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Events for February 18, 2018–April 01, 2018
  • VocalEssence Chorus
  • VocalEssence Youth Choral Arts Initiative

Dream of a better world as we pay tribute to the Harlem Renaissance, on the 100th anniversary of its birth, through song, poetry, hip-hop, dance, and more.

Hear the debut of the VocalEssence Youth Choral Arts Initiative as well as the world premiere of William Banfield’s chamber symphony, I Trust Harlem Is Still There, based on the letters of Langston Hughes. Be inspired and challenged to become an agent of change in our community.

For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org

Concert conversation with composer William Banfield and Associate Conductor G. Phillip Shoultz, III at 3 pm.

The Orchestra Hall Box Office is pleased to provide ticketing services for the VocalEssence 2017-18 Concert Season. The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. All artists, programs, prices, dates and times subject to change. All sales are final; no refunds. Prices listed include a non-discountable $3.50 facility fee. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at Orchestra Hall or the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Offices. There is a $5 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

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  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Akiko Fujimoto, conductor

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 7

Hosted by Violist Sam Bergman, this program introduces students to Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, a major symphonic work in the classical repertoire. Students will learn about the music throughout the program and have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the concert.

Please note: this concert is closed to the general public.


Did you know? The Minnesota Orchestra has several discount programs for students, educators and families. Learn more »

Music learning programs like this are made possible with the generous support of donors, including the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra through The Bellwether Fund. Give today to help inspire future musicians, conductors and audiences! Give now »

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About This Concert:

André Watts brings a fearless virtuosity to the piano, exactly what Beethoven asks for in his Emperor Concerto—where master composer and master performer meet.

BEETHOVEN
Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No. 10

Read program notes »

Fun Facts:

  • Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 may have gotten its nickname at the 1812 Vienna premiere when an excited French officer exclaimed, “C’est l’Empereur!”
  • Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 quotes his own song “What’s in My Name?” and throughout the Tenth, Shostakovich uses the notes D, E flat, C, B (D, S, C, H in German spelling) for his own initials—a survivor’s rebuke to Stalin who had terrorized the composer.
  • At 16, André Watts filled in at the last minute with the New York Philharmonic. At his performance of Liszt’s concerto, Leonard Bernstein and the orchestra joined the audience in a standing ovation for the young man.
  • John Storgårds is as accomplished with a violin bow as a conductor’s baton, having served as concertmaster of the Swedish Radio Symphony for several seasons.

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About This Concert:

Four singular pianists take turns at the keyboard with classics from the American songbook along with original music—hear camaraderie and competition in this intimate performance.

  • Jeremy Walker, piano and artistic director
  • Chris Lomheim, piano
  • Bryan Nichols, piano
  • Javier Santiago, piano

Fun Facts:

  • The keyboard has long been at the center of music. From Bach to Joplin, Chopin to Ellington, the forefront of compositional thought has been at the piano.
  • The piano is an orchestra in a box—percussive, thundering, shimmering and clarion. Pianists coax a world of emotion from our most mechanized instrument.
  • The four pianists in this program are widely divergent in style and approach, but all are united in unearthing new expressive territory at the piano.
  • Chris Lomheim is a pianist whose rich harmony is always accompanied by swinging, bluesy improvisation. Bryan Nichols possesses formidable technique expressed through adventurous modernism. Javier Santiago is a hard-driving virtuoso versed in the jazz tradition. Jeremy Walker's pianism is quirky and expressive, with a restless imagination.
  • Of this series, Pioneer Press notes "Orchestra Hall's Target Atrium is the Twin Cities' answer to New York's Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in Lincoln Center—a smaller, more intimate venue where listeners can enjoy concert hall-quality jazz."

Media Partner:

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

Photo credits: Chris Lomheim © Andrea Canter; Bryan Nichols © Benny Moreno; Javier Santiago © Jack Davis; Jeremy Walker © Clare W.G. Nieto

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The MMEA All-State Choirs—SSAA, SATB and TTBB—feature the top 248 high-school singers from around Minnesota. Conductors Bret Amundson, G. Phillip Shoultz III and Eugene Rogers lead the choirs.

This program will last approximately 90 minutes without an intermission.

For more information please visit: www.mmea.org

The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. All artists, programs, prices, dates and times subject to change. All sales are final; no refunds. Prices listed include a non- discountable facility fee of $2.50-$3.50. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Orchestra Hall Box Office or Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Offices. There is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

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The MMEA All-State Bands and Orchestra feature the top 300 high school instrumentalists from across Minnesota. Conductors Miriam Burns, Andrew Mast and Shanti Simons lead the ensembles.

This program will last approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes without an intermission.

For more information please visit: www.mmea.org

The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. All artists, programs, prices, dates and times subject to change. All sales are final; no refunds. Prices listed include a non- discountable facility fee of $2.50-$3.50. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Orchestra Hall Box Office or Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Offices. There is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

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About This Concert:

Juraj Valčuha returns to conduct Rachmaninoff’s powerful Third Piano Concerto and Debussy’s shape-shifting picture of the sea, La mer.

LYADOV
The Enchanted Lake

RACHMANINOFF
Piano Concerto No. 3

RESPIGHI
The Fountains of Rome

DEBUSSY
La mer

Fun Facts:

  • At six-foot-six, Rachmaninoff had hands that could span three notes farther than most pianists—one of the reasons his Concerto No. 3 is the most daunting in all the pianist’s literature.
  • The Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parent’s record collection and came to the US when he was only 14 to focus on jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
  • Gerstein won the prestigious (and slightly mysterious) Gilmore Award in 2010, bestowed every four years on an unsuspecting pianist anywhere in the world in recognition of exceptional artistry.
  • Debussy’s parents had plans for their son to join the navy, but Debussy rarely got close to large bodies of water and instead let his imagination set sail when he created his vivid orchestration of the sea in La mer.

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About Campus Night:

This concert, selected by our Student Ambassadors, features free extras for students in the Student Zone on the N. Bud Grossman Mezzanine. Activities start at 6:30pm.

Free with $12 student ticket:

  • Iced coffee & bakery treats
  • Water World Mural coloring station
  • Shark Tank Live Stream
  • Scuba Presentation by musician Ellen Dinwiddie Smith
  • Meet the musicians after the concert!

About This Concert:

Juraj Valčuha returns to conduct Rachmaninoff’s powerful Third Piano Concerto and Debussy’s shape-shifting picture of the sea, La mer.

LYADOV
The Enchanted Lake

RACHMANINOFF
Piano Concerto No. 3

RESPIGHI
The Fountains of Rome

DEBUSSY
La mer

Fun Facts:

  • At six-foot-six, Rachmaninoff had hands that could span three notes farther than most pianists—one of the reasons his Concerto No. 3 is the most daunting in all the pianist’s literature.
  • The Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parent’s record collection and came to the US when he was only 14 to focus on jazz at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
  • Gerstein won the prestigious (and slightly mysterious) Gilmore Award in 2010, bestowed every four years on an unsuspecting pianist anywhere in the world in recognition of exceptional artistry.
  • Debussy’s parents had plans for their son to join the navy, but Debussy rarely got close to large bodies of water and instead let his imagination set sail when he created his vivid orchestration of the sea in La mer.

Community Partners

Bootstrap Coffee

Sea Life at Mall of America 

Silhouette Bakery and Bistro

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About This Concert:

Join us for a family concert sure to delight audiences of all ages!

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Akiko Fujimoto, conductor

More Details:

  • This concert will feature two of the Minnesota Orchestra’s very own—Steven Campbell (tuba) and Roma Duncan (piccolo)—as we explore music that tells a story of bumblebees, rivers, elephants and more!
  • Listen to Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee, two pieces of music inspired by the Mississippi River—Kevin Puts’ River’s Rush and Michael Daugherty’s Reflections on the Mississippi—and a special surprise duet for tuba and piccolo.
  • The Orchestra will then perform the first movement of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, but with a special, sporty twist thanks to the hilarious antics of composer P.D.Q Bach.

Join us at 12:45pm for Learning in the Lobby activities sponsored by Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra.

Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra

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  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Akiko Fujimoto, conductor

Recommended for elementary-age students
Some composers tell stories in music with fascinating results—painting musical pictures of people, places and whatever they see around them.

Fun Facts:

  • Orchestra Hall will come alive with the sounds of a bee buzzing and swooping in Rimsky-Korsakov’s beloved Flight of the Bumblebee, and with the sounds of the mighty Mississippi flowing in works by Kevin Puts and Michael Daugherty.
  • Students will also discover how composers create a new story to go with familiar music—as Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q. Bach) did with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.
  • Principal Tuba Steven Campbell and star piccolo player Roma Duncan also team up for Kling’s The Elephant and the Fly, a most unusual piccolo-tuba pairing.

Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concerts are for schools, homeschools and families looking for an outstanding arts experience that is both educational and engaging. All orders must have at least one child (ages 1 to 17) and at least one accompanying adult.

Sign up for a homeschool workshop for this performance »

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About This Concert:

You’re invited! Pink Martini mixes a fabulous cocktail of swoon-worthy music and multilingual flourishes for a performance that will be the talk of the town.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • China Forbes, lead vocals
  • Pink Martini, ensemble

Fun Facts:

  • Pianist Thomas Lauderdale formed Pink Martini in 1994 in Portland to play at fundraisers for civil rights, environmental and educational causes.
  • Lauderdale describes Pink Martini as “a rollicking around-the-world musical adventure…if the United Nations had a house band in 1962, hopefully we’d be that band.”
  • Pink Martini albums feature a wide range of guest singers such as the Von Trapps (yes, the actual great-grandchildren of The Sound of Music’s Captain and Maria von Trapp), the late Phyllis Diller and Rufus Wainwright.
  • They’ve recorded in dozens of languages as varied as Turkish, Japanese, Romanian and Xhosa.
  • Lead singer China Forbes graduated cum laude from Harvard and her original songs have been featured in The Sopranos, The West Wing, Weeds, The L Word, Felicity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
  • NPR describes Pink Martini’s songs as “a globetrotting victory lap…all tackled with cosmopolitan sophistication and the playfulness of pop.”

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Join us for a Minnesota Open Rehearsal

In appreciation of your support of the 2017-18 Guaranty Fund, you and a guest are invited to attend a Minnesota Orchestra Open Rehearsal. Reserve your tickets now—you will need to enter the promo code from your print or email invitation.

Vänskä Conducts Mahler’s Titan Symphony

Osmo Vänskä conductor / Erin Keefe, violin

WEILL
Violin Concerto

MAHLER
Symphony No. 1, Titan

8:30 am Doors open
9:00 am Concert preview with Akiko Fujimoto, Assistant Conductor
9:20 am Reception in the Roberta Mann Grand Foyer
10:00 am Orchestra Rehearsal*

Program and approximate time will be announced from the stage.

*Guests are invited to watch the Orchestra’s rehearsal only through the first break. The program and approximate time will be announced from the stage. If you are not attending the concert preview discussion, please arrive no later than 9:45 am as the rehearsal begins promptly at 10:00 am.

As a courtesy to the Orchestra, late access to the auditorium will be limited. Guests must remain seated through the rehearsal’s break. This is a working rehearsal, please refrain from talking, photography, video and please hold your applause. Thank you.

Thank you for your support!

Already a donor? Enter your promo code and secure your tickets.

Not yet a donor? Make a gift of $100 or more and join us for this event. 

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About This Concert:

No first symphony has ever rocked the world like Mahler’s stunning Titan—joyous and bold, the composer’s audacious wish to embrace all of humanity in a single piece of music.

WEILL
Violin Concerto

MAHLER
Symphony No. 1, Titan

Fun Facts:

  • Gustav Mahler wrote his Symphony No. 1 on the inspiration of simple German folk tunes and poetry, and turned that into a fabulously colorful tapestry for brass, strings, winds and percussion, and perhaps the most daring first symphony of any composer.
  • Kurt Weill, who composed Broadway superhits like “Mack the Knife,” also wrote dozens of concert works as a young man in his native Germany.
  • Weill shed no tears when he left Germany for America, and said, “The moment I landed here I felt as though I’d come home.”
  • When Erin Keefe was young, her father wanted her to study piano, but the front door of their house wasn’t big enough to move a piano in, so violin it was.

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About This Concert:

Celebrated screen actor, musician and winner of a 2016 Best Actor Tony Award for his role as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, Leslie Odom, Jr. joins the Minnesota Orchestra for an exhilarating evening of jazz standards and Broadway hits.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • Leslie Odom, Jr., vocalist

Read program notes » (pdf)

Fun Facts:

  • Odom, Jr. credits speechwriting and oratory for getting him into the arts. He made his Broadway debut at age 17 in Rent.
  • He has a passion for horror movies, vintage '80s TV shows and ordering dessert first.
  • His TV appearances have included roles on NBC’s Smash, Law & Order: SVU, Gotham, Grey’s Anatomy, and House of Lies.
  • His self-titled 2014 debut album was partially funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign.

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A Celebration of Song: featuring the Wartburg Choir, the Iowa State University Singers and the Luther College Nordic Choir.

Come hear a variety of great choral music from over the border as some of the state of Iowa's best choral ensembles join together in song to celebrate the legacy of choral singing in the Heartland.

Each choir will sing their own set of pieces and combine as one big ensemble for three pieces at the end of the concert, led by each of the three conductors.

Please note: This performance is approximately 2 hours with no intermission. The Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program. All artists, programs, prices, dates and times subject to change. All sales are final; no refunds. Prices listed include a non-discountable $2.50 facility fee. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Orchestra Hall Box Office or Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Offices. There is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

Complete event details »

About This Concert:

Enthralling legions of audiences in sold-out halls throughout the world, TAO: Drum Heart brings a fusion of explosive Japanese Taiko drumming, contemporary costumes and eye-popping choreography to Orchestra Hall.

Fun Facts:

  • "Taiko" is the general term for the type of drumming featured in TAO: Drum Heart; in Japanese, the word literally means "fat drum."
  • Since their first appearance in 2004, TAO: Drum Heart has played in more than 22 countries and 400 cities around the world, with 7 million spectators to date.
  • After performing at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, TAO: Drum Heart sold out every show of its first North American tour.
  • TAO: Drum Heart includes performances by both male and female Taiko drummers..
  • The Chicago Tribune applauds TAO: Drum Heart as “extraordinarily talented percussion artists, and seductive, alluring performers.”

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

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