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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Organist Cameron Carpenter and conductor Klaus Mäkelä debut with the Minnesota Orchestra

Cameron Carpenter performs Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini, featuring Carpenter’s new organ arrangement of the part originally composed for piano

Conductor Klaus Mäkelä leads the Orchestra in Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony and Mussorgsky’s Prelude to Khovanshchina, April 20 and 21

Concerts at Orchestra Hall on April 20 and 21 feature the Minnesota Orchestra debuts of two young stars: Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä and American organist Cameron Carpenter. Mäkelä conducts the Orchestra in the prelude to Mussorgsky’s opera Khovanshchina and the most popular of Shostakovich’s symphonies, the bold Fifth. At the center of these concerts, Cameron Carpenter performs his own version of Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of Paganini, in which Carpenter has arranged the solo part for organ, replacing the piano part while the Orchestra plays the rest of Rachmaninoff’s music as originally written. Carpenter, a virtuoso composer-performer who travels and performs on his own International Touring Organ (ITO), is famous for breaking down the stereotypes of organists, organ music and classical music.

The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $34 to $101. More information is available at and by phone at 612-371-5656.  For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.

Klaus Mäkelä, conductor        
Finnish conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä has already made a significant impact on the Finnish musical landscape and is now making major debuts across Europe, Scandinavia, the U.S., Canada and Japan. In the 2018-19 season, Mäkelä will be principal guest conductor with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and artist in association with Tapiola Sinfonietta. This season he also debuts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted many Finnish orchestras and appears regularly with the Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic, Turku Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. More:,

Cameron Carpenter, organ
Cameron Carpenter is the world’s most visible organist, and the first ever nominated for a Grammy Award for a solo album. He has performed at top venues including Royal Albert Hall and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and he performs regularly with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic and National Symphony Orchestra. His first major work for organ and orchestra, The Scandal, was commissioned by the Cologne Philharmonie and premiered in 2011 by the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie under the direction of Alexander Shelley. His newest album, All You Need Is Bach, was released by SONY and topped the Billboard Classical charts at #1 in both the U.S. and Europe. More:,

Powerful masterworks from Russia 
Delicate harmonies, sweet folk tunes and morning church bells animate Mussorgsky’s exquisite tone poem Prelude to Khovanshchina, extracted from an opera that Mussorgsky left incomplete when he died, but was later completed by his friend Rimsky-Korsakov.

A twisting Paganini melody is the basis for Rachmaninoff’s ingenious set of 24 variations. Rachmaninoff wrote the solo part for piano, but for these concerts it is played on organ in an exciting new version that arranger-performer Cameron Carpenter calls “Rachmaninoff on steroids.”

Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony is forceful and questioning. It imitates the form of a classical symphony until its icy third movement, scored without brass, as gorgeous melodies rise and fall. Dueling critics have interpreted the finale as either triumphant or bitingly sarcastic.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Friday, April 20, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, April 21, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall 

Minnesota Orchestra
Klaus Mäkelä, conductor
Cameron Carpenter, organ 

MUSSORGSKY                                                   Prelude to Khovanshchina
RACHMANINOFF/arr. Carpenter                   Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
SHOSTAKOVICH                                              Symphony No. 5

Tickets: $34 to $101


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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