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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Cristian Macelaru Conducts Stravinsky's Petrushka; Roberto Diaz Solos in Higdon's Viola Concerto, Apr 15 and 16


Cristian Măcelaru debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra, conducting music by Bach, Higdon and Stravinsky

Former Minnesota Orchestra violist Roberto Díaz performs Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto


In mid-April at Orchestra Hall, highly-acclaimed conductor Cristian Măcelaru, currently the Conductor in Residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducts his debut concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra in performances of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Igor Stravinsky and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jennifer Higdon. The program begins with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, beloved for its moments of dance-like joy and featuring a small group of the Orchestra’s fine string musicians. Audiences are then treated to a new work for orchestra and solo viola by Higdon, performed by former Minnesota Orchestra violist Roberto Díaz. The concerts conclude with Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka—a 20th-century musical masterpiece depicting a lively group of puppets.

The concert is performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Friday, April 15, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 16, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $29 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.

Cristian Măcelaru, conductor
Conducting his debut performances with the Minnesota Orchestra in these concerts, Cristian Măcelaru is one of the fastest-rising stars of the conducting world. Currently the Conductor in Residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra, he also recently debuted with Cincinnati Opera in highly acclaimed performances of Il Trovatore and with the New York Philharmonic in an all-Rachmaninoff subscription program. He makes return appearances in the 2015-16 season at the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra. Internationally, he debuts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Dublin and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra. In North America, his other appearances include concerts with the Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, New World Symphony and San Diego Symphony. More:

Roberto Díaz, viola
Roberto Díaz is currently the president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he also teaches viola. Prior to this appointment he served as principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, principal viola of the National Symphony, a member of the Boston Symphony, and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. An esteemed soloist and recitalist, Díaz has collaborated with leading artists, conductors and composers throughout the world; several solo works have been written for him, including the one that he performs in these concerts. He has completed numerous recordings on the Naxos, New World Records, Bridge Records, and Nimbus Record labels. During his tenure as president of Curtis, he has overseen the establishment of the Curtis on Tour program, the introduction of classical guitar and string quartet programs, the launch of Curtis Summerfest and the debut of an online stage called Curtis Performs, among other programs. More:

Bach, Higdon and Stravinsky
In Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, comprising a pair of sparkling Allegro movements, the entire string section is the soloist, offering a steady stream of overlapping melodic phrases en route to a finale of swirling scales. Jennifer Higdon’s Viola Concerto—written for the soloist in these concerts, Roberto Díaz—joyfully explores the expressive colors and styles unique to the viola. The first movement is rich with compassion and creativity, the second a wild ride for soloist and orchestra, and the finale filled with jazzy inflections and a nod to American composer Aaron Copland. In the concerts’ second half, Stravinsky’s Petrushka tells the tale of puppets at a carnival. A magician’s spell, heard in a flute solo, brings to life three puppets: Petrushka (a clash of clarinets) is smitten by the Ballerina (a tinkling sound) who scorns him, dancing instead with the Moor (brutal chords). After a series of folk dances, the Moor kills Petrushka, whose ghost rails defiantly.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Friday, April 15, 2016, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, April 16, 2016, 8 p.m./ Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Cristian Măcelaru
, conductor
Roberto Díaz
, viola

BACH                          Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
HIGDON                     Viola Concerto
STRAVINSKY            Petrushka (1947 revision)

Tickets: $29-$96


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.

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.

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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