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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Violinist James Ehnes Returns for Tchaikovsky Marathon Performances

Music Director Osmo Vänskä leads the Minnesota Orchestra in three different programs during the final week of the Tchaikovsky Marathon

Violinist James Ehnes, the season’s featured artist, performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Jan 13 and 14

Adam Neiman plays Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3 on Jan 11; Principal Cello Anthony Ross plays Variations on a Rococo Theme on Jan 12

Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra conclude their Tchaikovsky Marathon with four full-orchestra concerts and a NightCap chamber performance at Orchestra Hall from January 11 to 14. First, pianist Adam Neiman performs the last of Tchaikovsky’s three piano concertos in a concert on January 11 that also includes the composer’s lesser-known Symphony No. 3 and selections from his ever-popular ballet Swan Lake.

On Friday, January 12, Minnesota Orchestra Principal Cello Anthony Ross is featured in a performance of Variations on a Rococo Theme. This concert, which also includes Tchaikovsky’s Second and Fifth Symphonies, is the same program that is performed on Saturday, January 6. Then, on January 13 and 14, the Orchestra welcomes back violinist James Ehnes, who performed in the 2017-18 season opening concerts and is this season’s Featured Artist. Ehnes plays Tchaikovsky’s famous Violin Concerto, and the Orchestra concludes its Tchaikovsky journey with the composer’s Sixth and final symphony, the Pathètique.

The concerts are performed at the Minnesota Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, January 11, at 11 a.m.; Friday, January 12, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, January 13, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, January 14, at 2 p.m., with ticket  prices ranging from $30 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.

Following the Saturday, January 13 full-Orchestra performance, there will be a NightCap concert at 10:30 p.m. in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall. This concert features Principal Second Violin Peter McGuire, Principal Cello Anthony Ross and pianist Timothy Lovelace in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor. A separate ticket is required for this event.

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, which has also earned a Grammy Award nomination. More:


Adam Neiman, piano
Grammy Award nominee Adam Neiman has performed as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, and as a recitalist throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, Europe, Korea and Japan. He was recently appointed artistic director of the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont. In addition, he is the founder and CEO of the record label Aeolian Classics, LLC, and in 2016 he created the Aeolian Classics Emerging Artist Award Competition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, where he serves on the full-time piano faculty. He maintains an active profile as a composer, and his compositional output includes two symphonies, a body of chamber music and vocal works, and a growing number of solo piano pieces. His extensive discography includes numerous albums for labels such as VAI, Bridge, Naxos, Sono Luminus, Lyric and Aeolian Classics. More:

Symphony No. 3; Piano Concerto No. 3; Suite from Swan Lake
The Third Symphony by Tchaikovsky is an oddity among the composer’s collection, straying from many of the structures expected of a symphonic work. It contains a German waltz, carries the Polish nickname, but is especially Russian in character. It is the composer's only symphony based in a major key, yet it begins with a funeral march.

Tchaikovsky’s one-movement Piano Concerto No. 3 offers moments of chamber-like intimacy as well as grand theatrics, with a glittering cadenza at its core.

In the fairy tale on which Swan Lake is based, Prince Siegfried triumphs over an evil sorcerer, rescuing his beloved Odette and other maidens who had been transformed into swans. Music Director Osmo Vänskä has selected a suite for today’s performance that includes the famous Waltz marking the Prince’s birthday celebration, the delicate Dance of the Swans and the fiery Mazurka, among other evocative movements.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Thursday, January 11, 2018, 11 a.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall 

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Adam Neiman, piano

TCHAIKOVSKY                       Symphony No. 3, Polish
                                               Piano Concerto No. 3
                                               Swan Lake Suite 

Tickets: $30 to $69


Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Saturday, January 6, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Friday, January 12, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Please note: This concert is performed on two consecutive weekends.

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Anthony Ross, cello

TCHAIKOVSKY       Symphony No. 2
                                  Variations on a Rococo Theme
                                  Symphony No. 5

Tickets: $34 to $96

***For artist bios and more details about this program, please click here to refer to the Orchestra’s press release from December 7, 2017.


James Ehnes, violin
Canadian violinist James Ehnes, the Minnesota Orchestra’s featured artist for the 2017-18 season, first performed with the Orchestra in 1993. He has been featured with the major orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and New York, as well as the London Symphony, London Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, DSO Berlin and the NHK Symphony orchestras, among many other ensembles. During the 2016-17 season he premiered Aaron Jay Kernis’ Violin Concerto, which was written especially for him, with the Toronto, Seattle and Dallas Symphony Orchestras. His extensive discography has earned many awards including a Gramophone Award, a Grammy Award and 11 JUNO awards. More:

Marche Slave; Violin Concerto; Symphony No. 6

Marche Slave, constructed using motives from high-spirited Serbian folksongs and the Russian national anthem, was a resounding success at its premiere in 1867, and rapidly became a cherished symbol of Slavonic patriotism.

Tchaikovsky’s dazzling Violin Concerto, once called “unplayable,” is now the vehicle of great virtuosos. It is noted equally for bravura passagework and the pure romantic realism for which the composer is known, with soulful melodies yielding to folk-like dance tunes and rhythms in the exhilarating Finale.

Darkly, tenderly, beautifully, Tchaikovsky’s Sixth and final symphony communicates a mood of deep suffering. Brilliant touches include a waltz in 5/4 time, a dramatic scherzo and a lamenting melody that sinks away to silence.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concert

Saturday, January 13, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Sunday, January 14, 2018, 2 p.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
James Ehnes, violin

TCHAIKOVSKY            Marche Slave
                                      Violin Concerto
                                      Symphony No. 6, Pathètique

Tickets: $30 to $96

The performance on Sunday, January 14, 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.

Chamber Concert

Saturday, January 13, 2018, 10:30 p.m. / Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall

Peter McGuire, violin
Anthony Ross, cello
Timothy Lovelace, piano

TCHAIKOVSKY Piano Trio in A minor

Tickets: $25; Each ticket purchased includes one complimentary beverage.


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 
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Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator
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Director of Communications
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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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