Former SPCO Music Director Hugh Wolff leads the Orchestra in Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony, and music by Adès and Bartók
Violinist Karen Gomyo performs Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto
Former Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Music Director Hugh Wolff returns to Minnesota to conduct the Minnesota Orchestra for the first time since 1993, in concerts February 23 to 25 at Orchestra Hall. The program begins with a suite of dances new to the Orchestra’s repertoire, from British composer Thomas Adès’ chamber opera Powder Her Face. Then, violin soloist Karen Gomyo makes her Minnesota Orchestra debut in Bartók’s remarkable Violin Concerto No. 2. After intermission, the Orchestra performs Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony.
Following the Saturday evening concert, Orchestra musicians will perform a NightCap concert in the Target Atrium at 8:30 p.m. This performance features Bartók’s Duos for Two Violins, Nielsen’s Wind Quintet and Mozart’s Adagio for English Horn and Strings; a separate ticket is required.
The concerts are performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, February 23, at 11 a.m.; Friday, February 24, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, February 25, at 6 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $79. Tickets are available online at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the section at the conclusion of this press release.
Hugh Wolff, conductor
Hugh Wolff is among the leading conductors of his generation. He has appeared with all the major American orchestras including those of Chicago, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Cleveland. Much in demand in Europe, he has conducted the London Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Czech Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and the Bavarian and Berlin Radio Orchestras. In September 2017 he begins his appointment as the next music director of the National Orchestra of Belgium. He previously served as music director of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, with which he recorded 20 discs and toured worldwide, and as principal conductor of the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra. His recordings include a complete set of Beethoven symphonies with the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra and music from the Baroque to the present with the SPCO. More: icartists.co.uk, hughwolff.com.
Karen Gomyo, violin
Violinist Karen Gomyo, who was born in Tokyo and raised in Montreal and New York, has had extensive international appearances including solo recitals and engagements with many of the world’s leading orchestras. Highlights of her 2016-17 season include performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Philharmonique de Radio France in Paris and WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne. She debuts with the Barcelona Symphony and North Netherlands Symphony, and tours with the New Zealand Symphony and conductor Edo de Waart. She also performs in recital at the Sydney Opera House. Strongly committed to contemporary works, she has collaborated in chamber music compositions of Jörg Widmann, Olli Mustonen and Sofia Gubaidulina and performed the North American premiere of Matthias Pintscher’s Violin Concerto No. 2, Mar’eh. More: karengomyo.com.
Masterpieces from Russian composers
Thomas Adès found inspiration in the work of Stravinsky and Berg as well as the popular dance styles of the 1930s as he composed his chamber opera Powder Her Face. The music, which tells the tale of the infamous Duchess of Argyll, is both furiously energetic and markedly witty.
Bartók’s Second Violin Concerto plays to the violin’s lyric and dramatic strengths. The opening makes ingenious use of the 12-tone technique, while the Andante is a diverse set of variations on a wistful tune. The finale is a variation itself—a tart, “dancey” re-imagining of the first movement.
“…I am going to Scotland, with a rake for folksongs, an ear for the lovely fragrant countryside, and a heart for the bare legs of the natives,” wrote Mendelssohn shortly after his 21st birthday. The ruins of Holyrood Castle, which he explored on his first day in Edinburgh, inspired his Scottish Symphony. There is nothing concretely Scottish in the score; the nickname was derived from references in Mendelssohn’s correspondence.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
HUGH WOLFF CONDUCTS: MENDELSSOHN'S SCOTTISH SYMPHONY
Hugh Wolff, conductor
Karen Gomyo, violin
ADÈS Dances from Powder Her Face
BARTÓK Violin Concerto No. 2
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 3, Scottish
Tickets: $25 to $79
NightCap: A performance by Minnesota Orchestra musicians follows the evening program on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at 8:30 p.m., in the Target Atrium; this event requires a separate ticket ($25; or $10 for patrons attending the 6 p.m. concert in the auditorium).This NightCap performance features Bartók’s Duos for Two Violins, Nielsen’s Wind Quintet and Mozart’s Adagio for English Horn and Strings.
St. Paul Ballet performs a special demonstration of excerpts from the ballet Raymonda in the Target Atrium on Thursday, February 23, at 10 a.m.; Friday, February 24, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, February 25, at 6 p.m. This 40 minute pre-show event is free, but a concert ticket is required for entry.
For more information on this and other OH+ Events: minnesotaorchestra.org/ohplus.
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.
All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.
The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2016-17 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.
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Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations
Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator