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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:

Prokofiev gave the world a gift when he wrote the musical story Peter and the Wolf, here brought vividly to life by the Orchestra and actors who are alumni of Theatre de la Jeune Lune.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Roderick Cox, conductor
  • Theatre de la Jeune Lune alumni

Read program notes (pdf)

More Details:

  • Young listeners will recognize the personality of each character within the music: sprightly strings for the adventurous Peter, a bassoon for his stern Grandfather, and other instruments for the bird, duck, cat, hunters and the stealthy wolf.

Join us at 11:45am and 1:45pm 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:

The Harry Potter™ film series is one of those once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomena that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. This concert will feature the Minnesota Orchestra performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Nicholas Buc, conductor

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Read program notes (pdf)

More Details:

  • Audiences will be able to relive the magic of the film in high-definition on a giant screen while hearing the orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score.
  • This enchanting film earned three Oscar® nominations and is the first entry in the most successful movie series in box-office history!
  • In this adaptation of J.K. Rowling's delightful bestseller, Harry Potter learns on his 11th birthday that he is the orphaned first son of two powerful wizards and possesses magical powers of his own.
  • At Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. He learns the high-flying sport Quidditch and plays a thrilling game with living chess pieces on his way to face a Dark wizard bent on destroying him.
  • Happy 15th Anniversary! It may seem like yesterday, but the original theatrical release date was November 16, 2001.

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.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s16)

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About this Concert:

The Tonight Show's legendary alumnus Doc Severinsen will kick your holiday spirit into high gear with a perennial extravaganza complete with choral favorites, big band showstoppers and the traditional sing-along.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Doc Severinsen, conductor and trumpet
  • Minnesota Chorale
  • Twin Cities Bronze

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More Details:

  • Doc Severinsen became the Minnesota Orchestra’s pops conductor laureate in April 2007, after completing 14 seasons as principal pops conductor.
  • He has been wowing audiences with his trumpeting prowess—and outrageous outfits—since his days leading The Tonight Show Band for Johnny Carson.
  • Besides being a fixture for 30 years on The Tonight Show, Doc was also a sideman on Lena Horne’s immortal Stormy Weather.
  • 89 years young, Doc Severinsen is still an unbelievable force of nature and a horn player par excellence.

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About this Concert:

This 1947 beloved holiday classic stars Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore—hear it in a whole new light as we screen the complete film in Orchestra Hall with the Minnesota Orchestra performing Dimitri Tiomkin’s iconic score live.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor

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More Details:

  • It’s a Wonderful Life is the classic tale of a small-town man who overcomes a crisis of faith with a little angelic intervention.
  • The film was not a box office success when it first came out, but is now ranked #1 on the American Film Institute’s list of the most inspirational American films of all time.
  • Director Frank Capra called it his favorite work, and screened it for his family every Christmas.
  • Dimitri Tiomkin (who composed the score) is a Hollywood music legend, and also wrote the themes for the TV westerns Rawhide and Gunslinger plus other classics such as High Noon and Dial M for Murder.
  • One of the writers for this touching script was the sharp-tongued Dorothy Parker! 

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.

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About this Concert:

From The Four Seasons to the Holiday Season (with the Beatles, Motown and more '60s classics in between), The Midtown Men—Broadway's Jersey Boys—will deck Orchestra Hall with timeless tunes, top-shelf choreography and incredible vocal performances!

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More Details:

  • Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and J. Robert Spencer logged over a thousand performances as the Jersey Boys on Broadway before hitting the road as The Midtown Men.
  • True to their Jersey roots, The Midtown Men turned to Steven Van Zandt and other members of Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band for help with their first radio single, “All Alone on Christmas.”
  • Christian Hoff made his Broadway debut in the Tony and Grammy Award-winning The Who’s Tommy (and recorded Grammy Award-winning cast albums for both Jersey Boys and Tommy.)
  • Reaching beyond the stage, The Midtown Men have also delighted television audiences with performances on Good Morning America, Access Hollywood, Katie, and The Chew.
  • The Midtown Men had the distinct honor of opening the National Tree Lighting Ceremony at the White House.

Please note: The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. The Midtown Men is not a performance of and not affiliated with the show Jersey Boys.

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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

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.

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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.

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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
  • Roderick Cox, 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:

  • 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.

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