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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Holiday Music at Orchestra Hall Continues with Programs Featuring Pianist George Winston and Trumpeter Doc Severinsen, Plus Scandinavian Christmas Concerts

Pianist George Winston to perform at Orchestra Hall on December 17

Doc Severinsen and the Minnesota Orchestra perform “Jingle Bell Doc” concerts, Dec. 18 and 20

Sarah Hicks conducts “A Scandinavian Christmas” concerts, Dec. 19

Continuing a season of holiday favorites at Orchestra Hall, George Winston, one of the most recognized pianists in the world, will present his solo concert, An Evening with George Winston, on Thursday, December 17. The same weekend, two highly anticipated holiday programs will feature the full Minnesota Orchestra: Jingle Bell Doc, with the legendary Doc Severinsen as conductor and trumpet soloist, and A Scandinavian Christmas, an event filled with holiday favorites from Nordic countries, conducted by Sarah Hicks, principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall.

An Evening with George Winston takes place on Thursday, December 17, at 7:30 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $30 to $60. The two concerts of Jingle Bell Doc are held on Friday, December 18, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, December 20 at 2 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $30 to $80. The two performances of A Scandinavian Christmas occur on Saturday, December 19, at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. All performances take place at Orchestra Hall, the Minnesota Orchestra’s home in downtown Minneapolis.

More information is available at and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.

An Evening with George Winston

George Winston has given more than two dozen performances at Orchestra Hall and returns again this holiday season for the first time since 2009. This concert will feature his “Winter Show,” which includes melodic fall and winter songs; Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts® pieces; music inspired by the New Orleans piano and stride piano traditions; and new songs from his upcoming new recording, Spring Carousel – A Cancer Research Benefit, which will be released in 2016.

Since 1972 Winston has released 13 solo piano albums. His most recent albums are Gulf Coast Blues & Impressions 2–A Louisiana Wetlands Benefit and Love Will Come-The Music of Vince Guaraldi, Vol. 2. His upcoming solo album includes songs composed in 2013 while Winston was recovering from a bone marrow transplant at the City of Hope Village; he is dedicating 100% of his artist royalties from this disc to benefit cancer research.

Since 1986, Winston has been raising money for food banks and service organizations, and he will continue to do so by working with local food banks throughout his tour to hold a canned food drive at each show. He will also donate 100% of proceeds from the sale of his merchandise to the designated organization. For this concert, Winston is partnering with Hunger Solutions of MN; audience members are encouraged to bring canned food donations to Orchestra Hall.

Holiday Concert

Thursday, December 17, 2015, 7:30 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

George Winston, piano

Please note: the Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program.

Tickets: $30-$60

Jingle Bell Doc with the Minnesota Orchestra

Legendary conductor-trumpeter Doc Severinsen—beloved nationally for his 25-year tenure as bandleader on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson—was the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal pops conductor from 1993 to 2007 and now serves as pops conductor laureate. He leads the Orchestra, the Minnesota Chorale, vocalist Vanessa Thomas, a spirited rhythm secion, and handbell ensemble Twin Cities Bronze in a delightful program that includes such favorites as Carol of the Bells, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Bach’s Ave Maria and Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

Holiday Concerts

Friday, December 18, 2015, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Sunday, December 20, 2015, 2 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Doc Severinsen
, conductor and trumpet
Vanessa Thomas, vocals
Mary Louise Knutson, piano
Kevin Thomas, bass
Stockton Helbing, drums
Minnesota Chorale, chorus
Twin Cities Bronze, handbell ensemble

Tickets: $30-$80

A Scandinavian Christmas with the Minnesota Orchestra

The Minnesota Orchestra celebrates the holiday season with a pair of Scandinavian-flavored Christmas concerts led by Sarah Hicks, principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall. The program—which features vocal soloists, a narrator, local choral ensembles and the Ethnic Dance Theatre—includes a sampling of Scandinavia’s most beautiful Christmas songs as well as popular selections by classical composers. Adding to the atmosphere is a Santa Lucia candlelight procession and holiday treats in the lobby. New this year are holiday-themed video segments produced specially for these concerts and a never-before-seen version of the classic animated short film The Snow Queen.

Holiday Concerts

Saturday, December 19, 2015, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks
Michelle Areyzaga, soprano
Adam Harris, narrator
Minnesota Boychoir, chorus
Twin Cities Girls Chorus, chorus
Ethnic Dance Theatre, dance ensemble
Scott Winters / Ion Concert Media, video designer
Rune Spaans, video designer

SIBELIUS                                             Alla Marcia, from Karelia Suite
TRADITIONAL/Hicks                       Slängpolska from Barsebäck         
CACCINI/Mercurio                            Ave Maria
TRADITIONAL/Christopher            God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
FJELLHEIM                                        Vinternatt (Winter’s Night)
                                                                Eatnemen Vuelie
(Fairest Lord Jesus)       
GRIEG                                                   Symphonic Dances on Norwegian Themes
ANDERSON                                         A Christmas Festival        
ALFVÉN                                               Vallflickans dans (Herd Maiden’s Dance)
TRADITIONAL/Hicks                       Three Danish Songs
VILHELM SEFVE-SVENNSON/Hicks    Tonttujen Jouluyö (The Elves’ Christmas)
MARKS/Brunelle                                Rudolphus Rubrinasus (Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer)
COTTRAU/Chiaramello                    Santa Lucia
ELGAR                                                  Nimrod, from Enigma Variations
TRADITIONAL/Finnegan                 Christmas Singalong
ANDERSON                                         Sleigh Ride

Tickets: $25-$70


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.

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.

Press Contacts

Gwen Pappas

Director of Communications
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Carl Schroeder

Publications Editor
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Emma Plehal

Communications Manager and Assistant Editor
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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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