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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Andrew Litton leads the Minnesota Orchestra in two Sommerfest programs, July 28 and 29



André Watts performs MacDowell Piano Concerto No. 2; William Wolfram plays Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 3

Litton conducts beloved Strauss waltz program

Minnesota Orchestra musicians, joined by Litton, also perform a Sunday afternoon chamber concert in Orchestra Hall, July 30


This summer Andrew Litton bids a fond farewell to the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest as he concludes his 15-year tenure as the festival’s artistic director—the longest span of leadership in the history of Sommerfest. In the first of two weekends of Sommerfest concerts led by Litton, the Minnesota Orchestra performs three unique programs, showcasing Litton twice on the conductor’s podium and once at the piano.

First, on Friday, July 28, Grammy Award-winning pianist André Watts returns to the Orchestra Hall stage to perform MacDowell’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Also on the program are two jewels from Tchaikovsky: a suite of music from Sleeping Beauty and the composer’s Third Symphony. 

On Saturday, July 29, Litton conducts a wide array of Johann Strauss’ waltzes and polkas for orchestra, including On the Beautiful Blue Danube, in a concert tradition beloved by Sommerfest fans. At the center of the program, another Sommerfest favorite, pianist William Wolfram, performs Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Then, on the afternoon of Sunday, July 30, members of the Minnesota Orchestra perform a chamber music concert including music by Francis Poulenc, Anton Arensky and Richard Strauss, with Litton on the piano. This program also includes music from the films of Italian director Federico Fellini by composer Nino Rota.

All three concerts are held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis. Andrew Litton and André Watts occurs on Friday, July 28, at 8 p.m., with tickets priced from $30 to $70; The Danube Calls: An Evening of Waltzes occurs on Saturday, July 29, at 8 p.m., with tickets priced from $30 to $70; and Stars Step Forward: Chamber Music with Andrew Litton takes place on Sunday, July 30, at 4 p.m., with tickets priced at $30. Tickets are available at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.


Andrew Litton, artistic director
Andrew Litton, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest artistic director since 2003, has a distinguished international reputation and a warm relationship with Minnesota Orchestra musicians and audiences. He holds several additional major posts, notably assuming the role of music director for New York City Ballet in the 2015-16 season. He serves as principal guest conductor of the Colorado Symphony, conductor laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony and music director laureate of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic, where he recently completed a 12-year tenure as music director. Most recently he was named principal guest conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, which welcomes him to the new role this fall. For further information, visit minnesotaorchestra.org or andrewlitton.com.

André Watts, William Wolfram and Minnesota Orchestra Musicians

André Watts first impressed the music world at age 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to debut with the New York Philharmonic. Since then he has performed as a recitalist and with orchestras worldwide. His relationship with the Minnesota Orchestra has spanned more than five decades, from 1964 to the present. He has appeared on television programs produced by PBS, BBC, and the Arts and Entertainment Network, and his performance at the 38th Casals Festival was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2011 Watts received a National Medal of Arts, given by the President of the United States to recognize outstanding contributions to the growth, support and availability of the arts in the U.S. More: cmartists.com.

American pianist William Wolfram is a familiar figure at Orchestra Hall, having performed in more than 50 Minnesota Orchestra concerts since 1995. Most recently, he played Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 under the direction of Osmo Vänskä at the grand re-opening of Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis in 2014. He has appeared with many of the great orchestras of the world, and enjoys regular associations with the Dallas, Milwaukee and Phoenix symphonies in addition to Minnesota Orchestra. He was a silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions and a bronze medalist at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.

For biographies of Minnesota Orchestra musicians featured in the July 30 chamber concert, please visit minnesotaorchestra.org.

Sommerfest Entertainment

At all Minnesota Orchestra concerts from July 13 through August 5, audiences are invited to enjoy live music pre- and post-concert, and an array of food and beverage items, available for purchase both inside and outside Orchestra Hall. Featured food vendors include Blue Moon, Cavalcade Creamery, Curds & Cakes, Kramarczuk’s, Ten 01 Social and T-Rex Cookie, plus $5 Happy Hour specials. See concert details below for more information or visit minnesotaorchestra.org for a full event schedule.


SOMMERFEST CONCERTS JULY 28 to 30


Sommerfest
ANDREW LITTON AND ANDRÉ WATTS
with the Minnesota Orchestra 

Friday, July 28, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Andrew Litton, conductor
André Watts, piano 

TCHAIKOVSKY Suite from Sleeping Beauty
MACDOWELL                    Piano Concerto No. 2
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 3, Polish    

Tickets: $30 to $70

OH+ Events

Pre-concert entertainment provided by The Jeremy Walker Trio, 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., in the Target Atrium.

Vinyl Listening Stations curated by Hymie’s Vintage Records will be available in the Orchestra Hall lobby throughout all Sommerfest concerts.


Sommerfest
THE DANUBE CALLS: AN EVENING OF WALTZES
with the Minnesota Orchestra 

Saturday, July 29, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall 

Minnesota Orchestra
Andrew Litton
, conductor
William Wolfram, piano 

Program to include:

TCHAIKOVSKY          Piano Concerto No. 3
STRAUSS, JR.           Emperors Waltzes
                               Wine, Women and Song Waltz
                               Pizzicato Polka
                               On the Beautiful Blue Danube
                                               

Tickets: $30 to $70

OH+ Events
Pre-concert entertainment provided by Chris Lomheim, 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., in the Target Atrium; Post-concert entertainment provided by The Minnesota Orchestra Band in the Target Atrium.

Vinyl Listening Stations curated by Hymie’s Vintage Records will be available in the Orchestra Hall lobby throughout all Sommerfest concerts.


Sommerfest Chamber Concert      
STARS STEP FORWARD: Chamber Music with Andrew Litton  

Sunday, July 30, 2017, 4 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Andrew Litton, piano
Peter McGuire, violin
Susie Park, violin
Milana Elise Reiche, violin
David Auerbach, viola
Silver Ainomäe, cello
Katja Linfield, cello
Anthony Ross, cello
Arek Tesarczyk, cello
William Schrickel, bass
Greg Milliren, flute
Susan Billmeyer, piano

POULENC                            Sonata for Flute and Piano
ARENSKY                            Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky
ROTA                                    Music from the films of Federico Fellini
R. STRAUSS                        Sonata for Cello and Piano

Tickets: $30

OH+ Events
Pre-concert entertainment provided by Malamanya, 2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., in the Target Atrium.

Vinyl Listening Stations curated by Hymie’s Vintage Records will be available in the Orchestra Hall lobby throughout all Sommerfest concerts.


TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION 

Individual tickets can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Stage Door, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.); 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.); and at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, two hours before all ticketed performances. For more information, call 612-371-5656 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662. 

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

Sommerfest is presented by TCF.

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.

# # #


PRESS CONTACT:

Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations 
(612) 371-5628 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator
(612) 371-5625 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Gwen Pappas

Director of Communications
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Publications Editor
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Writer and Communications Coordinator
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Isaac Risseeuw

Social Media and Content Coordinator
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Communications Office

Minnesota Orchestra
1111 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
Phone: 612.371.5600
Fax: 612.371.7170

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