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Thursday May 2, 2024

Conductor David Afkham and Violinist Christian Tetzlaff Return to Orchestra Hall in Concerts May 30-June 1

Tetzlaff will perform Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in a program that also includes music from Henri Dutilleux and Béla Bartók

A trio of German musical stars will feature at Orchestra Hall for these concerts, as violinist Christian Tetzlaff will return to offer a work by Johannes Brahms under the baton of conductor David Afkham. One of the most sought-after violinists of this era, Tetzlaff has been a frequent presence with the Minnesota Orchestra since his debut with the ensemble in 1996. In his return, Tetzlaff will take on Brahms’ Violin Concerto, one of the most beloved works for violin and orchestra; immensely challenging yet deeply expressive, the concerto showcases the instrument’s lyricism and full range of sound.

The program will take place at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, May 30, at 11 a.m.Friday, May 31, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, June 1, at 7 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $31 to $106. Free tickets for all programs are available to young listeners ages 6 to 18 thanks to the Orchestra’s Hall Pass program. Choose Your Price tickets are available to concertgoers for select seating sections ($10 minimum ticket price) for the program on Friday, May 31. Additionally, the May 31 performance will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio, including KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities.

Afkham and the Orchestra will open the second half of the program with Henri Dutilleux’s Cinq Métaboles. In French, métaboles is a term that indicates a transition from one pentatonic scale to another; this concept of transition is central to Dutilleux’s composition, which is played in five continuous movements reflecting various aspects of change and metamorphosis. With its unique structural experiments and soloistic percussion, the piece also marked a turning point in the career of Dutilleux, who until the 1965 premiere of Cinq Métaboles had worked mostly in traditional forms.

The program will conclude with Béla Bartók’s Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin, which the composer originally wrote as a pantomime ballet. The 1926 premiere of the full ballet in Cologne, Germany, was considered so scandalous from a moral perspective that the city’s mayor blocked any further performances. Efforts to produce it in Budapest five years later—in celebration of the composer’s 50th birthday—ran into such opposition that they had to be canceled. Though Bartók considered his hard-edged and rhythmic work to be a moral tale, its legacy of depicting excessive eroticism and its employment of racial stereotypes continue to affect the reception of the concert suite despite its enduring presence in the repertoire.


About David Afkham

Known for his impeccable technique and compelling artistry, David Afkham has received worldwide acclaim and is one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. He is the chief conductor and artistic director of the Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España, a position he has held since 2019 after five seasons as the orchestra’s principal conductor. Afkham’s impressive career has been marked by a series of critically acclaimed performances and collaborations with some of the world’s leading orchestras. He has appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony, NHK Symphony, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra, among many other major orchestras. He debuted with the Minnesota Orchestra in October 2021 in a program featuring piano soloist Emanuel Ax. His recent successes at the opera pit include performances of Richard Strauss’ Arabella at the Semperoper Dresden and a new production of the work at the Teatro Real, Madrid. Highlights of his 2023-24 season include debuts with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Detroit Symphony. Born in Germany, Afkham began piano and violin lessons at an early age. He studied at the Freiburg Music University and Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt. More: kdschmid.de, davidafkham.com.

About Chrisitan Tetzlaff

An artist known for his musical integrity, technical assurance and compelling interpretations, Christian Tetzlaff has for many years been internationally recognized as one of the most sought-after violinists and exciting musicians on the classical music scene. He has performed and recorded a broad spectrum of repertoire ranging from Bach’s unaccompanied sonatas and partitas to world premieres of contemporary works such as the Jorg Widmann Violin Concerto. A dedicated chamber musician, he founded the Tetzlaff Quartet in 1994 with violinist Elisabeth Kufferath, violist Hanna Weinmeister and his sister, cellist Tanja Tetzlaff. He appears regularly with the orchestras of Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Pittsburgh, among many others in the U.S., as well as the major European ensembles. He is also a guest at the world’s most prominent summer music festivals. He has received numerous awards for his recordings including the Diapason d’or in 2018, the Midem Classical Award in 2017 and the Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2015. Most recently, his recording of the Bartók violin concertos with the Helsinki Philharmonic won the Gramophone Concerto Recording of the Year. Also of special significance are his recordings of the unaccompanied Bach Sonatas and Partitas. More: cmartists.com, christian-tetzlaff.de.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts



Thursday, May 30, 2024, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall

Friday, May 31, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall*

Saturday, June 1, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

David Afkham, conductor

Christian Tetzlaff, violin


BRAHMS Violin Concerto
DUTILLEUX Cinq Métaboles
BARTÓK Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin


Tickets: $31 to $106 [Free tickets available for young listeners ages 6 to 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program. Choose Your Price tickets ($10 minimum ticket price) are available for select seating sections for the May 31 concert.]

* The performance on Friday, May 31, will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio, including KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities.



Tickets and subscription packages can be purchased at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

The 2023-2024 Classical Season is presented by Ameriprise Financial. 

The Hall Pass program makes free tickets available for young listeners ages 6 to 18 for select Classical and Symphony in 60 concerts, and all kids under 18 for Family concerts. This program is sponsored by Cynthia and Jay Ihlenfeld. For more information, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/hallpass.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.