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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

American Expressions

We proudly present a broad collection of American musical masterpieces for you in our American Expressions Festival. Hear Gershwin’s brash and beloved Rhapsody in Blue or Florence Price’s brooding and restless Third Symphony. From the wildly rhythmic to the broadly expansive, from colorful to quiet, we share with you this wide-ranging musical snapshot of our diverse and vibrant nation.

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American Expressions

 

About This Concert:

From Gershwin’s Tin Pan Alley and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age to Aaron Copland’s folk music- inflected ballet, this concert celebrates the dynamic voices, vision, and talents of iconic American composers. And it wouldn’t be New Year’s Eve without a party: after the concert, we’ll have some fun in the lobby including local jazz band Belle Amour and you can help us count down to midnight!

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Aaron Diehl, piano

*COPLAND
Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo

*GERSHWIN
Rhapsody in Blue

*BERNSTEIN
Three Dances from On the Town

*HARBISON
Remembering Gatsby: Foxtrot for Orchestra

*PAULUS
Impassioned, from Symphony in Three Movements

*GERSHWIN
An American in Paris

This program is part of Minnesota Orchestra's American Expressions festival, celebrating and exploring this country’s bold, imaginative and diverse classical music tradition.

Fun Facts:

  • Copland often incorporated echoes of American folk tunes into his work, but for Rodeo, he left the songs largely intact. Hoe-Down is based on Bonaparte's Retreat, played by Kentucky fiddler William Hamilton Stepp, and recorded 1937 by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress.
  • Copland’s Hoe-Down has made pop culture appearances in the 1980’s “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner” commercials, a Simpsons episode, and in the blockbuster movie Titanic.
  • After the premiere of Rodeo in 1942, Copland’s choreographer Agnes de Mille was approached by Rodgers and Hammerstein, who wanted her to choreograph their production of Oklahoma.
  • Harbison, the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2018-19 Featured Composer, is celebrating his 80th birthday in 2018.
  • The New Yorker praises the late Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus' music for its “impeccable technique and well-honed audience appeal,” while The New York Times says “His scoring is invariably expert and exceptionally imaginative in textures and use of instruments.”
  • Paulus wrote over 600 works for chorus, orchestra, opera, piano and organ, and his music has been performed by leading orchestras, at two presidential funerals, and by many musicians including Doc Severinsen and Leo Kottke.

*This work is part of Minnesota Orchestra’s season-long exploration and celebration of American music. Learn more about our American Expressions festival in January 2019.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

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About This Concert:

Journey to a galaxy far, far away to relive the excitement of the original Star Wars movie as the Minnesota Orchestra performs an exhilarating live accompaniment of the Oscar®-winning score.

This program is part of Minnesota Orchestra's American Expressions, celebrating and exploring this country’s bold, imaginative and diverse classical music tradition.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognesOpen Captioning available

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Please note: to enhance the clarity of spoken dialogue during this film screening and live musical performance, English subtitles will appear at the bottom of the screen.

© 2018 & TM LUCASFILM LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © DISNEY.
Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts in association with 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Warner/Chappell Music.

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About This Concert:

Experience the lyric beauty of Copland, Hanson, Shaw and Barber as the Minnesota Orchestra and Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora explore the wild spirit and individualism of composers at the forefront of 20th century American music.

*BARBER
Symphony No. 1

*COPLAND
Clarinet Concerto

*SHAW
Clarinet Concerto

*HANSON
Symphony No. 2, Romantic

This program is part of Minnesota Orchestra's American Expressions festival, celebrating and exploring this country’s bold, imaginative and diverse classical music tradition.

Fun Facts:

  • Copland first knew he wanted to be a composer at age 15, so he began studying harmony, theory and composition with Rubin Goldmark, a teacher and composer who had briefly taught George Gershwin.
  • Copland influenced successive generations of composers, teaching and inspiring students such as Leonard Bernstein, Alberto Ginastera, Alvin Lucier, and Michael Tilson Thomas.
  • President Lyndon Johnson awarded Copland the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. In 1986, he earned the National Medal of Arts; in 1987 the United States Congress presented him with a special Congressional Gold Medal.
  • Composer Artie Shaw and his orchestra performed his concerto for clarinet in the Fred Astaire film Second Chorus, a biopic of Shaw’s life.
  • Samuel Barber’s last opera was Antony and Cleopatra (1966), a collaboration with filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli. It was a critical flop that had lasting staying power, thanks in part to Leontyne Price’s fabulous arias.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Complete event details »

About This Concert:

Join the Minnesota Orchestra and our virtuoso trumpeter Charles Lazarus for a performance showcasing the multifaceted beauty, scope and originality of talented trailblazers in the landscape of contemporary American sound.

*SCHUMAN
New England Triptych

*HEITZEG
American Nomad, for Trumpet and Orchestra

*PRICE
Symphony No. 3

Fun Facts:

  • Composer Steve Heitzeg features the trumpet in his work as "a messenger or troubador." He says "it's a call and response. It's an alarm. It brings us together."
  • Steve Heitzeg grew up on his family’s dairy farm in south central Minnesota, and much of his work reflects his connection to the natural world. His compositions have been performed by the Atlanta Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, VocalEssence, Chanticleer and the Dale Warland Singers, as well as the Minnesota Orchestra.
  • As the title suggests, American Nomad is a road trip through the U.S., starting with the first movement Avenue of the Americas, New York City, wandering South, then through the Great Plains, the deserts of the Southwest and ending on the California coast.
  • Using a popular jazz technique, Lazarus taps into the emotion of Nomad with a plunger mute.
  • Florence Beatrice Price was an award-winning pianist and composer who became the first African-American woman to have her work performed by a major orchestra.
  • Marian Anderson sang Price's arrangement of the spiritual My Soul's Been Anchored in de Lord at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, and also perform Price’s musical arrangement of the Langston Hughes's poem, "Song to the Dark Virgin." Later, vocalists like Leontyne Price and William Warfield worked to champion Price’s work.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

This program is part of Minnesota Orchestra's American Expressions festival, celebrating and exploring this country’s bold, imaginative and diverse classical music tradition.

Complete event details »

About This Concert:

In this concert wholly devoted to deserving young artists, we introduce composers on a blazing path to create the next generation’s orchestral masterpieces.

This program is part of Minnesota Orchestra's American Expressions festival, celebrating and exploring this country’s bold, imaginative and diverse classical music tradition.

Fun Facts:

  • This concert is the final event of 16th Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, co-presented with the American Composers Forum, a nationally recognized program to support young composers.
  • Composers spend one week in the Orchestra's award-winning professional training program, under the direction of Kevin Puts, winner of a 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his opera Silent Night.
  • In 2006 Osmo Vänskä expanded the Composer Institute to include a Future Classics concert showcasing music by the composers who attend the program. In addition to rehearsing and conducting the concert, he meets individually with all seven composers for private mentoring.
  • The Composer Institute grew out of the Orchestra's Perfect Pitch program, an annual series of new music reading sessions for Minnesota composers. Perfect Pitch was reformulated in 2001 as the Composer Institute.
  • This program’s works cover a range of musical styles; many will receive their first performance by a major American orchestra during the Future Classics concert.

Accessibility

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Read more about Accessibility at Orchestra Hall.

Complete event details »