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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Osmo Vänskä conducts Mendelssohn's Reformation Symphony and the world premiere of Sebastian Currier's RE-FORMATION

Currier’s new work was commissioned by Minnesota Orchestra to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

The Minnesota Chorale joins the Minnesota Orchestra in performances of RE-FORMATION 

Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel is featured in Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2

Minnesota Orchestra and Music Director Osmo Vänskä celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with performances at Orchestra Hall on November 2, 3 and 4. The program opens with Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2, featuring the Orchestra’s Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel. At the center of the concerts is Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony, which was built around the Lutheran hymn A Mighty Fortress is our God. Then, the Orchestra, joined by the Minnesota Chorale and choral students from St. Paul’s Concordia University, performs the world premiere of RE-FORMATION by American composer and Grawemeyer Award-winner Sebastian Currier. The 30-minute work draws text from multiple sources, including newly-written poetry by Sarah Manguso, and musical inspiration from Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony. It was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra in collaboration with LutheranArts.

The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are performed at the ensemble’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, November 2, at 11 a.m.; Friday, November 3, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, November 4, 2017, 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.

Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, the Minnesota Orchestra’s tenth music director, is renowned internationally for his compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires. In addition to the Orchestra’s May 2015 tour to Cuba, he has led the Orchestra on five major European tours, the most recent of which took place in August 2016, as well as regular tours to communities across Minnesota. His recording projects with the Minnesota Orchestra have also met with great success, including the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for their recording of Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies on the BIS Records label. Newly released in 2017 is their recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony. As a guest conductor Vänskä has led all the major American and European orchestras. More:

Adam Kuenzel, flute
Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel has regularly appeared as soloist at Orchestra Hall, including for the 2007 world premiere of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski’s Fantasies for Flute and Orchestra, Il Piffero della Notte, with the composer conducting. In recent years he has also performed Bernstein’s Halil and the premiere of Manuel Sosa’s Eloquentia: Espacio para Flauta y Orquesta; the latter work, which was written for Kuenzel, garnered the composer a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011. Kuenzel has been a guest artist at the Aspen Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Spoleto Festival, St. Bart’s Music Festival in the French West Indies and Oregon Bach Festival. He has also appeared as guest principal flute with the Boston, Chicago and Dallas symphony orchestras, and with the Seattle Opera. More:

From Luther to Currier: Music inspired by the Reformation
The flute player in Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 2 is given the unique challenge of blending with strings while simultaneously standing out as the solo voice in this set of six characteristic dance movements preceded by a French Baroque-style overture.

Devotion and strength are the building blocks of Mendelssohn’s Fifth Symphony, composed in 1830 to commemorate the tercentenary of the Lutheran Church’s founding doctrines. A reflective opening ultimately leads to a grandiose finale built on Luther’s hymn A Mighty Fortress is Our God. Along the way we hear a lighthearted scherzo and an eloquent slow movement featuring solo violin.

Sebastian Currier’s new work RE-FORMATION draws text from Psalms, Martin Luther and contemporary American writer Sarah Manguso. The music recalls the past—incorporating fragments of Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony—while also looking forward, ending with a choral hymn that encourages us to protect our natural environment for future generations.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
Celebrating 500 Years of Reformation through Music 

Thursday, November 2, 2017, 11 a.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall
Friday, November 3, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, November 4, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Adam Kuenzel, flute
Minnesota Chorale
Students from Concordia University choral program

BACH                              Orchestral Suite No. 2
MENDELSSOHN                Symphony No. 5, Reformation
CURRIER                         RE-FORMATION [World Premiere]

Tickets: $25 to $96

OH+ Events

Free Concert Preview with Phillip Gainsley and Sebastian Currier in the Auditorium on Thursday, November 2, at 10:15 a.m., and on Friday, November 3, at 7:15 p.m. in the Target Atrium; and with Philip Gainsley and Adam Kuenzel on Saturday, November 4, at 7:15 p.m. in the M. Bud Grossman Mezzanine


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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Showcase Concert Magazine, May 2019  

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