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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Friday Evening Fanfare Series


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La Pasión según San Marcos

About This Concert

Energized by the spirit of Afro-Cuban music, bossa nova, tango, rumba and flamenco, Osvaldo Golijov brings the rich tradition of Latin American music to his interpretation of the final days in the life of Jesus Christ on earth as described in the Bible’s Gospel of Mark.

Program

GOLIJOV
La Pasión según San Marcos (The Passion According to St. Mark) / 87 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • María Guinand, conductor
  • Marcela Lorca, stage director
  • Jessica Rivera, soprano
  • Luciana Souza, mezzo
  • Reynaldo González-Fernández, vocalist and dancer
  • Gonzalo Grau, piano
  • Mikael Ringquist, percussion
  • Marcus Santos, percussion
  • Michael Ward-Bergeman, accordion
  • Aquiles Báez, guitar
  • Jeff Bailey, bass
  • Guerreiro, capoeira and berimbau
  • Border CrosSing, choir
  • Minnesota Chorale
  • Alumni of Schola Cantorum de Venezuela
  • Ahmed Anzaldúa, choral preparation

Fun Facts

  • Commissioned to mark the 250th anniversary of the death of J.S. Bach, La Pasión según San Marcos had its premiere in Stuttgart’s Liederhalle in 2000.
  • María Guinand conducted the world premiere of La Pasión, and composer Osvaldo Golijov dedicated the piece to her and the Schola Cantorum de Venezuela.
  • Audiences at La Pasión’s premiere were stunned by its originality, particularly its unprecedented incorporation of capoeira and santeria in a religious piece of classical music, and responded with a 30-minute standing ovation.
  • Critics have hailed it as “a work of genius” and “the first indisputably great composition of the 21st century,” and The New Yorker's Alex Ross wrote that it “drops like a bomb on the belief that classical music is an exclusively European art.”
  • Founded in 1967 by Venezuelan composer Alberto Grau, Schola Cantorum de Venezuela has performed with renowned conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, Krzysztof Penderecki and John Adams, among many others.
  • According to The New York Times, Golijov “…is no less than a major energizing force in a classical world desperately in need of a new vision.”
  • Twin Cities choral ensembles Border CrosSing and the Minnesota Chorale join the Orchestra for a dramatic collaboration of music and theater.
  • Arrive early for concerts throughout the festival and enjoy our $5 Happy Hour along with food, fun and free entertainment.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Aug 2 8pm

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Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto

About This Concert

When you hear Benjamin Beilman in Saint-Saëns’ glittering Violin Concerto No. 3, you’ll know why The Philadelphia Inquirer called this 29-year-old “monstrously talented.”

Program

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis / 15 min

SAINT-SAËNS
Violin Concerto No. 3 / 20 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No. 15 / 42 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Benjamin Beilman, violin

Fun Facts

  • The first time the Orchestra performed Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 was back in January 1903, three years before Dimitri Shostakovich was even born.
  • Dimitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 15 was premiered in 1972 by Moscow’s All-Union Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra under the direction of his son, Maxim Shostakovich.
  • For four years in a row, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis took third place in UK classical radio station Classic FM’s annual Hall of Fame listener poll.Fun facts coming soon!

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Sep 27 8pm

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Inon Barnatan Plays Brahms

About This Concert

Inon Barnatan, hailed as “one of the most admired pianists of his generation” by The New York Times, joins us for a virtuoso performance of great works by Brahms and Shostakovich.

Program

BRAHMS
Piano Concerto No. 1 / 44 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No. 9 / 27 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Jader Bignamini, conductor
  • Inon Barnatan, piano

Fun Facts

  • Barnatan describes performing as transformative: “I don’t want an audience to listen to me playing a piece—I would love for them to feel like the piece is being created at that very moment.”
  • Barnatan has performed worldwide with the Hong Kong, Los Angeles, London and Helsinki philharmonic orchestras as well as the Chicago, Baltimore and Seattle symphonies.
  • Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 was banned by the Soviet regime shortly after its premiere for its “ideological weakness” and its failure to “reflect the true spirit of the people of the Soviet Union.”

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Oct 11 8pm

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Guarantors' Week: Keefe, Wagner and Brahms

About This Concert

The power of love weaves through all these works, and Nathalie Stutzmann sews them together with her radiant podium presence.

These concerts are dedicated to the generous donors, also called Guarantors, who have been at the heart of this Orchestra since its inception in 1903. During Guarantors' Week, we offer our deepest gratitude to the growing number of donors who ensure that the Orchestra can continue to achieve its mission to Enrich, Inspire and Serve the community. Thank you, donors!

Program

BRAHMS
Hungarian Dance Nos. 1, 4 and 5 / 10 min

DVOŘÁK
Romance for Violin and Orchestra / 12 min

WAGNER
Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde / 17 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

BRAHMS
Symphony No. 2 / 39 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
  • Erin Keefe, violin

Fun Facts

  • Violinist Erin Keefe, the Minnesota Orchestra’s concertmaster since 2011, earned degrees from the Juilliard School and Curtis Institute of Music and has been featured on Live from Lincoln Center.
  • Of guest conductor Nathalie Stutzmann, London Symphony Orchestra Music Director Sir Simon Rattle says: “So much love, intensity and sheer technique. We need more conductors like her.”
  • Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 was featured in Charlie Chaplin’s movie classic The Great Dictator.

Donors: please see your email or postcard for directions on how to access your complimentary tickets. Not yet a Guaranty Fund donor? Become a donor and support the music you love »

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Nov 8 8pm

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A New Year Celebration: Auld Lang Syne!

About This Concert

Bagpipes, bow-ties and brilliant music: You’re invited to a gala New Year’s celebration that pops as Osmo Vänskä leads the Minnesota Orchestra in a sparkling countdown to 2020.

Program

ELGAR
Military March No. 1 from Pomp and Circumstance / 6 min

DAVIES
An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise / 13 min

WILLIAMS
Closing In, from Catch Me If You Can / 3 min

MILHAUD
Scaramouche / 9 min

RAUTAVAARA
A Tale of Love, from Book of Visions / 10 min

KENDALL
The Spark Catchers / 10 min

BRITTEN
The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra / 10 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Jess Gillam, alto saxophone

Fun Facts

  • Don’t miss the fabulous party after the New Year’s Eve concert in Orchestra Hall’s lobby, featuring local jazz band Belle Amour and much more countdown fun!
  • At 20 years of age, saxophonist Jess Gillam is committed to bringing new audiences to classical music and, in an interview with The Telegraph, lobbied for “…more dancing, cheering and clapping between movements.”
  • A prolific composer, Vaughan Williams wrote symphonies, songs, choral works and chamber music, as well as music for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.
  • British composer Hannah Kendall’s The Spark Catchers is a tribute to the grace and strength of London’s Match Girls, who went on strike in 1888 to protest deplorable working conditions.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Tue Dec 31 8:30pm

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Mahler and Ravel

About This Concert

Romantic, artful and expressive, these selections by three giants of early 20th-century music bring meditative warmth to late winter evenings.

Program

MAHLER
Blumine, from Symphony No. 1 / 10 min
Rückert Lieder / 17 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

RAVEL
Pavane for a Dead Princess / 6 min
Suite No. 2 from Daphnis and Chloe / 16 min

DEBUSSY
Jeux, Poème dansé / 17 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Simone Young, conductor
  • Tara Erraught, mezzo

Fun Facts

  • Despite its somewhat deceptive title, Ravel’s Pavane was not intended to be sad, but rather to convey the image of a young Spanish princess dancing a traditional courtly dance.
  • Guest conductor Simone Young was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia and has received a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Brahms Prize of Brahms Society of Schleswig-Holstein and the Goethe Medal.
  • Debussy, known for his “impressionistic” style, created the intuitively beautiful Jeux in about three weeks.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Jan 17 8pm

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Grieg and Rachmaninoff

About This Concert

Norwegian genius takes the stage as Eivind Gullberg conducts Romantic masterpieces by Grieg and Rachmaninoff, a colorful trumpet concerto featuring Tine Thing Helseth, and a new work by Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute alumnus Anna Clyne.

Program

CLYNE
This Midnight Hour / 12 min

GRIEG
Selections from Lyric Suite and Three Songs / 13 min

TOMASI
Trumpet Concerto / 15 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

RACHMANINOFF
Symphony No. 2 / 60 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Eivind Gullberg Jensen, conductor
  • Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet

Fun Facts

  • Tine Thing Helseth was named “Newcomer of the Year” at the 2013 Echo Klassik Awards. In addition to her classical performances, she leads an all-woman brass ensemble that plays Piazzolla, Brubeck, Bach, Joni Mitchell and Irish-inspired Balkan folk music.
  • Edvard Greig had a “lucky frog” figurine that he kept with him during performances. The frog is on display in Greig’s former home and now-museum at Troldhaugen in Bergen, Norway.
  • Rachmaninoff’s First Symphony was panned by critics when it premiered in 1897. Stung by its failure, he composed the Second in secret in 1906-07.
  • Anna Clyne is one of four Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute alumni to have earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Classical Composition, in 2014 for her Prince Of Clouds.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Feb 21 8pm

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Gerstein Plays Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2

About This Concert

Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein brings rigor and wit to Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto in a program that also features Shostakovich’s heroic Leningrad Symphony.

Program

RACHMANINOFF
Piano Concerto No. 2 / 36 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No. 7, Leningrad / 70 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Juanjo Mena, conductor
  • Kirill Gerstein, piano

Fun Facts

  • Gerstein will join the Orchestra throughout the calendar year 2020 to perform all of Rachmaninoff's major works for piano and orchestra.
  • Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony premiered in its namesake city in 1942 while it was under siege by Nazi Germany. Loudspeakers broadcast the symphony throughout the city to erode German military morale.
  • The Boston Classical Review praises Gerstein, stating he has the “poetic sensitivity to match the technical fireworks.”

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Mar 13 8pm

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Cameron Carpenter at Northrop

About This Concert

A resonant powerhouse, Northrop’s Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is the jewel in the crown of a program that features the mighty talents of organist Cameron Carpenter.

Please note: This concert will be performed at Northrop, University of Minnesota.

Program

NAZAYKINSKAYA
Winter Bells / 15 min

JONGEN
Symphonie concertante for Organ and Orchestra / 36 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

PROKOFIEV
Cinderella Suite / 38 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Akiko Fujimoto, conductor
  • Cameron Carpenter, organ

Fun Facts

  • Organ phenom Cameron Carpenter returns to Minneapolis after thrilling audiences at his April 2018 performances with the Orchestra.
  • In 1926, the Wanamaker Department Store commissioned Belgian composer Joseph Jongen to create a piece for their own in-store organ, a 10,000-pipe instrument originally constructed for the 1904 St Louis World Fair.
  • Cinematically symphonic, Winter Bells by contemporary composer Polina Nazaykinskaya was inspired by a visit to the Volga region of Russia, her homeland.
  • The Minnesota Orchestra helped celebrate the return of the organ with a performance of John Harbison’s What Do We Make of Bach? for Orchestra and Obbligato Organ as well as Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony for an inaugural concert in October 2018.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Mar 27 8pm

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Park and Ainomäe Play Brahms

About This Concert

Smooth and sonorous, Brahms’ concerto lyrically unites the voices of the cello and violin in a program that showcases two of the Orchestra’s virtuoso musicians.

Program

BRAHMS
Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra / 31 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

BRUCKNER
Symphony No. 9

Artists

Fun Facts

  • Brahms wrote this concerto inspired and encouraged by his friend and fellow collaborator, violinist Joseph Joachim.
  • Susie Park started playing the violin at age three and made her solo debut at five. Silver Ainomäe began cello at six and debuted in his first international competition at age eight.
  • Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony was his last. When he died, the symphony’s last movement was left unfinished.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri May 1 8pm

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Gerstein Plays Rachmaninoff: Paganini Rhapsody

About This Concert

Virtuosic both in technique and emotion, this performance features powerhouse pianist Kirill Gerstein’s Rachmaninoff homage and Stravinsky’s visceral and moving choral work.

Program

RACHMANINOFF
Three Russian Songs / 14 min
Piano Concerto No. 1 / 26 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

RACHMANINOFF
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini / 23 min

STRAVINSKY
Symphony of Psalms / 22 min

Artists

Fun Facts

  • In 1929, Stravinsky composed Symphony of Psalms as a commission to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
  • The New York Times cites Gerstein’s background in jazz as influencing his ability to perform classically with both “uncanny delicacy” and “gnashing power.”
  • Rachmaninoff’s friend Stravinsky once characterized him as a “six-and-a-half-foot-scowl.”

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri May 15 8pm

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Season Finale: Vänskä Conducts Mahler Symphony No. 3

About This Concert

Osmo Vänskä brings the season to a powerful finale with Mahler’s magnificent Third Symphony.

Program

MAHLER
Symphony No. 3 / 92 min

Artists

Fun Facts

  • After the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2018 performance of Mahler’s Seventh Symphony, the Star Tribune wrote “Osmo Vänskä is…a sifter and balancer of orchestral textures, a creator of tingling sonic subtleties.”
  • Founded in 1962, the Minnesota Boychoir has performed worldwide—at Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, the Sydney Opera House, and La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, to celebrate its 55th anniversary in June 2017.
  • Mahler’s music helped define and refine new 20th-century techniques of composition and was a major influence on composers such as Arnold Schoenberg, Dmitri Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Fri Jun 12 8pm