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Events for February 2018
  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Akiko Fujimoto, conductor

Recommended for grades 6-12
Secondary students, including those who are enrolled in advanced music theory or music history courses, will not want to miss this new, specially designed program.

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2

Dances of Galanta


10am-10:40am: Bach Rehearsal & Run-through Performance
10:40am-10:55am: Break
10:55am-11:35am: Kodály Rehearsal & Run-through Performance
11:35am-12pm: Discussion (Don't forget to bring your phone or tablet for the digital Q and A session!)

Fun Facts:

  • This unique rehearsal format-performance features a rare glimpse of the Orchestra’s behind-the-scenes efforts. Students will experience working rehearsals--as well as the polished performances that are the result.
  • We see both approaches first with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, and then, after a break, with Kodály’s Dances of Galanta. Wrapping up this special program will be a 30-minute “dig deeper” session in which students ask questions of and initiate discussions with the musicians themselves.
  • Students are invited to bring scores and follow along as the Orchestra plays!

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About This Concert:

The spirit of Paris runs like the Seine through this program with two 18th-century symphonies dedicated to the City of Light and a hauntingly beautiful 19th-century religious work by one of Paris’ most treasured composers, Fauré.

Symphony No. 4

Symphony No. 31, Paris



Fun Facts:

  • Both Mozart and Rigel were born in German-speaking countries and came as young men to Paris hoping for fame; Rigel found it, but Mozart didn’t and returned home to Austria.
  • Mozart’s Symphony No. 31 was premiered in Paris by a larger orchestra than the composer had ever heard, prompting his father to quip that the French must like noisy symphonies.
  • Fauré’s Requiem is filled with a quiet beauty, “dominated from beginning to end,” said the composer, “by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest.”

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Featuring Symphony Solo Competition Winner pianist Shuen Wu performing Piano Concerto No.1, third movement by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky. All four orchestras are sure to please with repertoire by Vivaldi, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Wilson, Gershwin, and Rimsky-Korsakov! Our concert opens with students from our String Studio program performing a medley.

MYS celebrates 45 years of amazing performances and 30 years of artistry and education from Artistic Directors Manny and Claudette Laureano - featuring all four orchestras.

Founded in 1972, the Minnesota Youth Symphonies (MYS) is one of the nation’s premier youth orchestra education programs. Dedicated to conservatory-level training for students, MYS enriches and inspires talented K-12 orchestral musicians by providing professional, comprehensive educational experiences, and thrills audiences with outstanding performances of orchestral repertoire.

Our students come from all over Minnesota and western Wisconsin and from a wide variety of economic and cultural backgrounds to play in MYS orchestras. While many of the students hail from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Twin Cities suburbs, some are from as far away as Rochester, Hudson, and St. Cloud. Every week these students spend Saturdays at Highland Junior High School in St. Paul studying and playing fantastic music with some of the finest conductors and music educators in Minnesota.

For more information about MYS, please go to

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 is a $5.00 service charge per transaction for all phone and online orders.


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About This Concert:

Two incredible works for strings written by two incredible, then-young composers. This program, deeply inspired by life and love, features quartets formed by the stellar Minnesota Orchestra string musicians. At the center of the program, bassoonist J. Christopher Marshall and Principal Harp Kathy Kienzle play a haunting duet by Bernard Andrès.

Five Pieces for String Quartet

Chants d’arrière-saison

Quartet No. 1 for Piano and Strings

Fun Facts:

  • Bernard Andrès is a harpist, pianist and composer who writes most of his music for harp. This piece was originally a duet with horn, but Andrès captured the expressive capabilities of the bassoon effortlessly when he rewrote the work for this pair of instruments.
  • Andrès could read music before he could read books.
  • Gabriel Fauré’s Quartet No. 1 contains an abundance of warmth and optimism, despite its key of C minor. It is full of quirks and colors, particularly in the piano melodies.
  • Fauré was engaged to Marianne Viardot in 1877, while he was writing this quartet, but the engagement was suddenly broken off. His grief can be heard in the Adagio movement, but the lightness and positivity throughout the rest of the quartet suggests that he knew he had ultimately taken the right path.
  • Erwin Schulhoff dedicated his Five Pieces for String Quartet to composer Darius Milhaud. Born to German Jewish parents, he died in a concentration camp in 1942, at age 48.

Photos © Joel Larson and Josh Kohanek Photography

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About This Concert:

Join us in the Target Atrium for an engaging and interactive concert featuring Minnesota Orchestra violinist Pamela Arnstein, bassist Kathryn Nettleman, and talented guest musicians from the audience!

Fun Facts:

  • The Minnesota Orchestra's sensory-friendly small ensemble concerts are inclusive experiences for patrons of all ages and abilities, including individuals on the autism spectrum and those with sensory sensitivities.
  • Concerts take place in a relaxed environment where audience members are welcome to be who they are and enjoy music with family and friends.
  • Lyndie Walker, MT-BC, of Toneworks Music Therapy Services hosts these concerts.
  • Fidgets, noise-canceling headphones, and quiet spaces are available at all Sensory-Friendly Concerts, and attendees can also access online preparatory materials. Stand-alone chairs provide for flexible seating and open space is available for those who wish to sit on the floor or move around the room.

Sensory-Friendly Concerts are free for attendees, but tickets are required. You can order in advance or on the day of the event.

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About This Concert:

The Minnesota Orchestra performs Leonard Bernstein's electrifying score live while the remastered film West Side Story is shown in glorious high definition on the big screen.

Fun Facts:

  • West Side Story re-imagines Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in 1950s New York City, as a bitter rivalry between two teenage street gangs—the American-born Jets and the Puerto Rican immigrant Sharks—is forever altered by a forbidden love affair between the young couple Tony and Maria.
  • Since its debut on Broadway in 1957 and the 1961 film adaptation, West Side Story has become a favorite to generations of audiences, and many of its songs have become pop culture touchstones, including “Maria,” “Tonight,” “Somewhere” and “America.” 
  • Rita Moreno (Anita) and George Chakiris (Bernardo) won Oscars® for their performances, among the 10 bestowed on the film—the most ever for a movie musical at that time.
  • Although the original musical materials for the movie arrangements were lost, 14 months of research by The Leonard Bernstein Office brought to light a trove of important finds in private collections and library archives around the country.
  • Bernstein himself conducted the Minnesota Orchestra (then Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra) twice in 1945 and 1947. He was a good friend of the Orchestra’s fourth music director, Dimitri Mitropoulos, and mentored its ninth music director, Eiji Oue.

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.

West Side Story © 1961 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

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  • 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

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

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.

Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor

Symphony No. 10

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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