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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Be the first to experience the “Music for Mandela” project at this year’s Sommerfest. The Minnesota Orchestra explores musical expressions of peace, freedom and reconciliation in a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s Centenary that concludes with a five-city tour of South Africa.

Attending more than one concert? Create Your Own series of 3 or more concerts and you'll save up to 15% off regular prices!


Bring a book to donate at your Sommerfest concert and help us send 22,000 books to Africa! Book donation guidelines and information »

Books for Africa


 

About this Concert:

Enjoy one hour (no intermission) of gorgeous music featuring selections by Beethoven, Salonen and Pärt led by trailblazing conductor Roderick Cox, the 2018 winner of the prestigious Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award.

SALONEN
Helix

PÄRT
Fratres

BEETHOVEN
Piano Concerto No. 4

Download program notes (pdf)

Fun Facts:

  • Helix was commissioned by the BBC and premiered by Valery Gergiev and the World Orchestra for Peace on a Proms concert in August 2005.
  • Mandela and his friend, Welsh pianist Harold Rubens, led meetings in the 1950s at which they planned apartheid resistance while Rubens played Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 very loudly to thwart government bugs.
  • Arvo Pärt is from Estonia, which is also celebrating its centenary in 2018. His composition Fratres literally means brotherhood, and demonstrates his minimalist tintinnabuli style of composition.
  • Called "a phenomenon" by the Los Angeles Times and "one of the best pianists of his generation" by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear has collaborated previously with Roderick Cox, who in turn introduced Goodyear to the Minnesota Orchestra.
  • These Symphony in 60 concerts are part of the Minnesota Orchestra's Casual Concerts series, which includes a $5 pre-concert happy hour, local craft brews and an opportunity to meet musicians after the performance.
  • This performance also marks Roderick Cox's final concert as Minnesota Orchestra associate conductor, although we hope to bring you future concerts with him guest conducting.
  • In May 2018 Roderick Cox won the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award. The award, conferred by The Solti Foundation U.S., is the largest grant given to young American conductors in the United States.

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.

Bring a book to donate at your Sommerfest concert and help us send 22,000 books to Africa! Book donation guidelines and information »

Books for Africa

Complete event details »

About this Concert:

Protest music has played an important role in history for centuries, sparking dialogue and inspiring change—and our recent history is no exception. Violist and host Sam Bergman and conductor Sarah Hicks highlight the music of composers who used their craft as commentary on historical and current events.

This program includes adult-oriented topics, including references to violence and oppression, and may not be appropriate for young children. Read an essay by Sam Bergman about how this program was created »

Post-concert on stage reception.

BRITTEN
Lacrymosa, mvt. I from Sinfonia da Requiem

CORIGLIANO
Apologue: Of Rage and Remembrance, mvt. I from Symphony No. 1

TOWER
Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 1

PENDERECKI
Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima

STILL
In Memoriam of the Colored Soldiers Who Died For Democracy

SMYTH
Overture to The Boatswain’s Mate

BEETHOVEN
Overture to Fidelio

SHOSTAKOVICH/Barshai
Allegro molto, mvt. II from Chamber Symphony

Al-ZAND
The Prisoner

Download program notes (pdf)

Fun Facts

  • Inside the Classics, now in its ninth season, features Minnesota Orchestra violist and host Sam Bergman and conductor Sarah Hicks. The duo explore classical music through conversation and orchestral excerpts. This Inside the Classics concert is part of the Minnesota Orchestra's Casual Concerts series.
  • Casual Concerts include: $5 pre-concert happy hour, local craft brew, and an opportunity to meet musicians onstage after the performance.
  • Karim Al-Zand's The Prisoner is a masterful and moving piece for bass baritone and orchestra that is inspired by the writings of Guantanamo Bay detainee Adnan Latif, who was held without cause for a decade and died while incarcerated.
  • This wide-ranging program also explores music that commemorates the women’s suffrage movement, acknowledges the service and sacrifice of African-American Civil War soldiers, reflects on the bombing of Hiroshima and pays tribute to friends lost during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.

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.

Bring a book to donate at your Sommerfest concert and help us send 22,000 books to Africa! Book donation guidelines and information »

Books for Africa

Complete event details »

About This Concert:

Join us for an uplifting Sommerfest performance by global a cappella phenomenon Ladysmith Black Mambazo, whose inspiring songs of social justice, hope and joy radiate the vital spirit of the South African people.

Download program notes (pdf)

Fun Facts:

  • The a cappella ensemble’s performance with Paul Simon on Graceland (1986) catapulted the ensemble on the world stage; this group has remained in the spotlight ever since.
  • In addition to their working with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris and Melissa Etheridge, among others.
  • An inspiration to Nelson Mandela while he was a political prisoner in South Africa, Ladysmith Black Mambazo performed at his 1994 inauguration as the country’s first post-apartheid president.
  • The group’s sound traces its roots to the tradition of isicathamiya (pronounced is-cot-a-ME-ya), a singing style created by South African mine workers.
  • Ladysmith Black Mambazo is named for its hometown and the Zulu word for “axe.”
  • According to the Huffington Post “Ladysmith Black Mambazo may be an institution, but it’s a vibrant, high-stepping institution that shows no signs of slowing down.”
  • The Los Angeles Times credits the group’s “creative discipline and good spirits” as an inspiration in “helping South Africa complete its transition from racist tyranny to equal-rights democracy with joy.”
  • “It isn’t merely …the power of their dancing or the beauty of their singing that rivets the attention,” praises Paul Simon, “but the sheer joy and love that emanates from their being.”

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.

Please note: the Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program.

Bring a book to donate at your Sommerfest concert and help us send 22,000 books to Africa! Book donation guidelines and information »

Books for Africa

Complete event details »

About This Concert:

Before embarking on its South Africa tour, the Orchestra has been invited to perform this all-American program with pianist Inon Barnatan at the world's largest classical music festival, London's prestigious BBC Proms. Join us for a post-concert toast as we say thank you and farewell to retiring Minnesota Orchestra president and CEO Kevin Smith.

BERNSTEIN
Overture to Candide

GERSHWIN
Piano Concerto in F

IVES
Symphony No. 2

Download program notes (PDF)

Fun Facts:

  • The Minnesota Orchestra will also perform this program on August 6 at London's Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms, one of the world's most prestigious classical music festivals. The Proms concert will be broadcast live on Classical Minnesota Public Radio.
  • “One of the most admired pianists of his generation," according to The New York Times, Inon Barnatan recently performed with the Minnesota Orchestra on the January 2018 Midwest Tour and Tchaikovsky Marathon.
  • This is the send-off performance for the Orchestra as they leave for a multi-city tour of South Africa.
  • Charles Ives was a modernist composer and among the first to use experimental techniques such as polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters and quarter tones. His tonal inspirations come from myriad sources including traditional hymns, parlor ballads and Stephen Foster melodies.
  • Candide is an operetta based on the Voltaire novella; American poet Richard Wilbur was the primary lyricist. Although it premiered to an unenthusiastic audience in 1956, it has become a well-beloved modern day favorite.
  • A lifelong activist and unafraid of controversy, Leonard Bernstein and his then-wife Felicia hosted parties for the Black Panthers and anti-Vietnam war efforts. He was monitored by Hoover’s FBI as a “potential communist.”
  • Gershwin is world-famous for music that has become part of the national consciousness, including the incomparable Rhapsody in Blue and his revolutionary opera Porgy and Bess.

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.

Bring a book to donate at your Sommerfest concert and help us send 22,000 books to Africa! Book donation guidelines and information »

Books for Africa

Complete event details »


The Minnesota Orchestra’s tour is funded by generous contributions from an anonymous couple.

The Minnesota Orchestra recognizes the Douglas and Louise Leatherdale Fund for Music supporting the work of Osmo Vänskä.


Tour Partners


Music for Mandela Corporate Consortium Sponsors