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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Thursday Morning Coffee Intermezzo Series


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Vänskä Conducts The Planets

About This Concert:

Drawing on cosmic, Cubist and cultural influences, this concert is both nuanced and mesmerizing, featuring work by the gifted Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom, as well as John Adams and the ever-inspiring Gustav Holst.

*ROUSTOM
Ramal

*ADAMS
Gnarly Buttons for Clarinet and Small Orchestra

HOLST
The Planets

Fun Facts:

  • Roustom’s Ramal, commissioned by Daniel Barenboim for the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, was described by The New York Times as “propulsive, colorful and [an] immediately appealing creation.”
  • The Guardian praises Ramal as “arrestingly quirky and postmodern…music with lots of personality” and the Chicago Tribune has described Roustom as “a gifted and accomplished artist…one of the most prominent active Arab-American composers.”
  • Composer John Adams says the title of his work refers both to the “gnarly buttons” on trees, and the keys on a clarinet.
  • A fan of astrology, Holst based the narrative of The Planets in astrology, not astronomy, with each movement evoking the mythological characteristics of various planets.
  • Award-winning composer John Williams used rhythms and harmonies from the Mars movement as an inspiration for the soundtrack of Star Wars.

*This work is part of Minnesota Orchestra’s season-long exploration and celebration of American music. Learn more about our American Expressions festival in January 2019.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Thu Sep 27 11am

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Home for the Holidays 

About This Concert:

Hilarious and heartwarming, Home for the Holidays returns with a few new surprises, combining music performed by the Minnesota Orchestra and storytelling with a Minnesotan slant on Christmas and family traditions.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • Conceived and directed by Peter Rothstein
  • Written and narrated by Kevin Kling
  • Original music by Robert Elhai and Peter Ostroushko

Fun Facts:

  • The show features singing actors from some of the Twin Cities’ most beloved theaters and venues.
  • After last year’s debut and two sold-out performances, the Home for the Holidays  team returns with the program audiences loved, plus a few new elements that will surprise audience members of all ages.
  • In 1993, Kling won the prestigious Whiting Award for drama. He’s appeared regularly on NPR’s All Things Considered and won the 2012 National Storytelling Network's Circle of Excellence Award.
  • Our multitalented conductor Sarah Hicks helped create this uniquely Minnesotan holiday show in collaboration with Kevin Kling and director/co-writer Peter Rothstein.
  • A born-and-bred Minnesotan, Kling has lived in Osseo, Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove, Minnesota, and he graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College.
  • Director Peter Rothstein is no stranger to the Twin Cities arts scene. The 2015 Star Tribune “Artist of the Year” is also Founding Artistic Director of Theater Latté Da.
  • Audiences shared their enthusiasm for this new program with us saying, "Kevin Kling is a genius. What a funny and heartwarming look into Minnesota culture and nostalgia," and "I loved every minute! Will be back next year with more family and friends!"

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Thu Dec 20 11am

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Bizet, Mozart and Vivaldi

About This Concert:

From the classical genius of Mozart to the flawless romanticism of Bizet, this concert features lush, intimate and sparkling works for small orchestra, perfectly calibrated by conductor Jane Glover in her Orchestra Hall debut.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Jane Glover, conductor
  • Karen Gomyo, violin
  • Roma Duncan, piccolo

RAVEL
Le Tombeau de Couperin

MOZART
Violin Concerto No. 5, Turkish

VIVALDI
Piccolo Concerto in C major

BIZET
Symphony No. 1 

Fun Facts:

  • The Chicago Tribune has praised guest conductor Jane Glover’s “crisp and hearty authority” as well as her “wit and warmth.”
  • Jane Glover studied at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, holds a professorship at the University of London, is a Fellow of the Royal College of Music, and an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. She was a Commander of the British Empire in 2003.
  • Ravel served as a WWI truck driver stationed at the Verdun front, after which he completed Le Tombeau de Couperin, with each movement dedicated to a friend who died in the war.
  • Though performed here by our own Roma Duncan on piccolo, the Vivaldi concerto can be played on a recorder or flute. The flautino, the instrument originally specified by Vivaldi, was a Baroque instrument similar to a recorder.
  • While given the nickname Turkish for its Eastern-sounding influences, Mozart used Hungarian music as well as a ballet tune from one of his own operas for inspiration while composing this concerto.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Thu Jan 31 11am

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Vänskä, Currie and Copland

About This Concert:

Join us for the U.S. premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s homage to composer Steve Martland, performed hypnotically by Colin Currie, and Missy Mazzoli’s darkly evocative work inspired by James Tate’s poem The Lost Pilot.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Colin Currie, percussion

*MAZZOLI
These Worlds in Us 

TURNAGE
Martland Memorial for Percussion and Orchestra [U.S. Premiere]

*COPLAND
Symphony No. 3

Fun Facts:

  • Composer Missy Mazzoli, called “Brooklyn's post-millennial Mozart” by Timeout New York, won the Best Opera of 2016 award from the Music Critics Association of North America for her work Breaking the Waves.
  • Given its U.S. premiere at these concerts, Martland Memorial is Mark-Anthony Turnage’s concerto-style musical tribute to his friend and fellow composer Steve Martland, and was composed especially to showcase the percussion genius of Colin Currie.
  • A dynamic performer, Colin Currie has been named “The world’s finest and most daring percussionist” by The Spectator.
  • Written at the end of World War I, Copland’s No. 3 combined European symphonic tradition with the iconic folksong-infused style he developed in his ballets to craft one of the most exuberantly majestic American symphonies ever written.
  • Copland’s famous Fanfare for the Common Man was originally written as a stand-alone piece, but he later incorporated as the main theme of the fourth movement of his Third Symphony.

*This work is part of Minnesota Orchestra's season-long exploration and celebration of American music. Learn more about our American Expressions festival in January 2019.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Thu Mar 14 11am

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Stephen Hough Plays Mendelssohn

About This Concert:

Join the Minnesota Orchestra for world-renowned British pianist Stephen Hough’s precisely attuned and poetic translation of Mendelssohn’s opulent concerto as well as guest conductor Han-Na Chang’s dynamic handling of Beethoven’s towering Eroica symphony.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Han-Na Chang, conductor
  • Stephen Hough, piano

*SHEPHERD 
Silvery Rills

MENDELSSOHN
Piano Concerto No. 1 

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 3, Eroica

Fun Facts:

  • The symphony was originally written in honor of Napoleon, who Beethoven believed to a champion of freedom. When Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804, Beethoven was disgusted and changed the name from "The Bonaparte Symphony" to "Eroica."
  • The Eroica premiered in Vienna on April 7, 1805, and was grander in scale than most symphonies at the time. It was Beethoven’s largest solely instrumental work.
  • Ambitious in both its scope and its emotional impact, Eroica shattered conventional audience expectations that music was mere entertainment, containing no larger message or mission.
  • The St. Louis Post Dispatch calls Han-Na Chang “one of the most exciting conductors to take the podium” and praised her “inspired control.”
  • Hough discovered his affinity for piano when he selected more than one hundred nursery rhymes on his aunt’s piano. He went on to become one of the youngest students at the Royal Northern College of Music before winning a scholarship to The Juilliard School.
  • Hough rocks: When he was a guest on BBC Radio 4's cult hit Desert Island Discs program, he chose Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven as one of his musical selections.

*This work is part of Minnesota Orchestra's season-long exploration and celebration of American music. Learn more about our American Expressions festival in January 2019.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Thu Apr 4 11am

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Gershwin Piano Concerto in F 

About This Concert:

A pair of symphonic poems, an audacious piano concerto, and a folkloric work by Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski combine to create the perfect musical menu for late spring: lush, impressionistic and shimmering.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Andrey Boreyko, conductor
  • Orion Weiss, piano

BORISOVA-OLLAS 
The Kingdom of Silence 

*GERSHWIN
Piano Concerto in F

DEBUSSY
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun

LUTOSŁAWSKI
Concerto for Orchestra

Fun Facts:

  • The Baltimore Sun proclaims “Borisova-Ollas’ The Kingdom of Silence is beautifully structured…it begins and ends with exquisite subtleties.”
  • A performance of the Gershwin Concerto’s third movement appears in a humorous fantasy sequence in the film An American in Paris (1951).
  • Gershwin’s piano concerto premiered in 1925 with the New York Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Walter Damrosch, who described Gershwin as “the Prince who has taken Cinderella [jazz] by the hand and openly proclaimed her a princess to the astonished world.”
  • Debussy’s composition was inspired by the poem L’après-midi d’un faune by French Symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé, and was later used as the foundation for the ballet Afternoon of a Faun, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky.
  • Guest pianist Orion Weiss is one of the most sought-after soloists in his generation and has performed with many major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic.
  • Our guest conductor Andrey Boreyko “brings a strong…presence and a clear and authentic musical vision to the podium” says The St. Louis Post Dispatch.

*This work is part of Minnesota Orchestra's season-long exploration and celebration of American music. Learn more about our American Expressions festival in January 2019.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Thu May 30 11am

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Season Finale: Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Tenth

About This Concert:

By turns turbulent, calm, and ecstatic, Mahler’s Tenth Symphony evokes both despair and hope and Osmo Vänskä skillfully teases out the extremes to revel in their emotional depth for the sweeping season finale.

MAHLER/Cooke
Symphony No. 10

Fun Facts:

  • In his lifetime, Mahler was better known as a conductor rather than a composer and is considered to be one of the most passionate and greatest conductors in music history.
  • Entranced by Austrian military and folk music he grew up hearing, Mahler started rearranging and composing music on the accordion and piano.
  • Born a Jew, Mahler experienced racial discrimination in his youth and converted to Catholicism in 1897 to land a job at the Vienna State Opera, which would not hire Jews.
  • During WWII Nazi Germany banned famous Jewish conductors Otto Klemperer and Bruno Walter, who were known for their interpretations of Mahler’s work.
  • A Post-Romantic period composer, Mahler’s work foreshadowed the progressive tonality of the 20th century.
  • Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra’s newest major recording project of Mahler symphonies began with Mahler’s Fifth Symphony—which was nominated for a 2018 Grammy® Award.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Thu Jun 13 11am