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About This Concert:

Join the Minnesota Orchestra for world-renowned British pianist Stephen Hough’s precisely attuned and poetic translation of Mendelssohn’s opulent concerto as well as guest conductor Han-Na Chang’s dynamic handling of Beethoven’s towering Eroica symphony.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Han-Na Chang, conductor
  • Stephen Hough, piano

*SHEPHERD 
Silvery Rills

MENDELSSOHN
Piano Concerto No. 1 

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 3, Eroica

Fun Facts:

  • The symphony was originally written in honor of Napoleon, who Beethoven believed to a champion of freedom. When Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France in 1804, Beethoven was disgusted and changed the name from "The Bonaparte Symphony" to "Eroica."
  • The Eroica premiered in Vienna on April 7, 1805, and was grander in scale than most symphonies at the time. It was Beethoven’s largest solely instrumental work.
  • Ambitious in both its scope and its emotional impact, Eroica shattered conventional audience expectations that music was mere entertainment, containing no larger message or mission.
  • The St. Louis Post Dispatch calls Han-Na Chang “one of the most exciting conductors to take the podium” and praised her “inspired control.”
  • Hough discovered his affinity for piano when he selected more than one hundred nursery rhymes on his aunt’s piano. He went on to become one of the youngest students at the Royal Northern College of Music before winning a scholarship to The Juilliard School.
  • Hough rocks: When he was a guest on BBC Radio 4's cult hit Desert Island Discs program, he chose Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven as one of his musical selections.

*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.

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About This Concert:

We introduce a bright new talent in these concerts. Illyich Rivas made his professional conducting debut at just 16. Now in his mid-20s, the dynamic Venezuelan-American conductor has been described by The Guardian as a “phenomenon” who is “strikingly, almost disconcertingly good.” Hear for yourself what the excitement is about as Rivas makes his Minnesota Orchestra debut leading Dvořák’s bucolic Eighth Symphony and Ginastera’s colorful Ballet Suite. Dazzling American violinist Stefan Jackiw completes the program performing a masterwork: Mendelssohn’s beloved Violin Concerto.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Illyich Rivas, conductor
  • Stefan Jackiw, violin

GINASTERA 
Ballet Suite from Estancia

MENDELSSOHN 
Violin Concerto

Dvořák 
Symphony No. 8

Fun Facts:

  • Born in 1985, Stefan Jackiw made his European debut at age 14, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, the same work he’ll play on our program. That debut performance was featured on the front page of London’s Times and The Strad reported, “A 14-year-old violinist took the London music world by storm.”
  • Ilyich Rivas comes from a distinguished musical family, studying conducting from an early age with his father Alejandro Rivas, who is also an orchestral conductor. Ilyich has been awarded the Bruno Walter Conducting Prize and the Prix Julius Baer in Switzerland, given by the Verbier Festival to a musician of exceptional talent.
  • Rivas has previously held positions with the London Philharmonic (Assistant Conductor) and Baltimore Symphony (BSO/Peabody Institute Conducting fellow). In 2011 he traveled to Australia at the invitation of Michael Tilson Thomas to conduct the YouTube Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House.

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.

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About This Concert:

A master pianist, improviser and composer in her own right, Myra Melford is at once fearless and joyous, earthy and soaring.  All her technique, expression and adventure will ring out in this rare solo performance.

  • Myra Melford, piano

Fun Facts:

  • Raised outside Chicago in a house designed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Melford grew up literally surrounded by art.
  • She has found a “spark of recognition” in sources as diverse as the writings of the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi and the Uruguayan journalist Eduardo Galeano; the wisdom of Zen Buddhism and the Huichol Indians of Mexico; and the music of mentors like Jaki Byard, Don Pullen and Henry Threadgill.
  • In 2006, the Walker Art Center premiered Melford’s Knock on the Sky, a piece inspired by Albert Camus’ essay The Myth of Sisyphus and Kobo Abe’s novel Woman in the Dunes, in which Melford collaborated with New York City–based choreographer/dancer Dawn Akemi Saito and Austrian architect Michael Haberz.
  • One of Melford’s ensembles, Snowy Egret, includes a familiar face to Jazz in the Target Atrium audiences: composer and trumpeter, Ron Miles.
  • A 2013 Guggenheim Fellow and 2000 Fulbright scholarship recipient, Melford spent a year in North India immersing herself in the region’s classical, devotional and folk music.
  • Honored as a risk-taker, Melford won the Alpert Awards in the Arts for Music in 2012 and the Doris Duke Performing Artists Award in 2013.
  • The Observer (UK) notes, “Melford [has] reconnected music to motion, leaving today’s straight-laced young men in suits—who have dominated recent jazz—in her wake.”
  • This program is part of the Minnesota Orchestra’s season-long exploration and celebration of American music.

Broadcast Partner:

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

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About This Concert:

Discover the genius of Amy Beach as conductor Sarah Hicks and host-violist Sam Bergman compare notes about the first American woman ever to compose a symphony, with the concert culminating in a complete performance of her Gaelic Symphony.

*BEACH
Gaelic Symphony

Fun Facts:

  • Inside the Classics features a pre-concert happy hour, local craft brews, and a chance to mingle with musicians onstage after the performance.
  • The Minnesota Orchestra will perform the 40-minute, four-movement Gaelic Symphony in its entirety after Sam Bergman and Sarah Hicks’ conversation.
  • Amy Beach, performing under the name “Mrs. H. H. A. Beach,” appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, then known as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, on December 14, 1917. She was the featured soloist in her own Piano Concerto, and the Orchestra also performed her Gaelic Symphony.
  • A child prodigy, Amy Beach was born in New Hampshire to a prominent family. By age four, she was composing waltzes; at seven, she began giving public recitals; and at 17, she performed as a piano soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
  • Largely self-taught, Beach composed more than 150 works, including Mass in E-flat major, a violin sonata, a piano concerto and piano quintet, choral and chamber music and the opera Cahildo.
  • She was influenced by composer Antonín Dvořák, who believed that incorporating American folk tunes, Native American music and African American spirituals was key to establishing a uniquely American musical identity. Her own works drew on Irish and British traditional music and dances for inspiration.
  • Dvořák initially made disparaging comments about women’s ability to compose music, telling a newspaper “they have not the creative power.” Amy Beach refuted that in another newspaper, pointing out that “From the year 1675 to the year 1885, women have composed 153 works, including 55 serious operas, 6 cantatas, 53 comic operas, 17 operettas, 6 sing-spiele, 4 ballets, 4 vaudevilles, 2 oratorios, one each of fares, pastorales, masques, ballads and buffas,” and went on to list the names of dozens of female composers.

*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.

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About This Concert:

Nordic forest spirits meet Greek gods in a performance that combines ethereal expressiveness with glittering Romanticism as Vänskä conducts Tómasson, Siblelius, Beethoven, and the U.S. premiere of composer Geoffrey Gordon’s Prometheus.

BEETHOVEN
Overture to The Creatures of Prometheus

*GORDON
Prometheus [U.S. Premiere]

TÓMASSON
Piano Concerto No. 2

SIBELIUS
Tapiola

Fun Facts:

  • According to Greek mythology, Prometheus created man from clay, then defied the gods to give man the gift of fire.
  • In the Romantic era during which Beethoven composed, Prometheus was viewed as symbol of lone genius whose attempts to improve human existence could lead to tragedy, as reflected in the sub-title for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus.
  • Composed in 1801, The Creatures of Prometheus is a two-act ballet for which Beethoven wrote an overture, an introduction, fifteen numbers, and a finale.
  • Tapiola was Sibelius's last major work, a tone poem, inspired by the wanderings of a forest spirit in the The Kalevala, a nineteenth century epic poem based on Finnish folklore and mythology.
  • Pianist Vikingur Ólafsson gave the world premiere of fellow Icelander Haukur Tómasson’s Concerto No. 2 and is an avid fan of the composer. He’s praised Tómasson’s “bulletproof structures and “unique flair for orchestration.”
  • Few musicians match Olafsson for creative flair,” says BBC Music Magazine and the New York Times anoints him “Iceland’s Glenn Gould.”

*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 »

About This Concert:

Four members of the Minnesota Orchestra’s powerful bass section take center stage for a quartet in this program that also showcases the English horn and the clarinet.

DESBY
Aria for English Horn and String Quartet

SCHULLER
Quartet for Four Basses

BRAHMS
Clarinet Quintet

Fun Facts:

  • English horn player Marni Hougham has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 1997
  • Composer Neal Desby and Marni Hougham are good friends. Desby wrote this piece in 2016 specifically for her, and hopes to re-orchestrate it someday for English horn with string orchestra.
  • Schuller’s Quartet for Four Basses was inspired by a single chord in Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra.
  • In the second and third movements of Schuller’s Quartet, each bass is tuned differently, which opens up new harmonic possibilities for the ensemble.
  • Brahms came out of retirement specifically to write the Clarinet Quintet (and a few additional pieces) for Richard Mühlfield, a German clarinetist whose performances had greatly inspired him.
  • Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet has been played several times on the Orchestra’s Chamber Music series, each time with Music Director Osmo Vänskä performing the clarinet part. This performance features one of the Orchestra’s newest musicians, Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora.

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

In this program, Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto and violist/host Sam Bergman share Bohemian composer Antonín Dvořák’s radiant Eighth Symphony with students.

Minnesota Orchestra Symphonic Adventures performances are dynamic, one-hour concerts designed for secondary students.

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

Program

Dvořák
Symphony No. 8

Artists


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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