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Events for April 2015
  • Lynne Warfel, host and moderator
  • The Right Reverend Mariann Budde, Bishop of Washington, National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
  • Archpriest Andrew Morby, Dean, St. Mary’s Orthodox Cathedral
  • Rabbi Sim Glaser, Temple Israel
  • Imam Mohammed Dukuly, "Masjid Al Ansar" or Mosque of the Helpers

Join MPR host Lynne Warfel and a distinguished panel of faith community leaders for two pre-concert discussions as part of Minnesota Orchestra's Spirit and Spring events.

Topics will range from the role of nature worship in ancient cultures to solstice ceremonies and the ideas of rebirth, regeneration and resurrection—as reflected today in the practices of various faiths and in the music performed in this week’s program. The Orchestra’s approaching trip to Cuba also opens the door to discussions on liberation theology, forgiveness, grace and new beginnings.

Please note: this 30-minute Community Conversation is free; however, a concert ticket is required for entry. The Thursday morning event will be held in the concert hall, with seating available anywhere on the main floor.

Erin Keefe

Beethoven's Eroica

Following the community conversation, join us at 11am for a performance of transformative music including Rimsky-Korsakov's Russian Easter Overture and Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Eroica. Tickets and information »

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RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
Russian Easter Overture

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
The Lark Ascending

MESSIAEN
Exotic Birds

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 3, Eroica

Osmo Vänskä begins our tribute to spirit and spring with Rimsky-Korsakov’s transcendent Russian Easter Overture, taking the listener from darkness and mystery to the celebration and rebirth of earth after the death of winter. The arrival of spring is further heralded in Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, its exquisite melodies delivered by Concertmaster Erin Keefe. Messiaen called birds “the greatest musicians” on the planet; hear them sing in this enchanting showpiece for piano. The program concludes with Beethoven’s heroic Third Symphony, which the Orchestra will also perform during its May 2015 trip to Cuba.

Download Program Notes (pdf)

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Osmo Vänskä, clarinet, is joined by Erin Keefe, violin, and Anthony Ross, cello, for Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time.

Olivier Messiaen famously composed his transcendent chamber work, Quartet for the End of Time, while he was a prisoner of war, and he and other inmates premiered it at the same prison camp—outdoors and in the rain—in January of 1941. Inspiration for this extraordinary piece came from a dramatic passage in the biblical book of Revelation. It speaks of a “mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire”—an angel who swore “that there should be time no longer....” And thus Messiaen’s Quartet offers a profound message, perfect to follow our first Spirit and Spring concert.

Seating is limited for this 1 hour event.  Ticket price includes a complimentary beverage. 

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  • VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers
  • University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble
  • Philip Brunelle, conductor
  • Craig Kirchhoff, conductor

See VocalEssence behind the scenes at the P.D.Q. Bach and Peter Schickele rehearsal on Thursday, April 9, 2015. Composer Peter Schickele will join VocalEssence and the U of M Wind Ensemble on stage as we run through the performance (and make a few tweaks).  All seating is general admission.

Please note: The Orchestra Hall Box Office is pleased to provide ticket services for VocalEssence. The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. All artists, programs, prices, dates and times subject to change. All sales are final; no refunds. Prices listed include a non-discountable $3.50 facility fee. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Orchestra Hall Box Office or Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Offices. There is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

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MAHLER
Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth), Symphony for Tenor, Contralto and Orchestra

Mark Wigglesworth conducts Mahler’s deeply spiritual song cycle Das Lied von der Erde, reflecting on youth, beauty and Mother Earth. The Song of the Earth is Mahler’s final synthesis of song and symphony, his farewell to life. If you can experience this music without an inner sob, you are indeed a stoic.

About Symphony in 60

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.

Attend all three Symphony in 60 performances or mix and match with Inside the Classics concerts and save!

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  • Kenneth Freed, moderator
  • Mark Wigglesworth, conductor
  • Sidney Wade, poet, translator and educator
  • Pablo Medina, poet, novelist and professor

Join Mark Wigglesworth and Kenneth Freed for two pre-concert discussions as part of Minnesota Orchestra's Spirit and Spring events.

After a year filled with personal tragedy, Mahler was captivated by a collection of Chinese poetry that had been translated into German, and he set it to music. The result was Das Lied von der Erde, or Song of the Earth, the centerpiece of our main stage concert—a lyrical, dramatic synthesis of song and symphony that juxtaposes the sadness of mortality with the ecstasy of life. Our distinguished panel will discuss inherent tensions of translating poetry and setting texts, and, on a broad scale, the poetic impulse in words and music. In addition to considering Mahler’s work in the context of these questions, the panel, particularly Pablo Medina, will apply them to Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs, which are featured in the April 11 NightCap performance following the full-orchestra concert.

Seating in the Target Atrium is limited and will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis. This 30-minute Community Conversation is free; however, a concert ticket is required for entry.

Song of the Earth

Song of the Earth: Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde

Following the community conversation, join us at 8pm for a performance of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, a deeply spiritual song cycle reflecting on youth, beauty and Mother Earth. Tickets and information »

Complete event details »

This event is has limited availability. Please check back the week of the concert, as turnback tickets may become available. For tickets to the open dress rehearsal on April 9th, click here. 

  • VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers
  • University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble
  • Philip Brunelle, conductor
  • Craig Kirchhoff, conductor

It’s been 50 years since Professor Peter Schickele released P.D.Q. Bach on an unsuspecting musical public. And it’s been 80 years since the professor’s mother released him on a society ill-prepared for such singular genius.

And now, because everyone loves a birthday, Professor Schickele has reached back across the decades to explore the damp vaults and dusty attics of Leipzig to once again celebrate the twenty-first child (out of twenty) of the great J.S. Bach, called the “youngest and oddest.” This special, once in a half-century, musical extravaganza will feature the crème de la crème of history’s most justifiably neglected composer as well as works by the professor himself performed by VocalEssence and the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble.

Concert Activities
Concert Conversation at 7 pm with Peter Schickele.

Please note: The Orchestra Hall Box Office is pleased to provide ticket services for VocalEssence. The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. All artists, programs, prices, dates and times subject to change. All sales are final; no refunds. Prices listed include a non-discountable $3.50 facility fee. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Orchestra Hall Box Office or Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Offices. There is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

Complete event details »

HAYDN
Symphony No. 45, Farewell

MAHLER
Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)

Haydn suggests the unthinkable—the departure of the entire orchestra—in his Farewell Symphony, which ends when the musicians, one-by-one, stop playing, extinguish their lights and walk off the stage. The always-zestful Mark Wigglesworth conducts this grand exit, which fortunately for us all, is only temporary. Also magnificent is Mahler’s deeply spiritual song cycle Das Lied von der Erde, reflecting on youth, beauty and Mother Earth.

Download Program Notes (pdf)

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Join us for a late night post-concert chamber performance of Lieberson's Neruda Songs featuring Victoria Vargas, mezzo-soprano.

The sounds of Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda's magical poetry, set to evocative music for solo mezzo by the American composer Peter Lieberson, link musically and emotionally to the Orchestra’s performance earlier in the evening of Mahler’s Song of the Earth, a painting of Chinese poetry for mezzo and baritone.

Mahler's expressions of earthly beauty, life, transience and salvation segue harmoniously to Neruda's poetry, which outlines the transformation of human love to the love that lives forever. Lieberson, who composed this cycle for his own beloved wife, noted: "Neruda reminds one that love has not ended. In truth there is no real death to love, nor even a birth: 'It is like a long river, only changing lands, and changing lips.' "

Seating is limited for this 1 hour event. Ticket price includes a complimentary beverage. 

Complete event details »

  • Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, tenor
  • Angela Keeton, soprano
  • Seth Keeton, bass-baritone
  • Anthony Cox, bass/cello
  • Jeremy Walker, piano
  • Brandon Wozniak, saxophone
  • Tim Zhorne, drums

Ancient poetry meets classical voice and jazz instrumentation in an evening of musical drama composed by Jeremy Walker and Anthony Cox.

In this world premiere performance of “The Rage of Achilles,” the voices of Twin Cities performers—Minnesota Public Radio’s Tesfa Wondemagegnehu and husband-and-wife opera singers, Seth and Angela Keeton—blend with jazz piano, bass, cello, saxophone and percussion, resulting in a tumultuous and innovative take on epic literature.

About Jazz in the Target Atrium

Curated by composer and local jazz impresario Jeremy Walker, the four-concert series pairs jazz masters with the local Atrium Jazz Ensemble, all performing new music for audiences in the intimate setting of the Orchestra’s Target Atrium.

Listen to a broadcast of the January 22, 2015 Jazz in the Target Atrium performance

Please note: all seating is general admission. This concert will be approximately 70 minutes in length without intermission.

Broadcast Partner

KBEM 88.5 Jazz 88 FM

Tune in to Jazz88’s Saturday night program Tempo to hear selections from the Jazz in the Target Atrium concerts. These JITA broadcasts are typically aired eight days following the live concert and are also available on-demand on the Jazz88 website for two weeks following the broadcast date.

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  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Aram Demirjian, conductor

Come to this concert and you’ll be one of the luckiest people in the world: not only will you hear beloved songs from megastar Barbra Streisand's astonishing career—you’ll enjoy the stellar interpretations of the award-winning, multi-talented audience favorite Ann Hampton Callaway.

She's uniquely qualified to present Ms. Streisand's music, having written songs for seven of Barbra's latest CDs, including “I’ve Dreamed of You,” which Streisand sang at her wedding to James Brolin. From supper clubs to Broadway to TV to movies to symphony halls, Callaway is a consummate performer, she shines with Streisand's monumental contribution to the Great American Songbook.

Download Program Notes (pdf)

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Now in its 10th year, this is an annual high school choral festival co-sponsored by Concordia University, St. Paul and the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota.

Seven choirs will each present a 10 minute program, concluding the evening with the 450 voices singing in two massed choir pieces led by nationally renowned guest conductor Dr. Janet Galvan of Ithaca College in New York.

The choirs participating are:

  • Concordia University, St. Paul
  • Christus Chorus (David Mennicke, Conductor and Festival Coordinator)

Six Minnesota high school choirs chosen by state-wide competitive audition:

  • Austin High School Concert Choir, Brian Johnson, conductor
  • Detroit Lakes High School Laker Singers, Kathryn Larson, conductor
  • Hastings High School Select Chorale, Lin Warren, conductor
  • Mound Westonka High School Concert Choir, Kate Larson, conductor
  • Princeton High School Concert Choir, Mark Potvin, conductor
  • Roseville Area High School Cantus Certus, Jami Lercher, conductor

This performance is approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with no intermission.

Please note: The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. All artists, programs, prices, dates and times subject to change. All sales are final; no refunds. Prices listed include a non-discountable $2.50 facility fee. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Orchestra Hall Box Office or Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Offices. There is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

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GRIFFES
The Pleasure Dome of Kubla-Khan

RACHMANINOFF
Piano Concerto No. 3

STRAVINSKY
The Rite of Spring

Riots broke out when Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris in 1913. Audiences were shocked by its themes of pagan worship and virgin sacrifice. A century later, this groundbreaking masterpiece is as riveting as ever. Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern conducts this exciting program, which also features Rachmaninoff’s demanding Third Piano Concerto performed by the outstanding Simon Trpčeski. The concert opens with Griffes’ The Pleasure Dome of Kubla-Khan, inspired by the Coleridge poem about paradise, both sacred and savage.

Download Program Notes (pdf)

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For over forty years Minnesota Youth Symphonies has inspired talented K-12 musicians and amazed audiences with performances of great orchestral literature. Please join us for the finale concert of our 2014-15 Season and enjoy performances by all four MYS orchestras, and all-star lineup of special guest artists.

Kat Perkins, singer and season 6 contestant on NBC's The Voice, will perform Skyfall with the MYS Philharmonic Orchestra, and The Minnesota Chorale will join the MYS Symphony Orchestra for a performance of Verdi's Requiem, featuring soloists Sofia Ardalan, soprano, Susan Sacquitne Druck, mezzo, John deCausmeaker, tenor, and Nathan Petersen-Kindem, baritone.

Other performance highlights include music from Disney's Aladdin, The Symphonic Suite from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Barber of Seville, and much more!

The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. All artists, programs, prices, dates and times subject to change. All sales are final; no refunds. Prices listed include a non- discountable $2.50 facility fee. There are no service charges for in-person transactions. There is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

This performance will be performed without an intermission and will last approximately 2 hours.

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BERNSTEIN
Divertimento

HEITZEG
American Nomad [World Premiere]

COPLAND
Clarinet Concerto

GREENSTEIN
Acadia

A roster of Minnesota Orchestra stars headlines this homecoming concert of American classics. Former Principal Clarinet Burt Hara returns from Los Angeles to perform Brooklyn-born Aaron Copland’s famous Clarinet Concerto. Trumpeter Charles Lazarus takes center stage with the jazz-influenced American Nomad, a new work written for him by Twin Cities-based composer Steve Heitzeg. And former Associate Conductor Mischa Santora leads the program that also features compositions by two more New Yorkers: Leonard Bernstein’s witty, nostalgic Divertimento and Judd Greenstein’s multifaceted Acadia, which received its world premiere in 2012 in a “fiery, committed performance” (Star Tribune) and was commissioned by hundreds of Minnesota Orchestra supporters and the orchestra.

Download Program Notes (pdf)

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