Thursday Morning Coffee Intermezzo Series

Inon Barnatan, piano | Photo © Marco Borggreve

A New Year Celebration: Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1

About This Concert:

The New Year sweeps in with two weeks of treasures from Russia’s Romantic master, Tchaikovsky, beginning with his beloved Piano Concerto No. 1.

Symphony No. 1, Winter Dreams
Serenade for Strings
Piano Concerto No. 1

Fun Facts:

  • Israeli-born pianist Inon Barnatan comes to Minneapolis from the Big Apple where he is the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever artist-in-association.
  • Barnatan performed Rachmaninoff with the Minnesota Orchestra last season and was quickly welcomed back for another performance.
  • Audiences love the Barnatan Blend: amazing technical virtuosity and deep insight—perfectly suited to the power and lyricism of Tchaikovsky’s First Concerto.
  • A late holiday surprise for you: Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings isn’t as well known as his symphonies but the melodies are beautiful!
West Side Story

West Side Story

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.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • David Newman, conductor

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.

La Mer

Debussy's La Mer

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.

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Juraj Valčuha, conductor
  • Kirill Gerstein, piano

The Enchanted Lake

Piano Concerto No. 3

The Fountains of Rome

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.
American Voices

American Voices: Copland and Bernstein

About This Concert:

An all-American tour-de-force program including Bernstein’s first film score On the Waterfront, the suite from Copland’s ever-popular ballet Billy the Kid and a world premiere by House of Cards composer Jeff Beal.

Suite from Billy the Kid

Flute Concerto [World Premiere]

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

On the Waterfront

Fun Facts:

  • Bernstein centennial celebrations are starting up all over the world, and we launch ours with this early masterpiece for Hollywood.
  • Bernstein was chosen to write the score for On the Waterfront largely because of his celebrity in the early 1950s and the producers wanted “a big name” on the posters to help sell tickets to the film.
  • Today, Waterfront is remembered for the power of Marlon Brando’s performance and Bernstein’s score, both of which shocked audiences with a blend of tenderness and violence.
  • Copland’s Billy the Kid contains a gunfight (tricky percussion!)—written so convincingly that few composers have attempted it since.
  • Jeff Beal has four Emmys for his film and television scores, including Netflix’s House of Cards.

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Tickets for young listeners (ages 6-17) are available for $12 each with the purchase of an adult subscription. Tickets for college students (ages 18+) with a valid student ID are available for $12 each in price sections 1-4.

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