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Events for March 2018

About This Concert:

Juraj Valčuha returns to conduct Rachmaninoff’s powerful Third Piano Concerto and Debussy’s shape-shifting picture of the sea, La mer.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Juraj Valčuha, conductor
  • Kirill Gerstein, piano

LYADOV
The Enchanted Lake

RACHMANINOFF
Piano Concerto No. 3

RESPIGHI
The Fountains of Rome

DEBUSSY
La mer

Fun Facts:

  • At six-foot-six, Rachmaninoff had hands that could span three notes farther than most pianists—one of the reasons his Concerto No. 3 is the most daunting in all the pianist’s literature.
  • The Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parent’s record collection and came to the US when he was only 14 to focus on jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
  • Gerstein won the prestigious (and slightly mysterious) Gilmore Award in 2010, bestowed every four years on an unsuspecting pianist anywhere in the world in recognition of exceptional artistry.
  • Debussy’s parents had plans for their son to join the navy, but Debussy rarely got close to large bodies of water and instead let his imagination set sail when he created his vivid orchestration of the sea in La mer.

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About Campus Night:

This concert, selected by our Student Ambassadors, features free extras for students in the Student Zone on the N. Bud Grossman Mezzanine. Activities start at 6:30pm.

$12 student tickets will go onsale Jan 8, 2018.

About This Concert:

Juraj Valčuha returns to conduct Rachmaninoff’s powerful Third Piano Concerto and Debussy’s shape-shifting picture of the sea, La mer.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Juraj Valčuha, conductor
  • Kirill Gerstein, piano

LYADOV
The Enchanted Lake

RACHMANINOFF
Piano Concerto No. 3

RESPIGHI
The Fountains of Rome

DEBUSSY
La mer

Fun Facts:

  • At six-foot-six, Rachmaninoff had hands that could span three notes farther than most pianists—one of the reasons his Concerto No. 3 is the most daunting in all the pianist’s literature.
  • The Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parent’s record collection and came to the US when he was only 14 to focus on jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
  • Gerstein won the prestigious (and slightly mysterious) Gilmore Award in 2010, bestowed every four years on an unsuspecting pianist anywhere in the world in recognition of exceptional artistry.
  • Debussy’s parents had plans for their son to join the navy, but Debussy rarely got close to large bodies of water and instead let his imagination set sail when he created his vivid orchestration of the sea in La mer.

Complete event details »

About This Concert:

Join us for a family concert sure to delight audiences of all ages!

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Akiko Fujimoto, conductor

More Details:

  • This concert will feature two of the Minnesota Orchestra’s very own—Steven Campbell (tuba) and Roma Duncan (piccolo)—as we explore music that tells a story of bumblebees, rivers, elephants and more!
  • Listen to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, two pieces of music inspired by the Mississippi River—Kevin Puts’ River’s Rush and Michael Daugherty’s Reflections on the Mississippi—and a special surprise duet for tuba and piccolo.
  • The Orchestra will then perform the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, but with a special, sporty twist thanks to the hilarious antics of composer P.D.Q Bach.

Join us at 12:45pm for Learning in the Lobby activities sponsored by Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra.

Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra

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  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Akiko Fujimoto, conductor

Recommended for elementary-age students
Some composers tell stories in music with fascinating results—painting musical pictures of people, places and whatever they see around them.

Fun Facts:

  • Orchestra Hall will come alive with the sounds of a bee buzzing and swooping in Rimsky-Korsakov’s beloved Flight of the Bumblebee, and with the sounds of the mighty Mississippi flowing in works by Kevin Puts and Michael Daugherty.
  • Students will also discover how composers create a new story to go with familiar music—as Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q. Bach) did with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
  • Principal Tuba Steven Campbell and star piccolo player Roma Duncan also team up for Kling’s The Elephant and the Fly, a most unusual piccolo-tuba pairing.

Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concerts are for schools, homeschools and families looking for an outstanding arts experience that is both educational and engaging. All orders must have at least one child (ages 1 to 17) and at least one accompanying adult.

Sign up for a homeschool workshop for this performance »

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About This Concert:

You’re invited! Pink Martini mixes a fabulous cocktail of swoon-worthy music and multilingual flourishes for a performance that will be the talk of the town.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • China Forbes, lead vocals
  • Pink Martini, ensemble

Fun Facts:

  • Pianist Thomas Lauderdale formed Pink Martini in 1994 in Portland to play at fundraisers for civil rights, environmental and educational causes.
  • Lauderdale describes Pink Martini as “a rollicking around-the-world musical adventure…if the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we’d be that band.”
  • Pink Martini albums feature a wide range of guest singers such as the Von Trapps (yes, the actual great-grandchildren of The Sound of Music’s Captain and Maria von Trapp), the late Phyllis Diller and Rufus Wainwright.
  • They’ve recorded in dozens of languages as varied as Turkish, Japanese, Romanian and Xhosa.
  • Lead singer China Forbes graduated cum laude from Harvard and her original songs have been featured in The Sopranos, The West Wing, Weeds, The L Word, Felicity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
  • NPR describes Pink Martini’s songs as “a globetrotting victory lap…all tackled with cosmopolitan sophistication and the playfulness of pop.”

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About This Concert:

No first symphony has ever rocked the world like Mahler’s stunning Titan—joyous and bold, the composer’s audacious wish to embrace all of humanity in a single piece of music.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Erin Keefe, violin

WEILL
Violin Concerto

MAHLER
Symphony No. 1, Titan

Fun Facts:

  • Gustav Mahler wrote his Symphony No. 1 on the inspiration of simple German folk tunes and poetry, and turned that into a fabulously colorful tapestry for brass, strings, winds and percussion, and perhaps the most daring first symphony of any composer.
  • Kurt Weill, who composed Broadway superhits like “Mack the Knife,” also wrote dozens of concert works as a young man in his native Germany.
  • Weill shed no tears when he left Germany for America, and said, “The moment I landed here I felt as though I’d come home.”
  • When Erin Keefe was young, her father wanted her to study piano, but the front door of their house wasn’t big enough to move a piano in, so violin it was.

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About This Concert:

Celebrated screen actor, musician and winner of a 2016 Best Actor Tony Award for his role as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, Leslie Odom, Jr. joins the Minnesota Orchestra for an exhilarating evening of jazz standards and Broadway hits.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • Leslie Odom, Jr., vocalist

Read program notes » (pdf)

Fun Facts:

  • Odom, Jr. credits speechwriting and oratory for getting him into the arts. He made his Broadway debut at age 17 in Rent.
  • He has a passion for horror movies, vintage '80s TV shows and ordering dessert first.
  • His TV appearances have included roles on NBC’s Smash, Law & Order: SVU, Gotham, Grey’s Anatomy, and House of Lies.
  • His self-titled 2014 debut album was partially funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign.

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About this Concert:

Please note: This concert has been postponed to a date that has yet to be determined. Ticketholders will be contacted directly with additional information.

For much of musical history, LGBT musicians and composers were marginalized and censored, even as they permanently transformed the landscape of classical music. In this concert, we celebrate the talent and legacy of composers who ignored convention to create lasting masterpieces.

Post-concert on stage reception.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • Sam Bergman, viola and host
  • Debbie Duncan, vocalist
  • Mary Louise Knutson, jazz piano

BARBER
Overture to The School for Scandal

COPLAND
Saturday Night Waltz, from Rodeo

POULENC
Allegro con fuoco, mvt. I from Sinfonietta

STRAYHORN
Lush Life

OLIVEROS
Dissolving Your Earplugs

HIGDON
Blue Cathedral

TCHAIKOVSKY
Andante non troppo, mvt. I from Serenade for Strings

MORLEY
Suite from Watership Down

BERNSTEIN
Lonely Town (Pas de Deux), from On the Town Suite

DAVIES
An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise

Fun Facts

  • Inside the Classics, now in its ninth season, features Minnesota Orchestra violist and host Sam Bergman and conductor Sarah Hicks. The duo explore classical music through conversation and orchestral excerpts. This Inside the Classics concert is part of the Minnesota Orchestra's Casual Concerts series.
  • Casual Concerts include: $5 pre-concert happy hour, local craft brew, and an opportunity to meet musicians onstage after the performance.

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About This Concert:

Enthralling legions of audiences in sold-out halls throughout the world, TAO: Drum Heart brings a fusion of explosive Japanese Taiko drumming, contemporary costumes and eye-popping choreography to Orchestra Hall.

Fun Facts:

  • "Taiko" is the general term for the type of drumming featured in TAO: Drum Heart; in Japanese, the word literally means "fat drum."
  • Since their first appearance in 2004, TAO: Drum Heart has played in more than 22 countries and 400 cities around the world, with 7 million spectators to date.
  • After performing at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, TAO: Drum Heart sold out every show of its first North American tour.
  • TAO: Drum Heart includes performances by both male and female Taiko drummers..
  • The Chicago Tribune applauds TAO: Drum Heart as “extraordinarily talented percussion artists, and seductive, alluring performers.”

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

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