Slovakian conductor Juraj Valčuha leads Minnesota Orchestra in October 23 and 24 concerts of Strauss’ Don Juan, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the latter featuring violinist Jennifer Koh as soloist
The Minnesota Orchestra welcomes Slovakian conductor Juraj Valčuha, a rising star in the symphonic world, for his debut with the Orchestra, as he teams with American violinist Jennifer Koh in a pair of concerts at Orchestra Hall on October 23 and 24. The performances open with Don Juan, one of Strauss’ most popular tone poems, famous for the virtuosity of the orchestral parts, and conclude with Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, another tour de force for the entire ensemble. At the program’s core, violinist Jennifer Koh returns to Orchestra Hall for the first time since 2009, performing Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto, one of the great violin masterworks of the early 20th century.
These concerts are performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Friday, October 23, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 24, at 8 p.m, with ticket prices ranging from $29 to $96. Tickets are available online at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For purchasing details, refer to the section at the conclusion of this press release.
Juraj Valčuha, conductor
Juraj Valčuha (pronounced YOO-rye VAL-choo-ah) is chief conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Turin, Italy, with which he has toured to music centers including the Vienna Musikverein and Berlin’s Philharmonie. He has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Vienna Symphony, Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Santa Cecilia Orchestra of Rome and other orchestras across Europe and Asia, as well as major U.S. orchestras coast to coast. Valčuha has also led operas at La Fenice in Venice, Milan’s La Scala and the major houses of Naples, Bologna and Florence. A native of Bratislava, Slovakia, he studied composition and conducting there and in Paris, as well as with Ilya Musin in St. Petersburg. For more information, visit vermont-classics.com.
Jennifer Koh, violin
Violinist Jennifer Koh is known for her virtuosic performances of a vast range of repertoire, her affinity for the works of Bach in particular, and for commissioning and premiering new works. She performs regularly with leading orchestras around the globe and gives recitals at major music centers and festivals. In her last appearance here, in 2009, Koh gave premiere performances of Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Room, co-commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. That same year she debuted “Bach and Beyond,” a recital series exploring the history of the solo violin; next, her “Two x Four” project paired Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with newly commissioned double concertos; and her new recital series this season, “Bridge to Beethoven,” presents new violin works commissioned as pairings with Beethoven’s ten violin sonatas. For more information, visit opus3artists.com or musicbridge.org.
An adventurous classic and concertos for both soloist and orchestra
Strauss’ symphonic poem tells of Don Juan’s romantic exploits, disillusionment with life and ultimate death in a swordfight; notable are the work’s mighty horn calls, sweeping violin music and gorgeous cantilena for solo oboe.
The First Violin Concerto of Szymanowski is a work of passion and lyricism. Its single movement opens with brilliant flashes of sound, then continues with hints of humor and extended passages of joyful, carefree song.
In his Concerto for Orchestra, Bartók upended the concerto form by treating each section of instruments in a soloistic and virtuosic manner. The mood progresses from stern to spooky to life-affirming, with two witty scherzos scattered into the mix. Upon the work’s 1944 premiere, conductor Serge Koussevitzky called it “the best orchestral piece of the last 25 years.”
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
STRAUSS’ DON JUAN
Friday, October 23, 2015, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, October 24, 2015, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Juraj Valčuha, conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin
STRAUSS Don Juan
SZYMANOWSKI Violin Concerto No. 1
BARTOK Concerto for Orchestra
Friday, October 23: The Minnesota Orchestra is collaborating with the University of Minnesota to offer specially-planned activities exclusively for students with a valid University of Minnesota student ID. Check minnesotaorchestra.org for more details soon.
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Subscription packages and individual tickets 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 of $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 2015-16 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