Showcase March-April 2015 - page 18

Minnesota Orchestra
Orchestra Hall will be resounding
with truly glorious music during
the months of May and June. A
particularly rich all-American
program features former Associate
Conductor Mischa Santora and
former Principal Clarinet Burt Hara,
as well as Orchestra trumpeter
Charles Lazarus, who solos in the
world premiere of Steve Heitzeg’s
new work,
American Nomad
Additional highlights will be delivered
by superstar composer-conductor Eric
Whitacre; the phenomenal keyboard
artists, all siblings, known as the
5 Browns; piano legends Garrick
Ohlsson and André Watts; and
Sarah Hicks and Sam Bergman, in a
Symphonie fantastique
-themed Inside
the Classics program. Osmo Vänskä
brings the classical subscription
season to a mighty close with Sibelius’
final two symphonies and Mahler’s
epic First Symphony, the
Orchestra travel to come:
Cuba this year,
Carnegie next
Good news for the Minnesota Orchestra keeps multiplying. Early
January brought word that the Orchestra’s relationship with BIS
Records was reactivated and the next recording sessions had
been scheduled for May and June. Soon after came Carnegie
Hall’s announcement that the ensemble would return to that
esteemed venue in spring 2016. Then, just a few weeks later, it was
confirmed that Osmo Vänskä will be leading our musicians in two
performances in Havana this coming May—as the first American
orchestra to be invited to perform in Cuba since steps were
undertaken to normalize relations between the two countries.
The Orchestra’s trip to Cuba will involve concerts on May 15
and May 16, as part of Havana’s annual International Cubadisco
Festival, which this year focuses on symphonic and choral music.
The trip, which will include community engagement activities,
provides a modern-day link to the Minnesota Orchestra’s storied
travel history: after a 1929 tour in which two Havana concerts sold
out in 24 hours, a third was added—and plans were immediately
made for a tour the following year. Among the works of Beethoven
programmed for those early Cuban tours was the Symphony No. 3,
, which will be presented again this year. Another Beethoven
attraction will be the Choral Fantasy, featuring the Cuban National
Choir and Cuban pianist Frank Fernández. The tour is being made
possible by a generous gift from Marilyn C. and Glen D. Nelson.
The following season, when Vänskä and the Orchestra again take
the stage at Carnegie Hall, it will be for an all-Sibelius program:
Symphonies No. 1 and 3, plus the Violin Concerto, featuring star soloist
Hilary Hahn. The performance will take place on March 3, 2016.
Each of these activities represents an important milestone for the
Orchestra, and we are deeply grateful to all who support these
artistic initiatives.
Please join us in welcoming a new chair of the Minnesota Orchestra
Board: attorney Warren E. Mack of Fredrikson & Byron, who received
a unanimous vote of support from his Board colleagues and accepted
the post shortly before this issue of
went to press. Mack,
who succeeds Gordon Sprenger, is a 40-plus year subscriber who
joined the Board in 1998. He brings to the job a wealth of experience
that will be invaluable to the organization at this exciting time of
renewed growth, and we appreciate deeply his willingness to serve.
About a month earlier, six of the
seven newest community leaders
to join the Board gathered for
orientation sessions that included
attending a rehearsal of the
“Star-Crossed Lovers” program.
Enjoying the experience from
a prime Balcony A location
are, from left,
Chris O’Connell,
Michael Langley,
Laurie Greeno, Rob Spikings, Matt Spanjers and Joe Green. Not present that day,
January 28, but leading a February 2 strategizing session with representatives
from the musicians, staff and Board was another first-year Board member, Aks
Zaheer. We thank them all for sharing their time and talents with the Orchestra!
news from the
board of directors
not to miss
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