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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Saturday Evening Staccato 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

Sat Aug 3 8pm

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Season Opening: Osmo Vänskä and André Watts

About This Concert

Exciting music from our time, a Nordic surprise or two and the audience-favorite Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar kick off the 2019-20 season.

Program

RAUTAVAARA
Requiem in Our Time, for Brass and Percussion / 10 min

GRIEG
Piano Concerto / 29 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

CARTER
Three Illusions for Orchestra / 15 min

ELGAR
Enigma Variations / 29 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • André Watts, piano

Fun Facts

  • Join the musicians on stage following the concert for complimentary Champagne toast to the new season.
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara, who passed away in 2016, remains one of Finland’s most well-known composers. After hearing Rautavaara’s A Requiem in Our Time (which had just won a composition contest), Jean Sibelius recommended him for a scholarship to study at New York’s prestigious Juilliard School.
  • Edvard Grieg took inspiration from Norwegian folk songs in his Piano Concerto, and he imitates the sounds of the Norwegian Hardanger fiddle in the final movement.
  • André Watts first impressed the music world at age 16 when Leonard Bernstein chose him to debut with the New York Philharmonic.
  • Edward Elgar was playing the piano by age eight. According to Elgar biographer Michael Kennedy, Elgar’s father William worked as a piano tuner in some of the grand houses in Worcestershire and would often bring Elgar along to play for some of the important people who lived there.
  • Elliot Carter’s brilliant Three Illusions for Orchestra features three movements, each based on a great literary work: Thomas More’s Utopia, a tale from a Roman myth and Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Sat Sep 21 8pm

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Leila Josefowicz Plays Stravinsky

About This Concert

Praised by critics and audiences alike for her memorable and exhilarating performances, Leila Josefowicz returns to Orchestra Hall to perform Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto.

Program

WEBERN
Im Sommerwind / 13 min

STRAVINSKY
Violin Concerto / 22 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

STRAUSS
An Alpine Symphony / 51 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Juraj Valčuha, conductor
  • Leila Josefowicz, violin

Fun Facts

  • The New York Times calls Josefowicz “one of classical music’s great champions of the new.”
  • Josefowicz’s powerful talents inspired contemporary composer John Adams to write Scheherazade.2, a dramatic symphonic portrait of a woman confronting oppression, which Josefowicz played in her most recent appearance with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2016.
  • Juraj Valčuha is the conductor of the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Italy, and the principal guest conductor of the Konzerthausorchester Berlin.
  • Valčuha returns to conduct the Orchestra in a performance of Strauss’ evocative Alpine Symphony, which takes listeners on a day trip through the majestic Bavarian Alps.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Sat Nov 2 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

Sat Nov 9 8pm

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Handel’s Messiah

About This Concert

Celebrate the season with the enduring power of Handel’s Messiah in a performance that features the Minnesota Orchestra, the Minnesota Chorale and a lineup of acclaimed vocalists.

Program

HANDEL
Messiah / 140 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Nicholas Kraemer, conductor
  • Sherezade Panthaki, soprano
  • Daniel Moody, countertenor
  • Richard Croft, tenor
  • Benjamin Bevan, baritone
  • Minnesota Chorale

Fun Facts

  • Handel’s Messiah was originally associated with Easter and premiered in April 1742 in Dublin.
  • The Star Tribune crowns the Minnesota Chorale “…one of the area’s preeminent choirs, [combining] impeccable diction with a real commitment to the music.”
  • The San Francisco Chronicle hailed Sherezade Panthaki as “a phenomenon” and praised the “multifold splendor of her singing."

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Sat Dec 7 8pm

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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

Sat Jan 18 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

Sat Feb 22 8pm

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Vänskä Conducts Scheherazade

About This Concert

Prepare to be stunned by the percussive journey of Aho’s concerto, then enchanted by the ornamental wonder of Rimsky-Korsakov’s universally-revered Scheherazade.

Program

PÄRT
Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten / 6 min

AHO
Sieidi, Percussion Concerto / 36 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
Scheherazade / 47 min

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Martin Grubinger, percussion

Fun Facts

  • For Aho’s propulsive percussion concerto, the soloist moves from drums to marimba to vibraphone to tamtam.
  • The New York Times has praised soloist Martin Grubinger’s “monstrous fluency” and “ambidextrous talent.”
  • Rimsky-Korsakov’s masterpiece Scheherazade is an orchestral suite based on the Middle Eastern folk tale collection One Thousand and One Nights, or Arabian Nights.
  • Pärt composed his evocative and cinematic tribute to British composer Benjamin Britten in 1976.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

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

Sat Apr 4 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

Sat May 2 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

Sat May 16 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

Sat Jun 13 8pm