Thursday Morning Coffee Prelude Series

Sarah Hicks | Photo © Greg Helgeson

A Minnesota Orchestra Christmas: Home for the Holidays

About This Concert:

The magic of the season comes to life in this heartwarming show of songs and stories featuring a new work by Minneapolis’ own storyteller laureate Kevin Kling and director/co-writer Peter Rothstein.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • Conceived and directed by Peter Rothstein
  • Written by Kevin Kling
  • Christina Baldwin, ensemble
  • Dieter Bierbrauer, ensemble
  • Kevin Kling, ensemble
  • Thomasina Petrus, ensemble
  • Alejandro Vega, ensemble
  • Robert Elhai, composer and arranger
  • Peter Ostroushko, composer and mandolin

Read program notes » (pdf)

Fun Facts:

  • You don’t have to wait until Christmas morning to be surprised, this concert line-up will include a roster of talented Twin Cities favorites—to be announced!
  • Kevin Kling is nationally known for his commentary on NPR’s All Things Considered. He grew up in Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove, Minnesota, and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College. Astrologically speaking, Kling refers to his zodiac sign as “Minnesota with Iowa rising.”
  • Peter Rothstein is the Artistic Director of Theatre Latte Da and has directed plays, operas and musical theater for the Guthrie, the Children’s Theatre Company, the Minnesota Opera and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre.
  • Principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall, Sarah Hicks has been involved in the creation of many original Minnesota Orchestra productions including A Scandinavian Christmas, A Musical Feast, That’s Amore and Springtime in Paris.
Adam Neiman, piano | Photo © Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 3 and Piano Concerto No. 3

About This Concert:

Here are hidden jewels from Tchaikovsky’s treasure box that dazzle like sunlight on fresh snow, plus his beloved, sweeping ballet score crafted into a new suite by Osmo Vänskä.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Adam Neiman, piano

Symphony No. 3, Polish
Piano Concerto No. 3
Swan Lake Suite

Fun Facts:

  • Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3 went through more birth pains than any of his compositions, starting out as a symphony (most of which he ripped up) before he turned it into a piano concerto (most of which he ripped up)—leaving only this beautiful single-movement work.
  • Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 was the last work he performed before his sudden death in 1893, but the Piano Concerto No. 3 was the last music he wrote.
  • Swan Lake, like all of Tchaikovsky’s ballets, holds dozens of short numbers and a performance runs for hours. In this performance Osmo Vänskä has compiled his own suite that tells the old Russian tale of the swan that turns into the beautiful girl, Odette.
Osmo Vänskä and Erin Keefe | Photo © Travis Anderson

Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Titan Symphony

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

Violin Concerto

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.
Daniel Müller-Schott, cello

Britten and Schumann

About This Concert:

Schumann painted the human soul at its most noble and lyrical in his beautiful Cello Concerto, while a century later during World War II, Britten created his touching Sinfonia as an impassioned cry for peace.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Michael Francis, conductor
  • Daniel Müller-Schott, cello

Sinfonia da Requiem

Cello Concerto

Symphony No. 6

Fun Facts:

  • Music in response to war: Benjamin Britten was a passionate pacifist and Ralph Vaughan Williams saw the horrors of war first-hand–each created powerful music against it.
  • Britten risked his career in declaring conscientious objector status at the beginning of WWII, and he left his beloved England for the States where his brand new Sinfonia was premiered.
  • Vaughan Williams was a close eyewitness to WWI’s senseless carnage as an ambulance driver to and from the front lines.
  • Daniel Müller-Schott was only three or four years old when he went with his mother to an orchestral rehearsal to hear the Schumann Concerto. When they got back home, he asked her if he could start cello lessons.
  • Daniel Müller-Schott shocked the music world in 1992, winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition at age 15.
  • When not practicing cello, Müller-Schott is often found on a soccer field.

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