Two weeks of concerts, Feb. 5-6 and Feb. 12-14, continue festival spotlighting music inspired by Shakespeare’s writings; Christopher Warren-Green conducts first week, Yan Pascal Tortelier leads second
Programs include violin concertos spotlighting soloists Gil Shaham and Augustin Hadelich; Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Larsson’s A Winter’s Tale and Dvořák’s New World Symphony
The Minnesota Orchestra continues its first-ever Shakespeare Winterfest, a five-week series of concerts that explore orchestral repertoire inspired by the world’s greatest playwright, with concerts on February 5 and 6 conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, and performances on February 12 to 14 led by Yan Pascal Tortelier. Each week of concerts features a stellar violin soloist: Augustin Hadelich in the first week, making his Minnesota Orchestra debut; and Grammy-winner Gil Shaham in the latter week. The February 14 concert takes place at Northrop at the University of Minnesota.
The Winterfest, which runs from January 22 to February 21, comes to its third week February 5 and 6 with a program titled “A Winter’s Tale,” as English conductor Christopher Warren-Green leads A Winter’s Tale by the Swede Lars-Erik Larsson, inspired by the Bard’s late-period romance. Young German violinist Augustin Hadelich then solos in the majestic Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. The program ends with Dvořák’s New World Symphony, one of the greatest orchestral works ever written in America.
The Winterfest continues from February 12 to 14 with “All the World’s a Stage,” as French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier leads an early Mendelssohn masterpiece, the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a suite from Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, another great literary romance. Also featured are the Violin Concerto of Korngold, a work that incorporates themes from the composer’s own film music, performed by soloist Gil Shaham; and Hindemith’s Concert Music for Strings and Brass.
The concerts on February 5, 6, 12 and 13 are performed at Orchestra Hall, the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis. The concert on February 14 takes place at Northrop, the concert hall at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus. The first program is played on Thursday, February 5, at 11 a.m., and Friday, February 6, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $30 to $96. The second program is performed on Thursday, February 12, at 11 a.m.; Friday, February 13, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, February 14, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $79. Subscriptions and individual tickets for all 2014-15 season concerts are available online at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further details on purchasing tickets, refer to the information section at the end of this press release.
The Shakespeare Winterfest concerts are complemented by a variety of pre-concert activities in the Orchestra Hall lobby and auditorium. Among them are readings of Minnesota winter tales and blizzard folklore, read by local author and former Star Tribune reporter, Peg Meier (February 5 and 6); a concert preview featuring Phillip Gainsley, Christopher Warren-Green and Augustin Hadelich (February 5); a performance by ComMUSICation, a youth-centered organization that uses the excellence of the music ensemble to develop a transferrable set of life skills that fosters development into good teachers, leaders, citizens, and musicians (February 13); and a concert preview by Phillip Gainsley (February 12).
Local students were invited to have their writing considered for the pre-concert winter folktale readings on February 5 and 6. Two submissions will be chosen and read by Peg Meier before the concerts on February 5 and 6, and the chosen writers will be awarded tickets to a Minnesota Orchestra performance.
A full listing of Shakespeare Winterfest events is available at minnesotaorchestra.org.
February 5 and 6: Shakespeare Winterfest—A Winter’s Tale
English conductor Christopher Warren-Green takes the podium on February 5 and 6, continuing the Winterfest with a program that celebrates his countryman William Shakespeare. Opening the concert is A Winter’s Tale, a lyrical Scandinavian take on Shakespeare: utterly charming, sweetly pastoral music by the Swede Lars-Erik Larsson, inspired by the Bard’s late-period romance. Young German violinist Augustin Hadelich then solos in the majestic Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, which demands great virtuosity from the soloist. The program concludes with Dvořák’s New World Symphony, the Czech composer’s folk-infused work written during his three years living in the United States.
Christopher Warren-Green, music director and principal conductor of the London Chamber Orchestra and music director of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, works regularly with major orchestras in both Europe and North America. He was previously principal conductor of the Athens Camerata. He has led Handel’s Messiah with the Minnesota Orchestra four times, most recently in December 2014, and debuted on the subscription series earlier in 2014 in an all-Mozart program. This season he appears with such ensembles as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony Orchestra, and he joins the National Orchestra of Belgium on tour. Last summer he conducted at the Istanbul Music Festival. He has conducted at many events for British royalty, including the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton and the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.
Augustin Hadelich, one of the most prominent violinists of his generation, has performed with nearly every major American orchestra and is fast becoming familiar in Europe and Asia. These performances mark his debut with Minnesota Orchestra. Highlights of his 2014-15 season include additional debuts with the Danish National Symphony and London Philharmonic, as well as return performances with the New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Liverpool Symphony, among other ensembles. He is also artist in residence with the Netherlands Philharmonic, performs on tour with the Toronto Symphony and makes his recital debut at London’s Wigmore Hall. His first major orchestral recording, nominated for a 2014 Gramophone Award, features violin concertos of Sibelius and Adès performed with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. Due next spring is an album of Mendelssohn and Bartók concertos with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
SHAKESPEARE WINTERFEST: A WINTER’S TALE
Christopher Warren-Green, conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin
LARSSON A Winter’s Tale
TCHAIKOVSKY Violin Concerto
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9, From the New World
Music Up Close: Concert Preview with Phillip Gainsley, Christopher Warren-Green and Augustin Hadelich – February 5, 10:15 am (Auditorium)
Coffee Concert: Complimentary coffee, donuts and pre-concert entertainment in the lobby – February 5
February 12, 13 and 14: Shakespeare Winterfest—All the World’s a Stage
For the penultimate week of the Shakespeare Winterfest, French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier leads several musical selections inspired by great literary romances, plus a violin concerto starring Grammy-winning violinist Gil Shaham. The program opens with an early Mendelssohn masterpiece, the Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, written when the composer was just 17, and continues with a work championed by Shaham, the Violin Concerto of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, who achieved great success in the 1930s and ’40s as a film composer. Also featured are Hindemith’s Concert Music for Strings and Brass and a suite from Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, written for the legendary Sergei Diaghilev and his Ballets Russes. The concert on Saturday, February 14, takes place at Northrop, the recently renovated concert hall at the University of Minnesota that was the Orchestra’s home venue from 1929 to 1974.
Yan Pascal Tortelier enjoys a distinguished career as a guest conductor with the world’s most prestigious orchestras. A frequent guest with the Minnesota Orchestra, he last appeared with the ensemble in June 2014, leading performances of Orff’s Carmina burana with the Minnesota Chorale. This season he appears with such ensembles as the San Francisco Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He was chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic for 11 seasons and is now the ensemble’s conductor emeritus. Upon concluding his tenure as principal conductor of the São Paulo Symphony in 2011, he was named its guest conductor of honor. He is also the principal guest conductor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His extensive discography includes two recent additions: a disc of works by Florent Schmitt with the Sao Paulo Symphony, and an all-Stravinsky album with pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.
Gil Shaham, one of today’s foremost violinists, appears regularly with leading orchestras on prestigious concert stages worldwide. He last performed with the Minnesota Orchestra during the Orchestra’s European festivals tour in 2010, at both the BBC Proms and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Highlights of his current season include touring to major venues with the San Francisco Symphony; appearing at the Seattle Symphony’s season-opening gala; giving the world premiere of a violin concerto by David Bruce with the San Diego Symphony; and guest engagements with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Radio Symphony and London Symphony Orchestra. He has recorded more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs, including multiple winners of Grammy Awards. Last season he released the first disc in his long-term project to perform and record violin concertos of the 1930s; on it are live, in-concert performances with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, BBC Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony and Bavarian Radio Symphony.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
SHAKESPEARE WINTERFEST: ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE
Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor
Gil Shaham, violin
MENDELSSOHN Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream
KORNGOLD Violin Concerto
HINDEMITH Concert Music for Strings and Brass
RAVEL Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloe
Music Up Close: Concert Preview with Phillip Gainsley – February 12, 10:15 am (Auditorium)
Coffee Concert: Complimentary coffee, donuts and pre-concert entertainment in the lobby – February 12
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Individual tickets and subscription packages can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org, or by calling 612-371-5656 (612-371-5642 for subscriptions) or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit minnesotaorchestra.org. For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org/subscribe. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.
Published prices include a non-discountable facility fee that ranges from $2 to $5 per ticket. For single ticket purchases, there are no service charges for in-person transactions. There is a $6 service charge per transaction for all phone, fax or mail orders. Save $1 by purchasing tickets online or by having the Orchestra e-mail your tickets. (This charge is waived for subscribers and group purchasers ordering by phone, mail or in person.) Subscription packages are subject to a one-time $8 processing fee. No refunds. Some fees and restrictions may apply to ticket exchanges. All sales are final. All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.
The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2014-15 season.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations