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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Saturday Evening Vivace Series


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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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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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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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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