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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Common Chords

In 2011, the Minnesota Orchestra began a new chapter in its long history of touring with the launch of Common Chords, through which the Orchestra immerses itself in a single Minnesota community for a week. Previous Common Chords residencies have involved week-long immersions in Greater Minnesota communities from Wilmar to Bemidji, but this season the Orchestra turns its attention to its own home city for the first-ever Twin Cities-area Common Chords residency week, to be held in locations throughout North Minneapolis from January 21 to 27. The residency builds on existing relationships with the North Minneapolis community, and the Orchestra hopes to set the stage for deeper partnerships that will continue long after the week.

In all Common Chords residencies, musical activities take place in both traditional and non-traditional settings, ranging from concert halls and schools to coffee shops, pubs and community centers. These varied settings provide opportunities to experience classical music in surprising venues or simply “happen upon” a musical performance. In each community, Orchestra staff works with a steering committee of community volunteers – including business owners, civic representatives, educators, and nonprofit leaders – to develop goals and activities during the week in residence.

Common Chords

Common Chords

Common Chords


From January 21 through 27, 2019, Orchestra musicians will participate in about 30 events throughout North Minneapolis, including musician visits to students at several elementary and high schools and chamber performances at locations ranging from the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, the Cora McCorvey Health and Wellness Center and La Doña Cervecería to Wilson’s Image Barbershop and Sammy’s Avenue Eatery. The full Orchestra will perform three concerts: a public community gathering and sing-along concert at Sanctuary Covenant on January 22, a Symphonic Adventures concert for students at North High School on January 23, and a public evening concert on January 26 at North High School, where the Orchestra will share the stage with individual artists and ensembles from the North Minneapolis community.

Common Chords background & sponsors

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Additional support is provided by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Minnesota State Arts BoardClean Water Land and Legacy Amendment National Endowment for the Arts

The Minnesota Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for its initial investment in Common Chords. The Common Chords program has also received generous support from Mardag Foundation and The McKnight Foundation.