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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Second Week of Sommerfest: The Spotlight Shines On Violinist Nicola Benedetti and Cellist Leonard Elschenbroich in Double and Triple Concertos


Andrew Litton conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in Sommerfest concerts, featuring the music of Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven, plus chamber music by Alec Wilder

Soloists Benedetti and Elschenbroich perform Brahms’ Double Concerto on July 14 and 15, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Andrew Litton at the piano on July 16

presented by U.S. Bank

The second weekend of Sommerfest 2016 brings two world-class soloists to the stage with Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton and the Minnesota Orchestra for concerts July 14 to 16 at Orchestra Hall. Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti and German cellist Leonard Elschenbroich join the Minnesota Orchestra for two performances of Brahms’ Double Concerto. The first of these, on July 14, concludes the 2015-16 Symphony in 60 season; the second is a full-length program on July 15, in a concert that also includes Tchaikovsky’s powerful Fourth Symphony. Then, Benedetti and Elschenbroich return to the stage on Saturday, July 16, to perform Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, in which Andrew Litton will be both the piano soloist and conductor. Prior to the Saturday evening concert, Minnesota Orchestra musicians will present a 6 O’Clock Serenade performance of Alec Wilder’s genre-bending Octets, featuring an unusual combination of wind instruments along with percussion, harpsichord and string bass.

All Sommerfest concerts are performed at Orchestra Hall, the Minnesota Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis; ticket price ranges can be found in the concert information sections below. Tickets are available online at and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, see the information section at the conclusion of this press release.

Nicola Benedetti, violin

Nicola Benedetti is in great demand with major orchestras and conductors across the globe. Her 2015-16 season featured a U.K. tour performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as well as the world premiere of a work by Mark-Anthony Turnage written for her and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich. Benedetti recently developed her own education and outreach initiative entitled “The Benedetti Sessions,” offering hundreds of young string players the opportunity to rehearse and undertake and observe masterclasses, culminating in a performance alongside her. Winner of Best Female Artist at both the 2012 and 2013 Classical BRIT Awards, Benedetti records exclusively for Decca (Universal Music). More:

Leonard Elschenbroich, cello
Leonard Elschenbroich performs regularly with top orchestras worldwide. Among his recent performances are a tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and returns to the BBC Philharmonic, RTÉ National Symphony and Belo Horizonte Orchestra. He has also been featured as soloist with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Swedish Radio Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Netherlands Philharmonic, Japan Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, National Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. More:

Sommerfest Refreshments    
Over the course of Sommerfest, audiences are invited to enjoy an array of food and beverage items, available for purchase both inside and outside Orchestra Hall. Featured food vendors include Kramarczuk’s, Northern Fires Pizza, Blue Moon, T-Rex Cookie Company, Cavalcade Creamery and Design Cuisine Catering. In addition, a Happy Hour featuring 50% off wine, beer and house liquor will be offered at all lobby bars. See for complete happy hour schedule.

Extra Entertainment and Experience Cafés
Free entertainment will be offered in the Target Atrium and throughout the lobby of Orchestra Hall before and after most concerts. Entertainers for the July 14 to 16 concerts include the Jazzland Wonderband, Belle Amour, JT Bates Trio, The Southside Aces and pianist Chris Lomheim. In addition, two local DJs will provide post-concert music on the upper level of the Orchestra Hall lobby: teenage superstar DJ Mickey Breeze on Friday, July 15, and DJ Michel.Be on Saturday, July 16.

New at this year’s Sommerfest, patrons and the community are invited to participate in a variety of Experience Cafés. These stations will be arranged throughout the lobby of Orchestra Hall and on Peavey Plaza, providing pre- and post-concert interactive experiences at every concert for the duration of Sommerfest 2016. The Experience Cafés include a library of books curated by the Minnesota Orchestra’s music librarians, a sketching corner with artists from Mia, a selection of vinyl records with listening stations provided by Hymie’s Vintage Records, a bird-watching experience with Audubon Minnesota, and an interactive music and fitness game created by Glitch.

A Conversation Café will also be held in the lobby at each concert, at which Sommerfest attendees may chat with individuals who are there to share their art and can speak to the theme or repertoire of that evening’s performance. At performances on July 14 and 15, the Conversation Café will host luthiers from the Claire Givens Violins, Inc., who will offer an inside look at the artistic processes of building and repairing stringed instruments. On July 16, several Minnesota-based composers including Jocelyn Hagen, Alex Lubet, Rienaldo Moya and Carl Schroeder will answer questions about what it takes to determine each and every note of a musical work.

More details and a complete schedule of these and all Sommerfest activities are available at All activities in the Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall lobby areas and outside are open to the public; a concert ticket is not required.


Symphony in 60: Brahms’ Double Concerto
Symphony in 60, a series of classical performances in a one-hour format, concludes its second season with a program that includes Brahms’ Double Concerto, with Nicola Benedetti and Leonard Elschenbroich as soloists. The program concludes with an audience favorite, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Optional activities are offered before and after each Symphony in 60 concert, and an onstage gathering with Orchestra musicians follows the performance.        

Thursday, July 14, 2016, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Andrew Litton
, conductor
Nicola Benedetti, violin
Leonard Elschenbroich, cello

BRAHMS                    Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Double Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY         1812 Overture

Tickets: $29

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4
Nicola Benedetti and Leonard Elschenbroich perform Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, a technically demanding work that requires two equally skilled soloists. The concert also features Tchaikovsky’s brilliant Fourth Symphony, which showcases soloists from within the Orchestra, a unique pizzicato ostinato third movement, and a brilliant and fiery finale.

Friday, July 15, 2016, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Andrew Litton
, conductor
Nicola Benedetti, violin
Leonard Elschenbroich, cello

BRAHMS                    Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Double Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY         Symphony No. 4

Tickets: $30 to $70


6 O’Clock Serenade: Wilder’s Wild Octets
Members of the Minnesota Orchestra perform a chamber concert comprising a selection of twentieth-century American composer Alec Wilder’s swing-inspired octets. Known for blending together classical, pop and jazz genres, Wilder’s octets—there are more than 20 in his collection—will delight audiences in this fresh and whimsical concert, performed in Orchestra Hall prior to the evening’s full Orchestra program at 8 p.m. Please note: performance time is approximately 40 minutes.

Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Roma Duncan, flute
Julie Gramolini Williams, oboe
Gregory T. Williams, clarinet
David Pharris, clarinet
Timothy Zavadil, bass clarinet
Christopher Marshall, bassoon
David Williamson, bass
Kevin Watkins, percussion
Tami Morse, harpsichord

WILDER                      Octets

Tickets: $20or free for patrons with tickets to the evening’s 8 p.m. concert. Separate tickets are required in either case.


Beethoven Triple Concerto
In an evening filled with the warmth of Beethoven and Brahms, Andrew Litton leads the Minnesota Orchestra and two soloists—violinist Nicola Benedetti and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich—and he also performs alongside them on piano for the centerpiece of the program, Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra. The concert opens with Beethoven’s invigorating overture to the opera Fidelio and ends with a complete performance of Brahms’ emotional Fourth Symphony. This program is performed at Orchestra Hall on Saturday, July 16, as part of Sommerfest, and on Sunday, July 17, in Winona, as part of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival.

Saturday, July 16, 2016, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Sunday, July 17, 2016, 4 p.m. / Winona Middle School / Winona, Minn.*                               

Minnesota Orchestra
Andrew Litton
, conductor and piano
Nicola Benedetti, violin
Leonard Elschenbroich, cello

BEETHOVEN              Overture to Fidelio
BEETHOVEN              Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Orchestra, Triple Concerto
BRAHMS                      Symphony No. 4

Tickets: $30 to $70 

*The Orchestra’s performance on Sunday, July 17, is presented as part of the 10th season of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, a classical music festival held from June 25 to July 17 in Winona, Minnesota. For information about this concert or the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, or to purchase tickets, please visit


can be purchased online at, or by calling 612-371-5656 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 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.) 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.

Sommerfest is presented by U.S. Bank.

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
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Gwen Pappas

Director of Communications
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Publications Editor
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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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