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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Family Concerts

You’re Invited! 

Minnesota Orchestra family concerts offer a perfect opportunity to get your family together for a special outing. Enjoy cherished holiday music, go on a musical adventure or learn about music in a fun way.

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2016-17 Family Concerts

About this Concert:

You may think Romeo and Juliet is a grand romance like The Notebook, but what if it’s really closer to The Godfather? Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s take on Shakespeare's classic sees past the puppy love to expose the seedy, violent underbelly of Verona's feuding families.

PROKOFIEV
Romeo and Juliet

Read program notes (pdf)

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.
  • Prokofiev wrote his first piece—Indian Gallop for solo piano—when he was five, and his first opera when he was nine.
  • Prokofiev was just as good a chess player as he was a composer, beating the world chess champion in 1914.
  • Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet had as tortuous a path to its premiere as any piece ever written—it was first deemed “undanceable” and rejected, then bounced between ballet companies and bottlenecked over fears of official Soviet scorn.
  • Conductors love to rearrange the various numbers of Prokofiev’s ballet and create their own suites from it, often moving the score’s haunting ending up in the order or omitting it altogether.

Complete event details »

About this Concert:

A unique and extraordinary concert that champions the work of trailblazing young composers—a thrilling view into the crystal-ball of tomorrow’s music.

KATHERINE BALCH
Leaf Catalogue

MICHAEL BOYMAN
Tightrope Walker

JUDY BOZONE
Spilled Orange

MICHAEL-THOMAS FOUMAI
Music from the Castle of Heaven

TONIA KO
Strange Sounds and Explosions Worldwide

PHIL TAYLOR
Chiaroscuro

CONRAD WINSLOW
The Old Motion Parade

More Details:

  • The Orchestra’s Composer Institute is a week-long training ground for the nation’s brightest young composers at Orchestra Hall that culminates with the Future Classics concert featuring a live performance of each composer’s work.
  • The Institute includes nuts-and-bolts sessions on writing orchestral music and tips on how to make a living at it.
  • Composers often create their music today via computer programs that—while handy—can only approximate the sound of the various orchestral instruments. There is no substitute for actually hearing what works (and what doesn’t) when musicians bring the music to life.
  • It is rare for a major American orchestra to devote an entire week of rehearsal time, and a full evening’s concert to emerging composers.
  • Osmo Vänskä has programmed some past “discoveries” on Minnesota Orchestra classical concerts, giving young composers a stunning career boost.

Radio Sponsor:

Classical MPR

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About this Concert:

It isn't often that a composer is offered the chance to sum up his entire life's work in one massive, valedictory piece. But on his deathbed, Béla Bartók was given that chance, and his Concerto for Orchestra has become a beloved showpiece.

BARTÓK
Concerto for Orchestra

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.
  • Bartók had struggled with his health since he was a boy, but in his late 50s was diagnosed with leukemia.
  • Conductor Serge Koussevitzky visited Bartók in his hospital room and stunned him with a commission, asking the composer to get out of bed and write again.
  • The final page of Bartók’s Concerto holds the most riveting, life-affirming ending of any 20th-century classical piece.
  • That transcendent ending was an afterthought, and came only at the suggestion of a friend who saw the score in an early draft and thought the original, quieter ending could be pepped up a bit.

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About this Concert:

Local favorites with a national following, Minnesota’s own Okee Dokee Brothers combine their deep appreciation for nature with their bluegrass musical skills and make music that’s fun for the whole family!

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Benjamin Klemme, conductor
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers, folk group

Repertoire for the show will include:
Bullfrog Opera
Can You Canoe?
Jackalope
Jamboree
Rosita
Through the Woods
...and many more!

More Details:

  • The “brothers”—longtime friends Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing—also have loftier goals: to motivate kids and their parents to spend time outdoors and be creative.
  • The Okee Dokee Brothers got the inspiration for their Grammy-winning® album Can You Canoe? by paddling down the Mississippi River, of course!
  • Their music is “at times moving, at times raucous, and always rooted in a simultaneous respect for the natural world and the rich musical traditions of Appalachian mountain music.” —The Washington Post

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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About this Concert:

Through a fusion of film, dance, and music, this dazzling international sensation will take audiences on a live cinematic journey through modern Indian culture and society.

More Details:

  • Taj Express explodes with the sounds of India and Bollywood, capturing the vibrant, expressive spirit of the world of Bollywood movies.
  • Bollywood movies have been entertaining billions of people in India for generations.
  • Taj Express is a high energy celebration of new India’s pop music, Bollywood culture and deep traditions.
  • This production features colorful costumes, joyful dance, and thrilling live music.
  • The Times of India calls Taj Express, “riotous, exotic, graceful.”

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

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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:

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.

  • 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:

“Set phasers to stun.” It’s the Star Trek movie that relaunched a franchise, delighting long-time fans and first-timers alike. See the full film with Oscar-winning® composer Michael Giacchino’s thrilling score played live to picture!

More Details:

  • The film, set before the 1966 TV series, follows James T. Kirk and Spock aboard the USS Enterprise as they combat Nero, a Romulan from their future who threatens the United Federation of Planets.
  • The movie grossed over $385 million in the theater and was the only Star Trek film to win an Oscar® (for Best Makeup).
  • Star Trek composer Michael Giacchino also wrote the music to two cult TV favorites: Lost and Alias, also directed by Star Trek’s J. J. Abrams.

Please note: To enhance the clarity of spoken dialogue during this film screening and live musical performance, English subtitles will appear at the bottom of the screen.

Oscar © A.M.P.A.S.

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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.

Complete event details »