300,000 award.
  • Rafał Blechacz is getting a PhD in philosophy in his native Poland.
  • Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 started out as a piece for two pianos alone, then morphed into a big four-movement symphony with no piano part, then settled into a three-movement piece for piano and orchestra with Brahms ready to give it up in frustration at several points along the way.
  • Pianists routinely rank the Brahms Concerto as the hardest thing they’ll ever play—and audiences think of it as an absolute favorite.

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About this Concert:

For an April evening, here’s chamber music as warm and original as a spring shower after the long winter.

SAINT-SAËNS
Septet for Piano, Trumpet and Strings

PROKOFIEV
Quintet in G minor for Oboe, Clarinet, Violin, Viola and Double Bass

More Details:

  • $25 tickets, plus one complimentary beverage ($10 for patrons attending the 8pm performance).
  • Saint-Saëns’ Septet is unlike just about any other chamber piece in that, one moment it echoes centuries of lush strings-and-piano masterpieces—then here comes a playful trumpet!
  • In the mid-1920s, the Russian Prokofiev was living in Paris and a traveling ballet troupe with five instrumentalists asked him to write a piece for them. After creating his ballet Trapeze, he kept going and wrote his Quintet for the same lucky ensemble.
  • Every winter with good snow, St. Paul native David Williamson puts away his bass after rehearsal and straps on his skis to train for a cross-country marathon.

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About this Concert:

Of all the penniless composers who wrote glorious music they never lived to hear, Franz Schubert is the best example; his heavenly C-major Symphony in the hands of this Orchestra and conductor would’ve been a magical gift to this now legendary composer.

BACH
Brandenburg Concerto No. 4

ELGAR
Cello Concerto

SCHUBERT
Symphony in C major, The Great

More Details:

  • Alban Gerhardt is famous in his native Germany for taking music to the people: he performs in schools, prisons, hospitals, moving commuter trains—and in SRO concert halls.
  • You’ll only see a handful of players onstage for Bach’s sunny Brandenburg Concerto No. 4; it’s “chamber music” meant for a small virtuoso orchestra.
  • Elgar composed his Cello Concerto in a cottage on the English Channel where he’d heard the French artillery rumble late at night during WWI.
  • Schubert’s Great Symphony was discovered years after his death in a stack of papers kept in a closet by his brother.

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About this Concert:

Former Music Director Edo de Waart is a master of grand-scale Romantic music, and he makes a welcome return with Elgar’s epic oratorio.

ELGAR
The Dream of Gerontius

More Details:

  • Just about everything that could go wrong at the 1900 premiere of Elgar’s Dream, did. The soloists were sick, the chorus master died, the score arrived late for rehearsals—complete train wreck.
  • Times change: two years later, after a German performance in 1902, Elgar had to take twenty curtain calls amid thunderous applause. Now it’s his choral-orchestral masterpiece.
  • The Minnesota Orchestra has only performed Elgar’s Dream once: in 1907, four years after the Orchestra (then called the Minneapolis Symphony) was founded.
  • Edo de Waart spent a year as a young conductor studying under Leonard Bernstein in New York, a time in which he admits he watched a lot of American TV and polished his English.
  • When Edo de Waart was the Orchestra’s music director (1986-95) he loved to conduct BIG pieces: Mahler symphonies and complete Wagner operas.
  • Please note: This concert is approximately 95 minutes with no intermission.

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About this Concert:

Four pieces from the beginning, middle and end of the 20th century shine a bright spotlight on the members of the Minnesota Orchestra’s woodwind and string sections.

PROKOFIEV
String Quartet No. 1

RAVEL
Sonata for Violin and Piano

VILLA-LOBOS
Trio for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon

SCHOENFIELD
Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano

More Details:

  • Prokofiev was busy giving piano concerts all over Russia just before he wrote his First String Quartet. On long train rides between venues, he pored over Beethoven’s string quartets and those infused his imagination as he started writing his own quartet.
  • Brazil’s Heitor Villa-Lobos makes a serious entry for most prolific composer ever; more than 2,000 scores bear his name.
  • Ravel was smitten by a new style of music from America he heard in Paris cafés after World War I; the composer known for oh-so-French music gave the title Blues to the middle movement of his 1922 Violin Sonata.

Photos © Joel Larson and Josh Kohanek Photography

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About this Concert:

The young French pianist Lise de la Salle made her professional debut in a live national broadcast—at the age of nine, and now, not yet 30, she’s one of France’s true musical treasures.

DUTILLEUX
Sounds, Space, Movement (The Starry Night)

RAVEL
Piano Concerto in G major

PROKOFIEV
Symphony No. 5

More Details:

  • Ravel wrote his Piano Concerto inspired by a new kind of music he heard everywhere on the streets of 1920s Paris: American jazz.
  • Ravel’s Piano Concerto is in three movements—the middle movement alone is worth the price of the concert. Totally his most gorgeous, tender music.
  • She routinely posts her Facebook updates in both French and English.
  • De la Salle played a sold-out solo recital at Macalester College last season.

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About this Concert:

After his recent Minnesota Orchestra debut, audiences and musicians quickly wanted guest conductor Juraj Valčuha back on the podium for his astonishing vision and artistry.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Juraj Valčuha, conductor
  • Michael Gast, horn

HAYDN
Symphony No. 85, La Reine

MOZART
Horn Concerto No. 3

BRITTEN
Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes

RAVEL
La Valse

More Details:

  • You can say it: “Juraj Valčuha” = YOU-rye val-CHEW-uh.
  • Valčuha is a superstar young Slovak who’s conducting more and more in the States because orchestras fall in love with him.
  • Michael Gast began playing French horn when he was 15, growing up in Tallahassee.
  • In his spare time, Gast loves to scuba dive.
  • There are no scuba divers in Britten’s opera Peter Grimes. This story set in an English seaside village and centers around a disturbed fisherman–Britten’s Four Sea Interludes are the overtures he created for each act.

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About this Concert:

Of the hundreds of pieces left to us by Mozart, none is more beautiful than his Sinfonia Concertante—a violin and viola duet to melt hearts, here played by Concertmaster Erin Keefe and violist Matthew Lipman.

LUTOSLAWSKI
Little Suite

MOZART
Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra

HINDEMITH
Mathis der Maler Symphony

More Details:

  • Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante wins the competition for “Most Boringly Titled Classical Piece Holding Rapturously Gorgeous Music.”
  • Matthew Lipman won the Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2012 Young Artist Competition Grand Prize.
  • Hitler hated and banned Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler Symphony because it’s based on the life of an artist who championed freedom of expression.
  • By contrast, if big, glorious brass is your thing, you’ll love Mathis der Maler.

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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. This program includes Also sprach Zarathustra made famous by Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • David Zinman, conductor

WAGNER
Overture to Tannhäuser

STRAUSS
Also sprach Zarathustra

More Details:

  • Optional activities are offered before and after each Symphony in 60 concert, including pre-concert happy hour and onstage gathering with musicians following the concert.

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About this Concert:

Former Sommerfest Artistic Director David Zinman returns after 15 too-long years to the delight of his many fans, in this program of sweeping orchestral classics including Also sprach Zarathustra made famous by Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • David Zinman, conductor
  • Anthony Ross, cello

WAGNER
Overture to Tännhauser

BLOCH
Schelomo, Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra

STRAUSS
Also sprach Zarathustra

More Details:

  • Tony Ross was 23 when David Zinman hired him to become principal cello of the Rochester (NY) Philharmonic.
  • At Ross’s first rehearsal, Zinman announced he was leaving Rochester and taking a new position as the Baltimore Symphony’s music director.
  • Zinman earned a Master’s degree in theory and composition from the University of Minnesota in 1963 and he last conducted the Orchestra in 1999.
  • This is the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Schelemo.

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About this Concert:

Mozart is the ultimate “classical” composer whose every bar of music is perfectly proportioned, balanced and beautiful, while Debussy’s revolution a century later was to build a whole new world of sound.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Juanjo Mena, conductor
  • Ingrid Fliter, piano

FALLA
Interlude and Dance La Vida Breve

MOZART
Piano Concerto No. 23

DEBUSSY
Images

More Details:

  • This is Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena’s Minnesota Orchestra debut, but orchestras around the U.S. are immediately inviting him back after his guest-conducting visits.
  • The Argentinian Fliter was the first woman to win the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award (2006).
  • The Gilmore, which Fliter won in 2006, is an anonymous, secret-ballot award given every four years to one exceptional pianist; there’s no outright “competition” for it; your phone simply rings one day and you learn that a check for $300,000 is on the way.
  • Fliter’s specialty? Mozart, with a close second given to Chopin.

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About this Concert:

Mahler’s Second Symphony offers an overwhelming message of hope, and this glorious music makes a perfect transition to Minnesota’s sweetest season, summer.

HAYDN
Piano Concerto in D major

MAHLER
Symphony No. 2, Resurrection

More Details:

  • Austrian composer Haydn spent most of his career far away from the posh artistic circles of Vienna, a distance which he found stoked his creativity.
  • Mahler was born and raised a Jew, though converted to Catholicism to secure a leading conducting post in anti-Semitic, turn-of-the-century Vienna.
  • The Orchestra will record Mahler’s Second this season.
  • Marc-André Hamelin’s father was a pharmacist by day, a talented amateur pianist by night.
  • Sasha Cooke started piano at four and switched to voice in college. She even did a bit of improv-comedy along the way.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Orchestra’s performance on Thu July 6, is presented as part of the 11th season of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, a classical music festival held from Jul 6 to Jul 23 in Winona, Minnesota. For information about this concert and the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, please visit mnbeethovenfestival.org.

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.

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.

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.

Complete event details »

About this Concert:

Dvořák’s most famous symphony is the beautiful Ninth, but his Symphony No. 7 is his most thrilling—the music that put a Prague butcher’s son on the international music map.

Dvořák
Symphony No. 7

More Details:

  • Performance includes pre-concert happy hour (50% off all beverages) including local craft brews.
  • Intrigued by classical music? First, let violist-host Sam Bergman and conductor Sarah Hicks be your guides in exploring the classics through witty conversation and orchestral excerpts. Then, after intermission, experience a full performance of the featured work.
  • In his spare time, Dvořák loved train-watching. The opening melody of the Seventh came to him when he was walking home from his daily constitutional at the Prague station.
  • The Seventh was a huge hit at its premiere when it was still on manuscript paper, but come time to be published, Dvořák’s German publisher made life miserable for the composer, insisting the score was worth only half the usual fee, and that Dvořák’s Czech first name, Antonín, had to appear on the title page in its German form, Anton.
  • The Seventh is in the key of D minor, a favorite of composers when they want to express drama, big ideas and sweeping passion.
  • Before his Seventh, Dvořák’s reputation rested largely on chamber music, much of which was written for two pianists sitting side-by-side on a bench.
  • If you’ve ever been concerned about knowing the exact moment to clap at a classical concert, the thrilling final page of Dvořák’s Seventh will leave you with no doubt.

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With a thrilling 2017-18 season ahead, featuring over 100 performances at Orchestra Hall, how will you decide which concerts to attend?

Join Sarah Hicks, Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall, as she leads the Minnesota Orchestra in an exciting preview event featuring musical highlights and commentary about the new 2017-18 season. Our Season Sampler offers a wonderful evening of diverse musical programming—it's the perfect way to sample a little bit of everything the Minnesota Orchestra has to offer!

*Admission to this concert is $25. The $25 admission fee can be credited toward a 2016-17 series package at the Sampler concert or within one month of this event. Not valid with any other offer or renewal. Limit of four tickets per household. Seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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