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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Past Stories

Season Finale: Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Second

Cycling to the Symphony: A Noteworthy Experience

Osmo Vänskä and Yo-Yo Ma

Recent Articles:

Season Finale: Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Second

Our 2016-17 season comes to a close this weekend with performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, conducted by Music Director Osmo Vänskä and featuring the Minnesota Chorale.

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Cycling to the Symphony: A Noteworthy Experience

This article originally appeared on the streets.mn website.

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Osmo Vänskä and Yo-Yo Ma

The Minnesota Orchestra was honored to welcome living legend Yo-Yo Ma to our stage last night, performing Haydn's Cello Concerto in C major before a sold-out audience.

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Music, Painting and Debussy: Beyond the Surface

At this week’s Minnesota Orchestra concerts, Orchestra Hall’s Target Atrium will be transformed into a gallery filled with paintings, as Minnesota artist Mary Pettis presents a solo art exhibition titled Beyond the Surface, inspired primarily by the brilliant Debussy work, Images for Orchestra, that will be performed at those concerts. Mary has generously shared her thoughts on her exhibition, the inspiration for the paintings, and the interplay between visual arts and music.

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Program Notes: Season Finale: Vänskä Conducts Mahler’s Second

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, June 16, 17 and 18

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Program Notes: Osmo Vänskä and Yo-Yo Ma

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, June 13th

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A New Symphonic Fantasy at Symphony Ball

Symphony Ball is less than a month away! The Minnesota Orchestra’s gala fundraiser, “A Night on the Silk Road,” will be held on June 24 and will feature a very special performance by the Minnesota Orchestra. We caught up with Kenneth Huber, Chair of the Symphony Ball’s Music/Entertainment Committee, for a Q&A session to learn more.

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Program Notes: Mozart and Debussy

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, June 8, 9, and 10

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Program Notes: Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, June 2nd and 3rd

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Sound of the Cello

From the first time I heard a cello, I have loved this instrument whose lush golden sounds are the closest to the human voice.

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Common Chords 2017: Grand Rapids

The Orchestra headed east on the pine tree-flanked Highway 2 on Thursday morning, traveling from Bemidji to Grand Rapids—the home of Judy Garland, 1000 lakes and the Reif Center, where the Orchestra will play on Friday night.

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Common Chords 2017: Bemidji

Paul Bunyan welcomed the Minnesota Orchestra to blustery Bemidji on Wednesday. The Orchestra arrived here as part of a one-week, three-city Common Chords tour across Minnesota that began in the western part of the state with a Monday night performance in Willmar.

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Common Chords: Greater Minnesota

The Minnesota Orchestra embarks on a three-city Minnesota Tour, visiting Willmar, Bemidji and Grand Rapids to offer concerts and educational activities. Watch this space for photos, video and press coverage throughout the tour! Common Chords Home »

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The Violin in Greater Minnesota

Walt Whitman, the great music lover among our poets, says this wise line in “A Song of Occupations”: All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments.

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Program Notes: Mozart Sinfonia Concertante

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance May 11th, 12th, and 13th

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Program Notes: Haydn and Mozart

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, May 4th and 5th

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Program Notes: Lise de la Salle Plays Ravel

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, April 27, 28, & 29

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Program Notes: Edo de Waart Returns

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, April 21st and 22nd

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Meet a Musician: Dessa

Rapper-singer-writer Dessa’s upcoming debut with the Minnesota Orchestra is one of the most-anticipated programs of the season. The indie music star, a member of the Minneapolis-based Doomtree hip hop collective, answered a few questions about her music, kites, Broadway musicals and what’s in store for the April 14 and 15 concerts conducted by Sarah Hicks.

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Stanislaw Skrowaczewski: Reflections from the Minnesota Orchestra Family

The classical music world lost a legend on February 21, 2017, when Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director from 1960 to 1979, died at age 93. Musicians, staff, board members, audiences and other members of the Orchestra family shared their memories of Skrowaczewski.

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The stakes are high: it’s Game 163 of the 2009 baseball season, we’re in extra innings and the score is tied. We need the runner now on second base to score the winning run—a trip to the playoffs is on the line! It’s the most important game of the season, and I’m hard at work playing for the Minnesota Twins—playing organ, that is.

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Stravinsky's Rite of Spring

Spring came to Minnesota this weekend—and we celebrated it with Stravinsky's revolutionary Rite of Spring. Photos by Courtney Perry.

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Program Notes: Vänskä Conducts Schubert

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, April 6, 7, and 9

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Dessa, an EnviroRider and a greener Orchestra Hall

Minnesota-based rapper-singer-essayist Dessa is known for her incredible performances onstage and in recordings, including her recent single on the Billboard chart-topping Hamilton Mixtape released last fall. On or off the stage, though, Dessa is also a passionate advocate for our planet, encouraging all of her partners (including the Minnesota Orchestra!) to be as environmentally conscious as possible. 

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Still Crazy After All These Years

It was a disappointing move-in day. My new dorm at DePaul University in Chicago was not only a dismal, un-air-conditioned, cinderblock eyesore, but it was spitting distance from the Fullerton “L” stop. And it was eye level with the trains. I was bombarded by constant rumbles and screeches of trains, punctuated by the barking of a conductor: “FULLERTON...THIS IS FULLERTON....NEXT STOP... BELMONT!” On hot nights I had to keep my windows open, and the noise was even louder. I might as well have tried sleeping directly on the Fullerton platform. My first night in that building, I angrily counted trains instead of sheep.

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Program Notes: Rite of Spring

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, March 31st and April 1st

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A Night with the Minnesota Orchestra

Student Ambassador Alexa Sorenson shared this wonderful account of her evening out at the Orchestra this winter.

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Program Notes: Mozart and Beethoven

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, March 16-18

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Meet A Musician: Rebecca Albers

Member since: 2010
Position: 
Assistant Principal Viola
Hometown: 
Longmont, CO
Education: 
The Juilliard School

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Inside the Classic: Bartók's Farewell + Campus Night

On March 3, the Minnesota Orchestra dove into Hungarian Composer Béla Bartók's deathbed masterpiece "Concerto for Orchestra", with host Sam Bergman and conductor Sarah Hicks. Our fantastic Student Ambassadors also brought nearly 400 students to Orchestra Hall and hosted many free student activities for our spring Campus Night event!

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A Sunday Kind of Love

Last month we invited guest blogger Mandy Meisner to interview Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel in advance of his performance of a Bach Flute Partita at the January 22 Chamber Music in the Target Atrium concert. We’re delighted that Mandy has written us this follow-up reflection on the performance. 

Of all the days of the week, Sunday remains one of my favorite.

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Remembering Stanislaw Skrowaczewski (1923-2017)

On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, Minnesota Orchestra Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski passed away, at the age of 93.

Tributes to Maestro Skrowaczewski have poured in following the news of his death, and here are a collection of them that outline his life and legacy.

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Meet a Musician: Conductor Hugh Wolff

Familiar to many Twin Cities orchestra fans, Hugh Wolff was the principal conductor and music director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1988 to 2000. This September, he begins his tenure as the next Music Director of the National Orchestra of Belgium. He conducts the Minnesota Orchestra on February 23 to 25 in performances of Adès Dances from Powder Her Face, Bartók's Violin Concerto with violinist Karen Gomyo, and Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony. We caught up with him to ask a few questions before he arrives in Minneapolis for these concerts.

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A Night at the Museum

Although I play viola in the Minnesota Orchestra, I also work in a wonderful museum—one of amazing historic musical treasures that I get to marvel at every day. I’m talking about the rare stringed instruments played by my colleagues. Assembled in front of you is a remarkable collection of violins, cellos and basses of antique vintage, a few of which date back to the late 1600s. (You might notice that I didn’t mention violas. More on that later.) The point is, much of the “lumber” you are listening to is of coveted Italian ancestry and centuries old.

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Program Notes: Hugh Wolff Conducts Mendelssohn

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, February 23, 24, and 25

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Program Notes: Russian Nights

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, February 16, 17, and 18

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Future Classics: Emerging Composers Spotlight

Last week, 7 trailblazing young composers came to Orchestra Hall for our annual Composer Institute—a whirlwind week of education and collaboration culminating in a performance of their works on Friday night! Photos by Greg Helgeson.

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Composer Institute Blog: Post #3

I’ve just returned to my room after a brief breakfast with Mike Boyman and Michael Foumai before they head to the airport. Judy was supposed to join us, but I hope she is sleeping and having an awesome dream about tigers. Mike and I both looked a bit scraggly because we could barely sleep last night after the concert–our minds were still spinning. After such an intense and amazing week, we are all happy and exhausted. 

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Composer Institute Blog: Post #2

It is Tuesday evening and I am back in my hotel room after the second long day of presentations, meetings and fun conversations. Everyone is excited and jittery about the first rehearsals, which will finally take place tomorrow afternoon. We’ve talked a lot about our pieces and their potential issues, but no one has actually heard anything yet! Since the rehearsals alone will shift the week into an entirely different gear, I’d like to write a bit about what we’ve covered so far. 

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Composer Institute Blog: Post No. 1

My name is Tonia Ko, and I will be writing about the 2017 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute as it happens. I’m looking forward to seeing the other six composers on Sunday after my short flight from Kansas City to Minneapolis. (No winter weather joke here, because it is only a little bit colder). Starting Monday, I anticipate many mind- and ear-opening sessions with Kevin Puts, Osmo Vänskä, and the orchestra.

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Roderick Cox Conducts Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky

Associate Conductor Roderick Cox made his subscription concert debut this weekend, conducting the Minnesota Orchestra in works by Debussy, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky. Photos © Greg Helgeson

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The Magic Flute: an interview with Adam Kuenzel

This month we’ve invited guest blogger Mandy Meisner to interview the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal flute, Adam Kuenzel, in advance of the flute section’s performance at the January 22 Chamber Music in the Target Atrium concert. As Mandy notes in her introduction, a lifetime of music can often have the simplest of starts.

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Osmo Vänskä, Alisa Weilerstein, and Finland 100

Orchestra Hall felt more like Helsinki on January 13th! Minneapolis helped kick off an American celebration of the nation of Finland's 100th birthday, complete with Finnish folk music in the Roberta Mann Grand Foyer, a visit from Finnish Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsti Kauppi, and - of course - a traveling sauna. The evening's program featured music from Finnish composers Kalevi Aho and Jean Sibelius, and the orchestra welcomed cello dynamo Alisa Weilerstein for a stunning interpretation of Dvořák's Cello Concerto. Kippis!

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Florida 2017: Miami

The Minnesota Orchestra concluded its three-city Florida tour with a performance at Miami's Arsht Center on Tuesday. All photos © Justin Namon.

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Florida 2017: Naples

The Minnesota Orchestra launched a three-city Florida tour on Sunday evening with a performance in Naples. Playing at Artis-Naples, the major venue for visual and performing arts in this southwestern Florida city, Music Director Osmo Vänskä led the Orchestra in Finnish composer Kalevi Aho’s Gejia and Sibelius’ masterful Fifth Symphony. MacArthur fellowship winner Alisa Weilerstein joined Osmo and the Orchestra for a performance of Dvořák’s beautiful Cello Concerto. If the program sounds appealing, you can hear it at Orchestra Hall this weekend. Before returning to Minneapolis though, the Orchestra will first perform for sun-belt audiences this week in Sarasota and Miami. All photos © Erik Kellar.

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Program Notes: A Tribute Concert to Sir Neville Marriner

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, January 26th and 27th

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Program Notes: Roderick Cox Conducts Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, January 19th, 20th and 21st

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Program Notes: Vanska and Weilerstein

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, January 13th and 14th

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Meet a Musician: David Pharris

Member since: 2005
Position: Clarinet
Hometown: Columbus, GA
Education: Northwestern University

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Photos: New Year's Celebrations

We kicked off 2017 with soprano Dawn Upshaw and Music Director Osmo Vänskä, performing music from the American songbook as well as Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2. All photos © Greg Helgeson.

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Touchdowns Beyond the End Zone

Photo: Osmo Vänskä perform Beethoven's Fifth at US Bank Stadium, © Travis Anderson 2016.

The day was Thursday, September 15: three days before the Minnesota Vikings home opener game against the Green Bay Packers at the new U.S. Bank Stadium. Late in the day I checked my email—and up popped a message from Kärsten Jensen, the Minnesota Orchestra’s events, personnel and volunteer manager, calling for more volunteers to help with the Orchestra’s performance at the halftime show for Sunday’s game. Volunteers were to report at the stadium for practice the next day, Friday, at 8 a.m. It would also require a good share of Saturday and, of course, game day.

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Essay: Be It Resolved

Photo: Violinist Céline Leathead at the conclusion of a concert in 2015.

Making New Year’s resolutions is a rite of, well, each new year.

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Spirit of the Season Concert

We performed a free holiday concert with Shiloh Temple's choirs and dancers on Sunday! Here are some photo highlights of the evening, which Roderick Cox conducted.

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Campus Night: Student Ambassador Reflections

Photo: Student Ambassadors at our November 4 Campus Night, photo by Don Hughes

The first Campus Night on November 4 was a big success, as nearly 500 college students were part of the sold-out crowd that filled Orchestra Hall! All the credit goes to our Student Ambassadors who helped spread the word on their campuses about Minnesota Orchestra student ticket discounts.

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Peter and the Wolf

December 3, 2016: The Minnesota Orchestra performed a family concert featuring Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf, performed by alumni actors from Theatre de la Jeune Lune. All photos © Matt Blewett.

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Program Notes: Handel's Messiah

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, December 9th and 10th

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Osmo Vänskä: Recording Mahler's Sixth Symphony

The Minnesota Orchestra recorded Mahler's Sixth Symphony with BIS records this week! Listen as Music Director Osmo Vänskä describes Mahler's music and our recording process.

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Remembering Gifts

Audience member David Balto contributed this powerful essay after hearing Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conduct the Minnesota Orchestra in Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony recently.

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The Promise of the Blank Slate

Last summer, my almost-six-year-old learned how to swim. I sat at the edge of the pool, watching as he was launched forward by the instructor and managed only a few dog paddles before he was pulled aside for extra help. He tried not to cry; I peeked from behind a shrub. Later, when he stumbled, shivering, into his Stormtrooper towel, the only thing between him and quitting was the post-lesson reward from his teacher, a piece of candy clutched wetly in his hand.

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E.T. photos and more!

Were you at our E.T. performances October 28 - 29, 2016? View and order your fun photobooth pictures below, and be sure to watch the videos, put together by our friends at Intermedia Arts!

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Campus Night: New World Symphony

We're giving a big thanks to our student ambassadors who brought nearly 500 students from the Twin Cities area and beyond to Orchestra Hall for the first campus night of the 2016-17 season! The evening featured Dvořák's New World Symphony, Copland's Lincoln Portrait and guest soloist Esther Yoo on Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, as well as a host of student-focused concert activities.

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Meet a Musician: Mark Kelley

Member since: 1982
Position: Co-Principal Bassoon, currently Acting Principal Bassoon
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
Education: University of Nebraska

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Program Notes: Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Sixth

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, November 11 & 12, 2016

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Program Notes: New World Symphony

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, November 3,4 and 5

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Some Enchanted Evening

Last month we invited guest blogger Mandy Meisner to interview Principal Harp Kathy Kienzle in advance of her performance of Ginastera’s Harp Concerto—and we’re thrilled that Mandy has now written us this follow-up reflection on the October 1 performance of music by Bach, Ginastera and Paulus.

I am convinced that magic exists in the world. The kind that, as children, once washed our lives in wonder and possibility every day. It’s the same magic that, as we grew older, became harder and harder to find, until most of us stopped believing in it altogether. But in our hectic, digital, selfie-crazed time, in between the emails and the texts, the deadlines and the meetings, we still long for its return.

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Meet A Musician: Esther Yoo

This Fall, violinist Esther Yoo made her U.S. debut with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and then traveled north for her Canadian debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Her next stop is Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, where she will perform Bruch's First Violin Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä. We had the chance to get to know a little bit about her, why she loves Bruch's Concerto and much more about her very full musical career.

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Osmo Vänskä on Sibelius

Our friends at the London Philharmonic Orchestra produced a series of wonderful interviews featuring Music Director Osmo Vänskä on his beloved Sibelius. He conducts the entire Sibelius cycle with the London Philharmonic later this month. Video: 

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On the Road With Gail Reich

Photo: Stage Manager Gail Reich with Technical Director Joel Mooney at Usher Hall in Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2016.

Hours before and after a Minnesota Orchestra concert, Gail Reich is hard at work moving instruments and equipment, carefully handling the Orchestra’s precious belongings along with her fellow stagehands. A stage manager with the Minnesota Orchestra since 1992, she is retiring this fall. With the recent tour to Europe in mind, we’ve talked with her about what her job is like on the road.

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Skrowaczewski—Still Seeking the Infinite

We have invited Stanislaw Skrowaczewski’s biographer and friend Dr. Frederick Harris, Jr., to contribute the following essay about the legendary maestro’s remarkable career in celebration of his appearance with the Minnesota Orchestra this week.

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Program Notes: Josefowicz Performs John Adams

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, October 20-21, 2016

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Program Notes: Celebrating Skrowaczewski

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, October 14th and 15th

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Season Opening: Osmo Vänskä and Joshua Bell

Our 2016-17 Season launched this week with Joshua Bell performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto and Osmo Vänskä conducting Brahms' Symphony No. 2.

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Vikings Halftime Performance

The Minnesota Orchestra performed the music of Beethoven and Prince to more than 65,000 people at U.S. Bank Stadium yesterday. We'll post photos, press, and video here.

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Program Notes: Paulus Mass

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, September 29th, 30th, October 1st

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The Huberman Violin

My violin is over 300 years old.

Known as the Gibson ex Huberman, the revered instrument came into my life one fateful day during the summer of 2001.

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Wallflower: a Q&A with Kathy Kienzle

Photo: Stagehand Don Hughes captured this image of Kathy's harp in the airport x-ray machine at Glasgow, Scotland during our recent European Tour.

This month we’ve invited guest blogger and Minnesota Orchestra fan Mandy Meisner to interview Principal Harp Kathy Kienzle in advance of her upcoming solo on Sept. 29-Oct. 1. As Mandy notes: “It’s always the quiet ones that can surprise us the most. And the harp is one of them.”

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Program Notes: Season Opening

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, September 22nd and 23rd

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Peace in Amsterdam

Our new Principal Clarinet, Gabriel Campos Zamora, returned from his first Minnesota Orchestra tour with a unique story to tell.

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See You Soon!

Saturday August 27, 2016
It’s a cloudless morning in Copenhagen, and we are heading home, tired, but buoyed by the music and each other. Outside the concert hall last night, the cacophony and confusion of the Tivoli amusement park seemed to sum up the complex challenges that our staff and stage crew navigate so calmly and miraculously.

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Our Musical Heritage

Friday, August 26
We have just arrived in Copenhagen. Another unusually warm day, and we are trying to get our bearings. Tivoli Hall is a new venue for us; this is the orchestra’s first time in Denmark.

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Photos: Copenhagen, Denmark

One week, four countries, five appearances—and now the Minnesota Orchestra’s fifth European tour with Music Director Osmo Vӓnskӓ is a wrap. Landing in Denmark on Friday afternoon, musicians wound their way through the carnival-like atmosphere of the Tivoli Gardens amusement park to enter Tivoli Concert Hall for the tour’s final concert. “There is nothing better than playing great music with a great orchestra,” said Principal Horn Michael Gast. “We’ve loved sharing concerts with these international audiences.”

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Putting Our Best Foot Forward

Having joined the Minnesota Orchestra just two seasons ago, major international touring is a new thing to me. Last season's historic trip to Cuba was an unforgettable experience, but a tour of four different countries is very different. 

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Photos: Amsterdam

It is impossible to visit Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw without thinking of the musical greats who have performed in this space—Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Louis Armstrong. On Wednesday, it was Osmo Vӓnskӓ and the Minnesota Orchestra who had their turn on the famous stage, performing Beethoven’s Fifth in what Osmo called “one of the best, best halls in the world.”

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Photos: Edinburgh, Scotland

Tuesday was time to push forward to Scotland. Following a 90-minute bus ride to Helsinki, a two-and-a half-hour flight to Edinburgh and a slow line through customs, the Orchestra arrived in this capital city with barely two hours to spare before a 6:30pm touch-up rehearsal and an 8pm concert. The performance was part of the Edinburgh International Festival, generally considered one of the most important cultural celebrations in the world.

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Photos: Lahti, Finland Side-by-Side Rehearsal

On Monday morning Minnesota Orchestra musicians met and mentored student players from Finland’s VIVO Symphony Orchestra, a training orchestra that is made up of talented young players from all corners of Finland. Osmo conducted Dvořák's New World Symphony during the two hour session, encouraging students to focus on articulation, phrasing and playing ever-softer dynamics.

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Shining Bright in Finland

Saturday, August 20
On the flight over I found myself casually discussing jet-lag with Wendy Williams and Marni Hougham. “Oh, it never hits me hard travelling in this direction,” I said blithely in the Amsterdam airport, quite certain that I would not be the only person in Helsinki electrifyingly awake at 4am. And now, positively drugged, trying to wake up from a nap at 4 in the afternoon.

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Photos: Lahti, Finland

The Orchestra arrived in Lahti, Finland early on Sunday afternoon with just two hours to warm-up, rehearse and acclimate to the striking wood-and-glass Sibelius Hall before a 4pm concert. Our ensemble last played a concert in this city—located about 60 miles northeast of Helsinki on the shores of Lake Vesi—in 2004, just six months into Osmo Vänskä’s first Minnesota season. Now, after 12 years, Osmo and Orchestra demonstrated how they’ve grown together. All photos © Greg Helgeson.

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Photos: traveling to Helsinki, Finland

Photo: Principal Percussion Brian Mount settles in for the overseas flight.

We've arrived in Helsinki, Finland—all 115 of us! Most photos © Greg Helgeson.

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Readying My Cello for Departure

It's a little after ten. I've just come offstage following the Tour Send-Off concert. I change clothes and pack my concert attire in the orchestra wardrobe trunks, with extra shoes, a spare outfit, and a supply of strings. Just in case. (Thankfully, I'm not as prone to breaking a string as Tony is.) I don't want any emergencies!

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Perseid and Prokofiev

Photo: Pekka Kuusisto, who will perform Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Minnesota Orchestra on our European tour.

I don't know about you, but I fully intended to get out of bed at 3:30 am last week to see the Perseid meteor showers. How well did I do? Well, two or three shooting stars after dinner one night, and perhaps one more through my bedroom window when a car horn went off at 4am.

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Europe 2016: Photos, Press, and more

One week, four countries, five appearances—and now the Minnesota Orchestra’s fifth European tour with Music Director Osmo Vӓnskӓ is a wrap. Find videos, photos, press, and other information from our tour right here.

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Introducing Experience Cafés

Great music, sumptuous refreshments, the incomparable Andrew Litton on the podium and at the piano—what more could you want from Sommerfest? We have the answer: new this summer are “Experience Cafés,” a variety of interactive events and exhibits held at stations throughout the Orchestra Hall lobby and adjoining outdoor spaces at all Sommerfest performances.

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Program Notes: Otello

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, July 23

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Program Notes: Beethoven Triple Concerto

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, July 16

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Program Notes: Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, July 15

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Program Notes: Beethoven and Rachmaninoff

Please note: this program has changed. Read the press release for full details.

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, July 9

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Program Notes: Let's Dance

Download program page (pdf) | Buy tickets to this performance, July 8

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Meet The New Standards

The New Standards, the versatile piano-bass-vibraphone trio that has won a global following since its formation in the Twin Cities a decade ago, will take the stage for a first-time collaboration with the Minnesota Orchestra on Saturday, July 2. As they prepped for this musical mash-up, band members Chan Poling (piano) and John Munson (bass) talked to us about the Minneapolis music scene, Orchestra Hall’s first onstage bar and the joy of sharing music with fans. Complete concert details »

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Recording Mahler 5

We're recording Mahler's Fifth Symphony with BIS records this week! Here are some scenes from today's recording sessions.

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Season Finale: Vänskä Conducts Mahler's Fifth

In a season that opened with Mahler's 4th Symphony, Friday's performance of Mahler's 5th Symphony concluded the season in a blaze of orchestral glory. Christian Tetzlaff's reading of Berg's Violin Concerto was both energetic and refined. Photos by Greg Helgeson.

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