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Events for December 2018

About This Concert:

With a richly textured baritone voice, award-winning jazz vocalist Gregory Porter brings unique interpretation and lyric soulfulness to original works and classic songs by Nat "King" Cole such as "Mona Lisa" and "Nature Boy" plus Holiday favorites like "The Christmas Song."

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Gregory Porter, vocals
  • Vincent Mendoza, conductor and arranger

Fun Facts:

  • Gregory Porter won the 2014 Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy® for Liquid Spirit, and in 2017 for Take Me to the Alley.
  • His mother was his biggest fan, and encouraged him to pursue music rather than a business degree.
  • Porter played linebacker for San Diego State University, but a shoulder injury kept him from going pro.
  • He was a cast member of It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, the 1999 Tony Award-winning musical, but he didn’t officially launch his recording career until age 40.
  • He’s known for his natty sartorial style, including an ever-present Kangol cap.
  • Raised in Bakersfield, California, Porter watched Hee Haw every Sunday and became a fan of musicians like George Jones.
  • The New York Times praised his “thrilling presence” and his “gift for earthy refinement and soaring uplift.”
  • This program is part of Minnesota Orchestra’s season-long exploration and celebration of American music.

Accessibility

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

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About This Concert:

Join us for the grand finale of Bach’s six-part Oratorio as the Minnesota Chorale celebrates the naming and adoration of the Christ in the last three passionate cantatas of this soaring, sacred work.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Nicholas Kraemer, conductor
  • Sherezade Panthaki, soprano
  • Robin Blaze, countertenor
  • Richard Croft, tenor
  • Christopher Edwards, baritone
  • Minnesota Chorale

BACH
Orchestral Suite No. 3 

BACH
Christmas Oratorio, Cantatas 4, 5 and 6

Fun Facts:

  • Bach’s Christmas Oratorio was written with the intention of each cantata being performed a different night over the 12 days of Christmas.
  • The Christmas Oratorio, completed around Christmastime of 1734, is a set of six cantatas. Much like the passions of Matthew and John, it features a tenor Evangelist telling the story of Christ as it appears in the gospels of Luke and Matthew.
  • For the Oratorio, Bach borrowed his own music, adapting choruses and arias from earlier secular works for this large-scale endeavor.
  • A British conductor with a lifelong affinity for Bach and baroque music, Nicholas Kraemer “brings a zest and exuberance to even the most familiar works.” Chicago Classical Review

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:

A new season of chamber music begins with a timeless classic from Vivaldi, featuring three of the Orchestra’s stellar wind musicians. Plus, works by Harbison and Stravinsky use unusual combinations of instruments in colorful and witty ways.

VIVALDI
Chamber Concerto in G minor

HARBISON
Six American Painters

GOLTERMANN
Souvenirs de Bellini

STRAVINSKY
Octet

Fun Facts:

  • Vivaldi wrote 23 chamber concertos for mixed soloists and continuo.
  • Composer John Harbison is currently working a new composition for organ and orchestra that will receive its world premiere in a Minnesota Orchestra performance at Northrop in October 2018.
  • Harbison, the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2018-19 Featured Composer, is celebrating his 80th birthday in 2018.
  • Harbison won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 and was a 1989 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.
  • Harbison spent many hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art looking at paintings to inspire his music.
  • “The movements tend toward brevity. I had two intentions: not too slow, and not too long.” – John Harbison on his Six American Painters.
  • Stravinsky’s first professional conducting job was leading the premiere of his Octet at the Paris Opera.

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:

Hilarious and heartwarming, Home for the Holidays returns with a few new surprises, combining music performed by the Minnesota Orchestra and storytelling with a Minnesotan slant on Christmas and family traditions.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Sarah Hicks, conductor
  • Conceived and directed by Peter Rothstein
  • Written and narrated by Kevin Kling
  • Original music by Robert Elhai and Peter Ostroushko

Fun Facts:

  • The show features singing actors from some of the Twin Cities’ most beloved theaters and venues.
  • After last year’s debut and two sold-out performances, the Home for the Holidays  team returns with the program audiences loved, plus a few new elements that will surprise audience members of all ages.
  • In 1993, Kling won the prestigious Whiting Award for drama. He’s appeared regularly on NPR’s All Things Considered and won the 2012 National Storytelling Network's Circle of Excellence Award.
  • Our multitalented conductor Sarah Hicks helped create this uniquely Minnesotan holiday show in collaboration with Kevin Kling and director/co-writer Peter Rothstein.
  • A born-and-bred Minnesotan, Kling has lived in Osseo, Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove, Minnesota, and he graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College.
  • Director Peter Rothstein is no stranger to the Twin Cities arts scene. The 2015 Star Tribune “Artist of the Year” is also Founding Artistic Director of Theater Latté Da.
  • Audiences shared their enthusiasm for this new program with us saying, "Kevin Kling is a genius. What a funny and heartwarming look into Minnesota culture and nostalgia," and "I loved every minute! Will be back next year with more family and friends!"

Accessibility

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

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About This Concert:

Jazz up your holiday season with a genre-spanning brass spectacular led by the Minnesota Orchestra’s acclaimed trumpeter Charles Lazarus.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Charles Lazarus, trumpet
  • Tommy Barbarella, piano and keyboards
  • Jeff Bailey, bass
  • David Schmalenberger, drums
  • The Lazarus Brass

Fun Facts:

  • At age 9, Lazarus met Dizzy Gillespie backstage at a concert. Dizzy even let him try out his trumpet.
  • At age 19, he performed at Carnegie Hall with the New York String Orchestra on Christmas Eve.
  • Miles Davis, Herb Albert and Maurice Andre are just a few of his musical inspirations.
  • The Pioneer Press praised Merry and Bright for its “seamlessly combined elements of cool.”
  • The concert features keyboardist extraordinaire Tommy Barbarella, a member of Prince’s New Power Generation who also performs with Nick Jonas & the Administration.
  • This program is part of Minnesota Orchestra’s season-long exploration and celebration of American music.

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:

Celebrated solo pianist George Winston returns to Orchestra Hall for a winter-themed solo performance of songs that celebrate the spirit of the holidays.

  • George Winston, piano

Fun Facts:

  • An activist for environmental causes, cancer research and social justice, Winston’s performance will include a collection for a local food bank; audience members are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to donate.
  • Winston has performed at Orchestra Hall more than two dozen times, including holiday season shows in 2016 and 2017.
  • Winston is a passionate fan of Vince Guaraldi and has released two albums featuring the music Guaraldi wrote for the beloved Charles Schulz Peanuts® television cartoons.
  • He has also recorded soundtracks for audio children’s books, including The Velveteen Rabbit, narrated by Meryl Streep.
  • In addition to the piano, Winston plays harmonica and solo acoustic guitar, focusing on Appalachian fiddle tunes and Hawaiian slack-key guitar pieces.
  • Minnesota Public Radio praises him as “a true original with an inimitable style.”
  • This program is part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s season-long exploration and celebration of American music. 

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:

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 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.

Complete event details »