Bach scholar and conductor Helmuth Rilling leads the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Chorale and four soloists in performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Cantatas I, II and III
On December 9 and 10, esteemed German conductor Helmuth Rilling returns to Orchestra Hall to lead the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Chorale in performances of the first three cantatas from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. One of the world’s leading interpreters of choral-orchestral music and an expert on Bach’s music, Rilling was the first to record the composer’s complete cantatas and was a founder of both the Internationale Bachakadamie Stuttgart and the Oregon Bach Festival. These concerts, which mark the first-ever Orchestra Hall performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, also feature four guest soloists: soprano Julia Sophie Wagner, mezzo Lidia Vinyes-Curtis, tenor Nicholas Phan and baritone Tyler Duncan.
The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are performed at the ensemble’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, December 10, 2017 at 2 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $96. More information is available at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.
German conductor Helmuth Rilling has toured internationally, collaborating with the world’s foremost orchestras. He has founded numerous ensembles and music festivals including the Gächinger Kantorei, Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and Oregon Bach Festival, and guided a project to record a 172-disc cycle of Bach’s entire compositional output. His extensive recording repertoire on television, radio and disc has been recognized with a Grammy Award and additional Grammy nominations. Among his many honors, he has been awarded the Staufer Gold Medal, the Herbert von Karajan Music Prize and the ECHO Klassik Award. More: opus3artists.com, helmuth-rilling.de.
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
The Christmas season of 1734-35 in Leipzig, Germany, included a multi-day unveiling of newly-composed music by Bach that we now know as the Christmas Oratorio. Each of its six cantatas was designated for a specific day spanning Christmas and the Epiphany, and together the set forms the narrative of the birth of Christ through the arrival of the Wise Men. These concerts feature the first three cantatas.
In the first, the orchestra, choir and soloists jubilantly celebrate the birth of Christ with regal chorale melodies and arias, punctuated by the addition of trumpets and drums. The second cantata, marking the Angel’s announcement to the shepherds, opens with a pastoral orchestral sinfonia—the only one of its kind that Bach includes in the oratorio. Elation is apparent in the third cantata as brilliant choruses and trumpet fanfares depict the shepherds’ adoration of the newborn King.
Minnesota Orchestra Holiday Concerts
A CHRISTMAS ORATORIO
Saturday, December 9, 2017, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Sunday, December 10, 2017, 2 p.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall
Helmuth Rilling, conductor
Julia Sophie Wagner, soprano
Lidia Vinyes-Curtis, mezzo
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Tyler Duncan, baritone
BACH Christmas Oratorio, Cantatas I, II and III
Tickets: $25 to $96
The performance on Saturday, December 9, is part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Casual Concert series, which includes a $5 pre-concert happy hour, local craft brew samples, and an onstage meet-and-greet with Orchestra musicians after the performance.
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Individual tickets and subscription packages can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org, 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 minnesotaorchestra.org. For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org/subscribe. 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
Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator