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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Past Stories

Inside the Classics: Speaking Truth to Power

Just added for the 18-19 season

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Recent Articles:

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

Full program notes:

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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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Bike to Orchestra Hall

This summer the Minnesota Orchestra is inviting the entire Twin Cities bicycling community to Bike to Orchestra Hall! Starting with the launch of Sommerfest 2016 on July 8th, show your bike helmet or gear at out Box Office when you bike to Orchestra Hall and get 50 percent off tickets to select concerts (see eligible concerts).

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Erin Keefe Plays Brahms

In this string-spotlighting program, star concertmaster Erin Keefe beams brightly as program soloist. Photos by Greg Helgeson.

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Cirque de la Symphonie

The magic of the Big Top was at Orchestra Hall this weekend! Were you there? Which part was your favorite? All photos by Courtney Perry.

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Inside the Classics: The Evolution of Opera

This Inside the Classics concert explored the evolution of opera from Monteverdi and Mozart to Bizet and Puccini. Photos © Greg Helgeson.

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A Horn for Havana

The Minnesota Orchestra’s historic trip to Cuba is (already!) a year in the past—but its impact is still being felt near and far.

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Carnegie Hall

The Minnesota Orchestra and Hilary Hahn performed Sibelius at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, March 3, 2016. Photos © Stephanie Berger.

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Composer Institute 2016

Top photo, L to R: the 2016 Composer Institute participants! Michael Gilbertson, Emily Cooley, Kirsten Broberg, Anthony Vine, Nick DiBerardino, Joshua Cerdenia, and Matthew Browne.

The Composer Institute 2016 came to its conclusion last night with Future Classics conducted by Osmo Vänskä. We present these photos from the performance:

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Beethoven Symphonies 8 & 3 (Eroica), Third Piano Concerto

The Eroica is almost a concert unto itself. Pair it with Symphony No. 8 and Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring soloist Yevgeny Sudbin, and you've got one incredible night of Beethoven! Photos by Courtney Perry.

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A Joyous New Year: Beethoven's Ninth Symphony

All photos © Greg Helgeson

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Merry and Bright

From an intimate version of Christmas Time is Here to a New Orleans-style Frosty the Snowman, acclaimed soloists and Charles Lazarus’ seasoned rhythm section and the Lazarus Brass— stellar Minnesota Orchestra brass players—brought energy and excitement to everyone’s holiday favorites. Photos by Courtney Perry.

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Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto

Natasha Paremski performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, conducted by Andrew Litton. The program also included Rimsky-Korsakov and Vaughan Williams. Photos by Greg Helgeson.

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Young People's: The Color of Music

Our 2015-16 Young People's season kicked off this week! We've got some great photos from our first concert, The Color of Music. Special thanks to students from Hilltop Elementary in Inver Grove Heights for letting us photograph their concert experience!

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A Musical Feast

A night of food and music at Orchestra Hall. Photos by Courtney Perry.

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Common Chords Detroit Lakes: Day 5

After five and a half years of brainstorming, planning and re-planning, the Minnesota Orchestra at last performed Saturday night at the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes.

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Common Chords Detroit Lakes: Day 4

With the arrival of the full orchestra on Thursday night, Friday was a big day in Detroit Lakes!

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Common Chords Detroit Lakes: Day 3

We performed for our biggest audiences yet on Thursday in in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota--some 600 students from Detroit Lakes Middle School.

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Common Chords Detroit Lakes: Day 2

Our second day in in Detroit Lakes included visits to nursing homes, schools, and even the local jail.

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Common Chords Detroit Lakes: Day 1

Our Brass Quintet and String Quartet have arrived in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota! Their busy day on Tuesday included a visit to Detroit Lakes High School, the library, and a Silver Sneakers fitness class.

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The Best Piece

By my count, I’ve played on a couple of dozen Minnesota Orchestra recordings in the 15-plus years I’ve been employed here, and there are more than a few CDs in that stack that I’m quite proud to have been a part of. But it’s no hyperbole to say that I had been waiting my entire career to sit down and make the CD that we recorded in the spring of 2011.

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Common Chords: Detroit Lakes

The Minnesota Orchestra continues its Common Chords outreach project with a weeklong residency in Detroit Lakes as the Orchestra and conductor Sarah Hicks travel to the western Minnesota city September 22-26 for a week of concerts and more than 25 events tailored to the Detroit Lakes community. Common Chords Home »

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Season Opening: Osmo Vänskä and Audra McDonald

Photos by Courtney Perry

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