Former Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton returns to conduct the Minnesota Orchestra, June 1 and 2
The Orchestra is joined by the Minnesota Chorale, bass-baritone soloist Christopher Maltman and boy soprano soloist Nick Cecchi
In concerts on June 1 and 2, former Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton returns to the Orchestra Hall podium to conduct the Minnesota Orchestra. In celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, which would have occurred this August, the Orchestra performs the composer’s ballet Fancy Free and his choral masterpiece Chichester Psalms, the latter featuring 14-year-old Nick Cecchi as boy soprano soloist. The Minnesota Chorale joins the Orchestra onstage for Chichester Psalms as well as the final piece on the program, William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, which features bass-baritone soloist Christopher Maltman.
The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, June 1, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, June 2, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $29 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.
Andrew Litton, conductor
Andrew Litton, music director of the New York City Ballet, was the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest artistic director from 2003 to 2017. He is currently principal guest conductor of the Colorado Symphony, conductor laureate of Britain’s Bournemouth Symphony, music director laureate of Norway’s Bergen Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. He was the Dallas Symphony’s music director from 1994 to 2006, leading the ensemble on tours to the BBC Proms and to prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonie and Vienna’s Musikverein. He regularly guest conducts leading orchestras and opera companies around the globe and adds to his discography of more than 130 recordings, which have garnered America’s Grammy Award, France’s Diapason d’Or and other honors. An accomplished pianist, he often conducts from the keyboard and performs chamber music with colleagues. More: musicvinearts.com, andrewlitton.com.
Christopher Maltman, bass-baritone
Christopher Maltman is globally renowned for his portrayal of Don Giovanni, and he has sung the role in London, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Toulouse, San Sebastian, Beijing and Chicago, and this year adds New York and Edinburgh. Increasingly in demand for Verdi roles, he has sung Posa, Simon Boccanegra and Conte di Luna, and will soon add Guy de Montfort, Don Carlo di Vargas, Rigoletto and Germont. He won the Lieder prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World early in his career and has continued to delight audiences with his sensitive and engaging song performances, many of which are documented in acclaimed recordings. His vast and varied discography ranging from Purcell to Adès includes John Corigliano’s Grammy Award-winning The Ghosts of Versailles with Los Angeles Opera. More: askonasholt.co.uk.
Nick Cecchi, boy soprano
Fourteen-year-old Nick Cecchi enjoys playing piano, singing, acting and eating at Pizzeria Lola. He performs regularly with the Minnesota Boychoir, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS) and the Saint Paul theater program CAMP!
Bernstein and Walton
In Bernstein’s best-known ballet, Fancy Free, three sailors compete for female attention during a 24-hour shore leave in New York. Tension builds between the characters until the three dance variations—Galop, Waltz and Danzon—when, in the waning hours of their leave, the sailors all vie for the same woman.
Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, a choral masterpiece, sets Hebrew text from three Biblical Psalms to chorus, orchestra (sans woodwinds) and a large percussion section that contributes compelling colors. Bernstein himself described the Psalms as “simple and modest” and “tonal and tuneful.”
Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast combines two brass choirs with an oversized orchestra and double chorus, as well as a baritone soloist who takes on the voice of major characters at critical moments in a Biblical story that is at moments mysterious and chilling, exultant and brilliant.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
ANDREW LITTON AND THE MINNESOTA CHORALE: BERNSTEIN AND WALTON
Andrew Litton, conductor
Christopher Maltman, baritone
Nick Cecchi, boy soprano
BERNSTEIN Fancy Free
BERNSTEIN Chichester Psalms
WALTON Belshazzar’s Feast
The Mary Louise Knutson Trio performs in the Target Atrium on Friday, June 1, from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Concert Preview: Alex Lubet, University of Minnesota Professor of Music, will present his talk, “Leonard Bernstein, Quintessential American Composer: From Fancy Free to On the Town,” in the N. Bud Grossman Mezzanine on Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at 7:15 p.m.
The MOB (Minnesota Orchestra Band) will perform a free concert of Beatles music, with special guest Andrew Litton, in the Target Atrium immediately after the Saturday, June 2, Minnesota Orchestra performance.
Admission to all of these OH+ events is free and open to the public. For more information about OH+, please visit minnesotaorchestra.org/ohplus.
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