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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Vänskä conducts Bach, Strauss and Mahler in concerts featuring soprano Katie Van Kooten

Music Director Osmo Vänskä leads Minnesota Orchestra concerts October 1,2, and 3; program features soprano Katie Van Kooten in two works: Strauss’ Four Last Songs and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony

Two concerts performed on October 1: at Orchestra Hall in morning at and at Carleton College in evening

The Minnesota Orchestra and Music Director Osmo Vänskä open the month of October by welcoming soprano Katie Van Kooten, who sings the golden and serene benediction of Richard Strauss, the Four Last Songs, which encapsulate what he knew and loved about the human voice and the orchestra. The concert opens with Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto, as the Orchestra begins a journey through all six Brandenburg Concertos over the course of two seasons. The program culminates in the Fourth Symphony of Gustav Mahler, which concludes with a child’s captivating view of heaven as painted by the master of orchestral color, with Van Kooten returning as soloist in the breathtakingly beautiful final movement.

The concert is performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, October 1, at 11 a.m.; Friday, October 2, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, October 3, at 6 p.m. [note earlier start time as part of the Saturdays at Six series], with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $96. Tickets are available online at and by phone at 612-371-5656. For purchasing details, refer to the section at the conclusion of this press release.

In addition to the three concerts at Orchestra Hall, a performance will be held on October 1 at Carleton College’s Skinner Memorial Chapel in Northfield, Minnesota, at 8 p.m., with the Orchestra, Vänskä and Van Kooten performing Mahler’s Fourth Symphony alone. For more information on this performance, call 507-222-4347.

Katie Van Kooten, soprano
American soprano Katie Van Kooten has thrilled audiences and drawn praise for her operatic and concert performances in the U.S. and abroad. She debuted with the Minnesota Orchestra at Sommerfest 2011, singing the Marschallin in Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. Highlights of her 2015-16 season include a return to Houston Grand Opera, singing Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, and a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Sioux City Symphony. In previous seasons she has performed in venues ranging from the Atlanta Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Royal Opera House at Covent Garden to the Baltimore Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic and Hallé Orchestra. In addition, she made her Japanese debut as Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. She is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. For more information, visit and

Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, the Minnesota Orchestra’s tenth music director, is renowned internationally for his compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires. In addition to the Orchestra’s historic tour to Cuba in May 2015, he has led the Orchestra on four major European tours as well as regular tours to communities across Minnesota. His recording projects with the Minnesota Orchestra have also met with great success, including the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for their recording of Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies on the BIS Records label. His engagements for the 2015-16 season include concerts with the London Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, German Radio Orchestra Berlin and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande—in Geneva and on tour to China and India—as well as with major orchestras in the U.S., Finland, Iceland, Korea and the Netherlands. For more information, visit

Brandenburg Concerto soloists
Four members of the Orchestra are featured as soloists in Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto: Concertmaster Erin Keefe, Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel, Acting Principal Oboe John Snow and Associate Principal Trumpet Douglas C. Carlsen. For full profiles, visit

Baroque masterpiece and a soprano in the spotlight
In Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto, the high-flying clarion trumpet, one of Baroque music’s most spectacular sounds, stars in the outer movements, while the Andante showcases the three gentler solo voices—flute, oboe and violin.

Strauss’ glorious Four Last Songs illustrate beautifully the composer’s lifelong love affair with the soprano voice. The vocal line soars and shimmers, leading us from spring to summer’s end, a welcoming of sleep and, finally, a restful anticipation of death.

Mahler’s sunny Fourth Symphony begins with a discourse on a simple violin tune and ends with a child’s view of heaven, delivered by soprano. A hint of darkness comes in the second movement, where death’s fiddle leads a beguiling waltz; the ensuing Adagio, a serene set of variations, is among the composer’s finest slow movements.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Thursday, October 1, 2015, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall
Thursday, October 1, 2015, 8 p.m. / Skinner Memorial Chapel, Carleton College, Northfield, Minn.*
Friday, October 2, 2015, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, October 3, 2015, 6 p.m. [note earlier start time] / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Katie Van Kooten, soprano
Erin Keefe, violin
Adam Kuenzel, flute
John Snow, oboe
Douglas C. Carlsen, trumpet

BACH                                    Brandenburg Concerto No. 2
STRAUSS                             Four Last Songs
MAHLER                             Symphony No. 4

* The performance at Carleton College on the evening of October 1 features Mahler’s Fourth Symphony alone. For more information on this performance, call 507-222-4347.

Music Up Close: Concert Preview with Phillip Gainsley and Roderick Cox – Oct. 1, 10:15 a.m. (Auditorium); Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m. (Target Atrium); Oct. 3, 5:15 p.m. (Target Atrium)

Additional Orchestra Hall+ pre-concert activities and refreshments
October 1: Complimentary coffee, donuts and entertainment.
October 2 and 3: Refreshments available for purchase, including Kramarczuk’s pretzels, Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer and Captain’s Spiced Cider.
October 3: Project Opera performance at 5:30pm in the lobby.

Tickets [October 1 morning, October 2 and October 3]: $25-$96
Tickets [October 1 evening]: Call 507-222-4347


Subscription packages and individual tickets 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 (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 For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit 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 
(612) 371-5628 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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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