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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Roderick Cox conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances and Argento's Valentino Dances

Associate Conductor Roderick Cox leads the Orchestra in two concerts featuring the music of Argento, Grieg and Rachmaninoff, Oct 5 and 6

 Alessio Bax performs Grieg’s Piano Concerto

Roderick Cox, the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate conductor, leads the ensemble in subscription concerts on October 5 and 6. Two sets of dances make up the bookends of the program: Valentino Dances from the opera The Dream of Valentino by Minnesota Orchestra Composer Laureate Dominick Argento, featuring accordionist William Schimmel; and Rachmaninoff’s final symphonic work, his energetic Symphonic Dances. At the center of the program is Grieg’s Piano Concerto, performed by Italian pianist Alessio Bax.

The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are performed at the ensemble’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, October 5, at 11 a.m., and Friday, October 6, 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.

Roderick Cox, conductor
Roderick Cox, now in his second full season as the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate conductor after one year as assistant conductor, won critical and audience praise for his debut subscription performances with the Orchestra this past January. He regularly conducts Young People’s Concerts, family programs, outdoor community concerts and special performances such as October’s “Send Me Hope” concert and a December 2016 “Spirit of the Season” concert at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in north Minneapolis. A native of Macon, Georgia, he served as assistant conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra. His recent honors include winning a Solti Foundation Career Assistance Award and being selected by the League of American Orchestras for the prestigious Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview. In August 2017 he debuted with the Johannesburg Philharmonic in South Africa. More:,

Alessio Bax, piano
Alessio Bax has appeared as soloist with more than 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal philharmonic orchestras, Houston and Cincinnati symphonies and Japan’s NHK Symphony. He was a First Prize winner at the Leeds International Piano Competition, and the recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal Award.  His discography includes works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky, as well as a Russian album and a lullaby collection, Lullabies for Mila, which is dedicated to his daughter Mila. More:,

William Schimmel, accordion
William Schimmel is a virtuoso accordionist, author, philosopher and composer. He is one of the principle architects in the tango revival in America, the resurgence of the accordion and the philosophy of Musical Reality. Regarded as the world’s greatest accordionist by National Public Radio, he has performed with virtually every major symphony orchestra in America and the Kirov Academy of Ballet, as well as nearly every chamber music group in New York. He has performed with pop stars ranging from Sting to Tom Waits, and can be heard on numerous film soundtracks. More:

Dances from Argento, Grieg and Rachmaninoff
Extracted from the opera The Dream of Valentino, Argento’s suite of Valentino Dances for orchestra is enriched by the addition of the accordion, whose distinctive sound is essential to the tango.

Grieg’s Piano Concerto, a virtuosic keyboard showcase, was written when its composer was only 25. It reveals its heritage in evocations of traditional Norwegian song and dance, and contains a wealth of themes and dramatic gestures.

Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances is full of rhythmic energy and colorful orchestration. The alto saxophone makes a rare orchestral appearance in this three-movement work, which closes with a breathtaking setting of the Dies Irae.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Thursday, October 5, 2017, 11 a.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall
Friday, October 6, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Roderick Cox
, conductor
Alessio Bax, piano
William Schimmel, accordion

ARGENTO                            Valentino Dances
GRIEG                                   Piano Concerto
RACHMANINOFF             Symphonic Dances 

Tickets: $25 to $96

OH+ Events

Free Concert Preview with Associate Conductor Roderick Cox and Minnesota Orchestra President & CEO Kevin Smith in the Auditorium on Thursday, October 5, at 10:15 a.m., and in the Target Atrium on Friday, October 6, at 7:15 p.m.


Individual tickets and subscription packages 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 (Stage Door ticketing is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lobby Box Office ticketing begins two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the skyway accessible 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 2017-18 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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