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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Juraj Valčuha Conducts The Minnesota Orchestra; Michael Gast Plays Mozart Horn Concerto


Juraj Valčuha returns to conduct the music of Haydn, Mozart, Britten and Ravel, May 4 and 5

Principal Horn Michael Gast performs Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3

Slovakian conductor Juraj Valčuha, who made his brilliant Minnesota debut in 2015, leads the Minnesota Orchestra in performances on May 4 and 5 at Orchestra Hall. The program begins with Haydn’s Symphony No. 85, La Reine, followed by Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, featuring Michael Gast, the Orchestra’s principal horn. Then, the Orchestra performs Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes and Ravel’s spectacular La Valse.

The concerts are performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, May 4, at 11 a.m., and Friday, May 5, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $96. Tickets are available online at and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the section at the conclusion of this press release.

Juraj Valčuha, conductor
Juraj Valčuha, who debuted with the Minnesota Orchestra in October 2015, is the newly-appointed music director of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy. Prior to assuming this post, he was the chief conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Turin, Italy, with which he toured to music centers including the Vienna Musikverein and Berlin’s Philharmonie. He has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Vienna Philharmonic, Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, and other major orchestras worldwide. During the 2016-17 season, he debuted with the Chicago Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra and made return appearances with the major orchestras of San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Montreal. More:

Michael Gast, horn
Michael Gast joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1990 and was appointed principal horn in 2004. He has appeared here as soloist in concertos and other major works by Bach, Britten, Mozart, Schumann and Strauss. In 2007, he and three Orchestra colleagues were featured in performances of Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns, using Gast’s own adaptation of Schumann’s original horn parts. At Sommerfest 2009 he performed Mozart’s Fourth Horn Concerto under the direction of Andrew Litton. He played Strauss’ Second Horn Concerto on the Orchestra’s spring 2011 Minnesota State Tour and the 2011 Guarantors’ Concert. He has served as principal horn in the orchestras of the Grand Teton Music Festival, Santa Fe Opera and Festival L’Aquila Opera, and has served as acting associate principal horn of the New York Philharmonic as well as guest principal with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. More:

Haydn, Mozart, Britten and Ravel
Haydn’s La Reine (The Queen) Symphony, brimful of grand gestures and exhilarating melodies, was written for the huge orchestra of the Loge Olympique in Paris, with flourishes worthy of the brilliant, lace-bedecked musicians. The symphony’s nickname refers to Queen Marie Antoinette, who held the work in high esteem.

The most poetic of Mozart’s four horn concertos, his Third offers delights to the listener and challenges to the soloist, with highlights including a succession of magic modulations in the opening movement and an artful hunt-music finale.

Britten’s suite of Four Sea Interludes offers glimpses of his masterful opera set in a fishing village on the Suffolk coast, complete with sounds of sea birds, the surf—and church bells, reflecting a deadly conflict between villagers and an outcast.

Ravel’s La Valse, an homage to the Viennese waltz, depicts both intimacy and opulence, twirling toward a frenzied conclusion.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Thursday, May 4, 2017, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall
Friday, May 5, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Juraj Valčuha, conductor
Michael Gast, horn 

HAYDN                        Symphony No. 85, La Reine
MOZART                       Horn Concerto No. 3
BRITTEN                       Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
RAVEL                           La Valse

Tickets: $25 to $96

OH+ Events
Free Concert Preview hosted by Phillip Gainsley and Principal Horn Michael Gast, in the Auditorium on Thursday, May 4, at 10:15 a.m., and in the Target Atrium on Friday, May 5, at 7:15 p.m.

For more information on this and other OH+ Events:


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 Center, 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 2016-17 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.

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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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