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Events for September 2017

About This Concert:

American, French and Russian fireworks open the season, including Stravinsky’s incandescent Suite from his ballet The Firebird, and a performance with the Canadian violin phenom James Ehnes.

Short Ride in a Fast Machine

Pavane for a Dead Princess

Violin Concerto No. 2 [U.S. Premiere]

Roman Carnival Overture

Suite from The Firebird (1919 revision)

Read program notes »

Fun Facts:

  • John Adams has said of his Short Ride in a Fast Machine that you can imagine you’re in a convertible, top down, driving way too fast—and loving it.
  • Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess is one of the most elegant of this 20th-century Frenchman’s creations, inspired not so much by an actual princess, but the composer’s wish to conjure a courtly dance that a princess, say, of the 16th century would’ve loved.
  • Performers in Ravel’s day loved his Pavane so much that the tempo got slower and slower—prompting the composer to say, “this is a pavane for a dead princess, not a dead pavane for a princess.”
  • James Ehnes has a global reputation for his approachability as well as his virtuosity, and The Times (London) last fall praised “the Canadian’s polite, unassuming manner [which] belies his brilliant artistry.”
  • If you want to hear more from phenom James Ehnes, he’ll be back in January for our Tchaikovsky Marathon.
  • Ehnes has one of the most active solo careers today, but also formed the Ehnes String Quartet to collaborate with friends in chamber music.
  • Berlioz’ Roman Carnival Overture is the Act II curtain-raiser to his 1844 opera Benvenuto Cellini—which bombed on opening night and has hardly seen the light of day since—and these nine minutes of break-neck, beautiful music remain one of his most popular concert pieces.
  • The end of Stravinsky’s ballet The Firebird is bar-for-bar some of the most exciting music of the 20th century.

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Suite from The Firebird (1919 revision)

Hosted by Violist Sam Bergman, this program introduces students to Stravinsky's famous Firebird Suite, 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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Minnesota Orchestra Board Chair Marilyn Carlson Nelson, along with President and CEO Kevin Smith, invite you to a spectacular Season Opening Celebration dinner.

DINNER 6:00 pm

$200/person ($75 tax-deductible per person)
Includes three-course dinner, drinks, Champagne, and complimentary parking

To make dinner reservations, please call Chris at 612-371-7173 or click the "BUY" buttons above. Please RSVP by September 8, 2017.

Have your season opening concert tickets? Click here to buy concert tickets.

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About this Concert:

Presented by Green Minneapolis, the Minnesota Orchestra offers a free one-hour concert at The Commons, the vibrant green space located across from the U.S. Bank Stadium.

Music Director Osmo Vänskä will lead the performance of powerful symphonic works—from Sibelius’ Finlandia to John Williams’ Raiders of the Lost Ark—marking the Orchestra’s debut in Minneapolis’ newest park.


Please note: Decisions to cancel outdoor concerts due to inclement weather can be made up until moments before the concert start time. In the event that weather circumstances should deteriorate and impact this performance — updates will be posted here.

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Cantus welcomes the acclaimed artists of Sweet Honey in the Rock® for one unforgettable evening of vocal music!

Inspired by their mission and programmatic approach, Cantus has performed much-loved Sweet Honey classics – such as “Wanting Memories” – for years. But the two ensembles have never shared the stage until now. Cantus and Sweet Honey will present selections of their own before coming together for a dynamic finale.  

$100 VIP (includes premiere seating and an invitation to a post-concert celebration with Cantus and Sweet Honey In The Rock®)

$75/$50/$30 Regular Seating

ASL interpreter seats are located in rows 1-3, seats 9-12.  Please call 612.371.5656 to inquire about availability.

For more information:

Please note: 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 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.  Tickets for this performance will be distributed at the end of August.  

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About This Concert:

Finland declared independence in 1917, and we celebrate its centennial with breathtaking music and musicians from this remarkable Nordic nation.


Violin Concerto

Symphony No. 2

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Fun Facts:

  • Aho titled Minea in honor of Minneapolis, the city in which it was premiered in 2009.
  • Osmo Vänskä picked the violin prodigy Elina Vähälä when she was just 12 to make her debut with his Finnish orchestra, the Lahti Symphony. Vänskä later named Vähälä the orchestra’s “young master soloist.”
  • Sibelius’ Second was written in 1901, when Russia had sanctioned Finnish language and culture, and the music has been called the “Symphony of Independence.” It is the most popular of his seven symphonies, famous for its final pages of soaring brass fanfares.
  • FinnFest returns! This annual Finnish-American heritage festival began in 1983 in Minneapolis and has moved to a different US city each year. Orchestra Hall is the host site for this year’s FinnFest, including a beautiful Finnish Expo in our lobby!

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About This Concert:

Sibelius didn’t just write incredible symphonies! Hear a pair of his works for chamber ensemble, featuring Osmo Vänskä on the clarinet and guest violinist Elina Vähälä in this NightCap performance.

Please note: this concert will take place in the Orchestra Hall Auditorium.

Overture F minor for Brass Septet

SIBELIUS/arr. Kuusito, J.
En Saga

Fun Facts:

  • The brass septet has been one of the most important musical ensembles in Finland since the 1870s. It is a national specialty and the basis for much of the country’s band music.
  • Finland was once called “The Land of a thousand lakes and brass septets.”
  • En Saga, known mostly as a piece for full orchestra, was originally envisioned by Sibelius as a chamber piece, but the original sketches have gone missing. It is heard here in an arrangement by contemporary Finnish composer-conductor Jakko Kuusisto.
  • Sibelius’ symphonic tone poem inspired a painting by his good friend Akseli Gallen-Kallela, which depicts both a fantastical landscape and a portrait of the composer.
  • En Saga is one of Sibelius’ earliest works, and he confesses to composing it using many of his own emotions as the basis for the work.
  • Osmo Vänskä is serving as honorary chair of FinnFest celebrating Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence.

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Vocalessence Presale: Click here to enter your code and access concerts

  • VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers
  • Osmo Vänskä, clarinet
  • Sara Pajunen, fiddle

While the land of the midnight sun has long been known for refreshingly bright ideas—from saunas to cell phones—its musical contributions are equally innovative.

Favorite Finns Osmo Vänskä and Sara Pajunen will help us celebrate 100 years of Finnish independence, performing music of Sibelius, Rautavaara, Mäntyjärvi, Saariaho, and others. Catch “Finn Fever” and join in with a chorus of Sibelius’s Finlandia. Presented in partnership with the American Swedish Institute and national FinnFest USA.

For more information, visit

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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  • Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
  • Wynton Marsalis, music director and trumpet

About This Concert:

Longtime Twin Cities’ favorites, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra return for one night only to bring their swing to Orchestra Hall. The band is led by trumpeter and Music Director Wynton Marsalis, a master of jazz and classical traditions, a revered educator and an acknowledged cultural leader. Order your tickets today—their last Orchestra Hall concert sold out!

Fun facts:

  • Wynton’s love of the music of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and others drove him to pursue a career in classical music as well. His debut recording received glorious reviews and won the Grammy Award for “Best Classical Soloist with an Orchestra.”
  • The orchestra was founded in 1988 as part of the Lincoln Center’s summer concert series, "Classical Jazz." Comprised of 15 of today’s finest jazz soloists and ensemble players, the band has been the Jazz at Lincoln Center resident orchestra since 1988.
  • Wynton Marsalis has won nine Grammy Awards. In 1983 he earned the distinction of being the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for both jazz and classical records – (an accomplishment he astonishingly repeated in 1984) and he is the only artist ever to have won Grammy Awards in five consecutive years (1983-1987).
  • The orchestra has toured over 300 cities in more than 35 countries on 6 continents.
  • In 1997 Wynton Marsalis became the first jazz musician ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his epic oratorio “Blood on the Fields.”
  • Featured in all aspects of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s programming, the remarkably versatile Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performs and leads educational events – including Jazz for Young PeopleSM family concert series, the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, the Jazz for Young PeopleTM Curriculum, educational residencies, workshops and concerts for students and adults—in New York, across the U.S. and around the world.

Please note: This performance is approximately 90 minutes and does not have an intermission.

DakotaTwin Cities Jazz Festival KBEM 88.5 Jazz 88 FM

The Orchestra Hall Box Office is pleased to provide ticket services for this event.  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 Office.  There is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.

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About this Event

A free taproom micro-concert (30-45 minutes of music) performed by our world-class Minnesota Orchestra musicians at Wicked Wort Brewing Company. Hear a sampling of music and share a beer with the musicians after!

Fun Facts:

  • Pint of Music micro-concerts are designed to be a sampling of music. If you want the full Minnesota Orchestra experience, join us for a concert at Orchestra Hall!
  • Meet the musicians after the performance! Musicians will stick around to share a beer with you until around 9pm.
  • This event is our first Pint of Music in Robbinsdale, MN.
  • It's a classy classical night at Wicked Wort! DJ Ryan Laechelt will spin classical music before our musicians' performance to set the tone for the evening, and will return afterward for a second set.
  • Wicked Wort Brewing Company will give away FREE beer samples at Orchestra Hall for the November 10 Future Classics concert.

Please note: This is not a ticketed event. Brewery space and parking is limited. This event is not at Orchestra Hall. Please see off-site address listed below. Must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol. The Minnesota Orchestra encourages you to drink responsibly.

Wicked Wort Brewing is a strictly 21+ venue (please no kids, babies or infants).

Wicked Wort Brewing Co.
4165 W Broadway Ave
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
Directions »


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About this Concert:

Calling all La La Land fans! Relive the magic as we screen the blockbuster movie while the Minnesota Orchestra plays the Oscar®-winning score.

Download program notes (pdf) »

Fun Facts:

  • La La Land was nominated for 14 Oscars and won six, including Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “City of Stars.”
  • The Minnesota Orchestra is one of the first ensembles to present La La Land in Concert.
  • The movie’s composer Justin Hurwitz met director Damien Chazelle at Harvard, where they were band mates. Hurwitz also scored Chazelle’s music-centered film Whiplash.
  • Ryan Gosling trained as a jazz pianist so he could play the piano scenes himself.
  • Co-star John Legend, a classically trained pianist, learned to play guitar for his role.
  • The New York Daily News praises La La Land as “…a singing love letter to musicals,” and Rolling Stone calls it “a hot miracle.”

This film has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America.

La La Land © 2017 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Media Partner:

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