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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Vänskä conducts new music by emerging composers at 2017-18 "Future Classics" Concert, Nov. 10

The 15th annual Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute takes place at Orchestra Hall, November 6 through 10

“Future Classics” performance features new orchestral music by seven emerging composers, conducted by Music Director Osmo Vänskä; concert hosted by Fred Child of Performance Today 

Composers spend one week in Orchestra’s award-winning professional training program, co-presented with the American Composers Forum, under the direction of Kevin Puts, winner of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize

The Minnesota Orchestra performs new orchestral works by seven of today’s top emerging composers in its annual Future Classics concert, played under the baton of Music Director Osmo Vänskä. The concert, held on Friday, November 10, is the capstone of the 15th Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, co-presented with the American Composers Forum; the program has consistently earned national recognition. Returning for his fourth year as the director of the Composer Institute is Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts.

“I can't imagine seven young composers who better represent today's richly diverse musical landscape,” said Puts. All seven featured composers will be present to introduce their music at the concert, which will be emceed by Fred Child, who hosts American Public Media’s Performance Today.

The Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute is generously supported by the Amphion Foundation, the American Composers Forum and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. The November 2017 Composer Institute honors the memory of Hella Mears Hueg, a long-time supporter of new music and generous funder of the Institute, who passed away last spring.           

The concert is performed at the Minnesota Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Friday, November 10, at 8 p.m., with tickets priced from $20 to $40. Individual tickets and subscription packages for all 2017-18 season concerts are available at and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, see the information section at the conclusion of this press release.

Seven composers on the rise
Collectively, the program’s seven featured composers have studied at some of the nation’s top universities and conservatories including the Curtis Institute of Music, the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Yale University, Columbia University, McGill University, MIT, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Cornell University and the Juilliard School. In addition, the composers have garnered numerous awards, grants and fellowships from prestigious organizations such as the Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, BMI, the McKnight Foundation, the Fulbright Program and the Aspen Music Festival. The pieces on this year’s Future Classics concert encompass a variety of musical styles, and most will receive their first performance by a major American orchestra during the concert.  

Saad Haddad’s new work, Takht, brings the timbres and character of a traditional Middle Eastern musical ensemble to the modern American orchestra. Andrew Hsu, who finds inspiration in text by poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, describes his work vale as a composition of “transformation, and by extension, transcendence, and further, redemption.” Mosaic, by Charles Peck, is a sonic realization of the visual art by the same name—the work starts with an up-close look at the tiniest details and gradually expands to showcase the musical image as a whole. Hilary Purrington was motivated by poet William Meredith’s perspective on constellations in her new composition, Likely Pictures in Haphazard Sky. In Small Talk, Daniel Schlosberg reverses the traditional roles of percussion and strings, exploring new and unexpected sounds within each section of the ensemble.  Peter Shin’s Relapse was created out of the composer’s desire to better understand his Asian-American heritage and identity. Including harmonies from traditional Korean folk songs, Shin’s work illustrates “the waves of doubt which—six years ago—would constantly disrupt my sense of belonging.” Agnosco Veteris, by Nina C. Young, is one of a partnered set of compositions loosely based on quotes found in the literary works of Virgil and Dante.

Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute: 15th Anniversary
The Composer Institute, widely recognized as a leading professional training program for emerging symphonic composers, is co-presented by the Minnesota Orchestra and the American Composers Forum. Now in its fourth year under the direction of winner Kevin Puts, the Institute was founded in 2002 as an outgrowth of the Orchestra’s Perfect Pitch program, an annual series of new music reading sessions for Minnesota composers launched during the 1995-96 season. Many of the 127 composers who have previously taken part in Perfect Pitch and the Composer Institute have gone on to receive major commissions, awards, grants and additional performances of their works.

“The American Composers Forum is committed to nurturing the talent of living composers, and through the Composer Institute, we help ensure that the future of new orchestral music is vibrant and strong,” says American Composers Forum President John Nuechterlein. The St. Paul-based organization manages the Institute’s score submission process, brings word of the program to its large body of constituents and offers advice and resources, continually helping to fine-tune and expand the program.

The Institute’s seminars bring composers directly in contact with professionals who can offer guidance in areas not typically explored in classroom settings, including aspects of building a career as a composer, legal issues, public speaking and self-publishing music. In addition, Minnesota Orchestra musicians will offer practical guidance on writing for specific instruments and sections of the orchestra.

The 2017-18 Composer Institute’s seminar presenters include John Nuechterlein and William Lackey of the American Composers Forum; Steven Lankenau of Boosey & Hawkes; Frank J. Oteri of New Music USA; music publisher Bill Holab of Bill Holab Music; Katie Baron of Alter & Kendrick Law; Diane Odash of the University of Minnesota; Minnesota Orchestra Director of Artistic Planning Kari Marshall; and Minnesota Orchestra musicians. Each composer also receives private mentoring sessions with Osmo Vänskä. A complete schedule of the week’s events is provided on the final page of this release.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concert

Friday, November 10, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Fred Child, host
Kevin Puts, Composer Institute director

SAAD HADDAD                                 Takht
ANDREW HSU                                   vale
CHARLES PECK                                Mosaic
HILARY PURRINGTON                   Likely Pictures in Haphazard Sky
DANIEL SCHLOSBERG                   Small Talk
PETER SHIN                                       Relapse
NINA C. YOUNG                               Agnosco Veteris

Tickets: $20 to $40


Individual tickets and subscription packages can be purchased online at, 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 (Stage Door ticketing is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lobby Box Office ticketing begins two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the skyway accessible 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 For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit 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 2017-18 season.

The November 2017 Composer institute is generously sponsored by The Amphion Foundation, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the late Hella Mears Hueg.

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.

2017-18 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute Schedule

(subject to change)

Monday, November 6, 2017
9:00 a.m.                       Composer Institute Introduction—Kevin Puts and Mele Willis
10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.     Publishing with a Publisher—Steven Lankenau, Boosey & Hawkes
1:15-2:45 p.m.               Self-publishing & Score/Part Preparation—Bill Holab, Bill Holab Music
3:00-4:30 p.m.             Harp Seminar—Kathy Kienzle, principal harp, Minnesota Orchestra 
4:30-6:00 p.m.             Public Speaking—Diane Odash, University of Minnesota; Kevin Puts

Tuesday, November 7, 2017
11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.   Participants Lunch—Hosted by American Composers Forum (Saint Paul)
1:30-3:30 p.m.              Legal 101—Katie Baron, Alter & Kendrick Law
3:00-4:30 p.m.             Percussion Seminar—Brian Mount, Jason Arkis and Kevin Watkins, Minnesota Orchestra percussion section (Auditorium) 

Wednesday, Nov ember 8, 2017
9:00-9:40 a.m.                Composer Meetings with Osmo Vänskä
10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.       Future Classics Rehearsal—led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä (Auditorium)
1:30-3:00 p.m.                 Strings Seminar—Kathryn Nettleman, acting associate principal bass; Silver Ainomae, associate principal cello; and Gareth    Zehngut, viola
3:15-4:45 p.m.                 Brass/Woodwind Seminar—Greg Milliren, associate principal flute; Gabriel Campos Zamora, principal clarinet; Christopher Marshall, bassoon; Herbert Winslow, associate principal horn; and Douglas Wright, principal trombone

Thursday, November 9, 2017
9:00-9:40 a.m.             Composer Meetings with Osmo Vänskä
10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Future Classics Rehearsal—led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä (Auditorium)
1:35-3:35 p.m.              Future Classics Rehearsal—led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä (Auditorium)
3:45-5:15 p.m.             Artistic Planning-Getting Your Work Out There—Kari Marshall, Director of Artistic Planning; Frank J. Oteri, New Music USA               

Friday, November 10, 2017
10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Future Classics Rehearsal—led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä (Auditorium)
12:45-2:00 p.m.            Feedback sessions with Osmo Vänskä
6:45 p.m.                       Composers Meeting with Fred Child, APM/MPR (Auditorium)
8 p.m.                             Future Classics Concert—Osmo Vänskä, conductor; Fred Child, host (Auditorium)
Post-concert                  Q&A (Onstage) and Reception (Green Room)


* Items in bold are open to the public. All other events are open to Future Classics composers only.
*All public Composer Institute events are held in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall unless noted otherwise.
*Schedule is subject to change.

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

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