Music Director Osmo Vänskä to conduct Ball performance at Orchestra Hall
The Orchestra’s largest annual fundraiser, featuring “A Night on the Silk Road” theme, is chaired by Paula DeCosse, Laurie Hodder Greeno and MaryAnn Goldstein
Dessa, the dynamic vocalist, essayist and hip hop artist who has sold out two upcoming April performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, will take the stage with the Orchestra in a new role this summer—as featured soloist in the Orchestra’s single largest fundraising event, Symphony Ball. Presented under the theme “A Night on the Silk Road,” the 2017 Ball will be held on Saturday, June 24, at Orchestra Hall and the Hilton Hotel. The event, which will explore musical and cultural influences of countries along the historic Silk Road that connected Europe and Asia, is co-chaired by board members Paula DeCosse, MaryAnn Goldstein and Laurie Hodder Greeno.
“One of our priorities for ‘A Night on the Silk Road’ is to make it as inclusive as possible,” said Co-Chair Laurie Hodder Greeno. “We sometimes hear people say ‘oh, I didn’t think of the Ball as something that was meant for me.’ We are emphasizing that the Orchestra is available to the entire community and so is its major fundraising event.” Audiences can attend the Ball at one of four levels, including a $75 “partier level” which includes entrance to the Minnesota Orchestra/Dessa performance at the Ball and post-concert party at Orchestra Hall.
Osmo Vänskä, Dessa and the Minnesota Orchestra
Music Director Osmo Vänskä will lead the Orchestra in a 9pm Symphony Ball performance that explores the varied cultural and musical influences of the Silk Road, the historic trade route that connected the East and West. Dessa will join the Orchestra to perform two pieces—including one new composition she is writing especially for this performance—and will subsequently perform a separate 30 minute set without the Orchestra that involves her own small ensemble of local musicians.
Dessa has a reputation as a bold artist who has made a career out of thwarting traditional genre distinctions. She has landed on the Billboard Top 200; published two literary collections; delivered the keynote address at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum; is a member of the indie hip hop collective Doomtree; and most recently contributed to the blockbuster The Hamilton Mixtape which hit the top of the Billboard chart. She is currently at work writing a book-length collection of literary essays that will be published by Dutton. Her April 14 and 15 performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, led by conductor Sarah Hicks, will mark her debut with the ensemble; those concerts are sold-out.
“The creative possibilities of the artistic collaboration between Dessa and the Orchestra are very exciting and bring a new profile to the Symphony Ball,” said Co-Chair MaryAnn Goldstein. “The diverse countries that connected the Silk Road also offer inspiration for so much rich musical material for the Orchestra that the concert portion of the evening is going to be thrilling and truly remarkable.”
“A Night on the Silk Road”
The Ball Chairs honed in on the Silk Road theme early in their planning process, envisioning it as a way to weave together throughout the event historic cultural, musical, performing arts and culinary influences ranging from the Turkish Grand Bazaar and Persian palaces to the steppes of Central Asia, the Indian Himalayas and the Great Wall of China. The event will begin at 5pm with cocktails, appetizers, silent and live auctions, and dinner at the Hilton Hotel, before guests move to Orchestra Hall. Following performances by the Minnesota Orchestra and Dessa, guests will be able to enjoy desserts and dancing in the Orchestra Hall lobby to the sounds of local band Synergy.
Since 1956, the annual Symphony Ball has raised millions of dollars in support of the Minnesota Orchestra, its musicians and education programs.
“It is a privilege for us to join the long line of community volunteers who have produced the Symphony Ball over the decades,” said Co-Chair Paula DeCosse. “The Balls have evolved dramatically over the years, but the commitment to support the Minnesota Orchestra, which is such a vital part of our community, has remained constant. We’re gratified that so many people have come together to pour their time and energy into an effort to bring in new attendees and make this Ball absolutely outstanding.”
Tickets for the full Symphony Ball experience, including dinner, silent and live auctions, Minnesota Orchestra/Dessa concert and party begin at $425. For guests who prefer to attend only the Minnesota Orchestra/Dessa concert and party, tickets are available at $75. To purchase tickets, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/symphonyball.
Saturday, June 24, 2017/ Orchestra Hall
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Dessa, rapper, vocalist and essayist
Tickets: Purchase at minnesotaorchestra.org/symphonyball
$75, Partier level tickets include Minnesota Orchestra/Dessa concert and party at Orchestra Hall ($25 per ticket tax deductible). Evening begins at 9pm.
$425, Promoter level tickets include dinner, silent and live auctions, Minnesota Orchestra/Dessa concert and party at Orchestra Hall ($275 per ticket tax deductible) Evening begins at 5pm.
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Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations
Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator