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Tuesday April 16, 2024

Conductor Elim Chan to Make Minnesota Orchestra Debut in Concerts that Welcome Back Violinist Benjamin Beilman

Chan, the principal conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, brings a program to Orchestra Hall that stretches from Unsuk Chin’s reflective subito con forza to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s folk song-filled Second Symphony

One of the most sought-after conductors of her generation, Elim Chan is highly regarded for her wide-ranging repertory, with incisive interpretations of both classical and contemporary symphonic works. In her Minnesota Orchestra debut, she will share that stage with violinist Benjamin Beilman, a soloist with whom she frequently collaborates. In these concerts, Beilman will perform Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s cinematic Violin Concerto. A noted film composer early in cinema history, Korngold also created works for the concert hall, including this eloquent concerto that draws material from many of his best-known film scores.

The program will take place at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, May 9, at 11 a.m., and Friday, May 10, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $106. Free tickets for all programs are available to young listeners ages 6 to 18 thanks to the Orchestra’s Hall Pass program. The performance on Friday, May 10, will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio, including KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities.

Chan is a champion of Unsuk Chin, and these concerts will open with that composer’s subito con forza—which the Minnesota Orchestra gave the U.S. premiere of in October 2021. Written in 2020 to commemorate Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Chin’s subito con forza (“suddenly, with force”) was inspired by the conversation books that helped Beethoven communicate as his hearing diminished. Speaking of her admiration of Beethoven’s music, Chin said, “What particularly appeals to me are the enormous contrasts: from volcanic eruptions to extreme serenity.” Her brief but powerful composition includes hidden and overt references to Beethoven’s music.

The program will conclude with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2. Tchaikovsky’s shortest symphony, his Second is distinctive for its extensive use of Ukrainian folk melodies. The unusual harmonic progressions of the symphony’s imaginative finale also helped make that movement one of the composer’s favorites. The work was given the nickname Little Russian by music critic Nikolay Kashkin, which at the time would have been understood to simply mean “Ukrainian.” The music and its title assume a new context due to Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

In addition to the May 9 and 10 program, a subsequent Symphony in 60 concert will be held on Saturday, May 11, at 6 p.m. with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $48; Choose Your Price tickets are available to concertgoers for select seating sections ($5 minimum ticket price). Symphony in 60 concerts are one hour in duration, and include earlier start times, a pre-concert happy hour and post-concert onstage reception with musicians. The May 11 concert will also be conducted by Chan, and will consist of Chin’s subito con forza and Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony. [Korngold’s Violin Concerto will not be performed as part of the Symphony in 60 program.]


About Elim Chan

Elim Chan was guest conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra from 2018 to 2023 and has been principal conductor of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra since 2019. This season—her final as chief conductor—she will present that orchestra in the Benelux with soloists including Sol Gabetta and Midori. Other highlights of her 2023-24 season include debuts with the Salzburg Festival, Orchestre de Paris, Staatskapelle Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal, Seattle Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. She also returns to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra. In spring 2023, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León announced a three-year collaboration with Chan as associate conductor, focusing on Stravinsky’s ballets. A native of Hong Kong, in 2014 she was the first female winner of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition, enabling her to spend the 2015-16 season as assistant conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra, working closely with Valery Gergiev. The following season she joined the Dudamel Fellowship program of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. More: ccm-international.de, elimchan.nl.

About Benjamin Beilman

Benjamin Beilman, one of the leading violinists of his generation, has won international praise for his passionate performances and deep rich tone. His 2023-24 season includes his debut with the St. Louis Symphony and returns to the Oregon Symphony and Pacific Symphony, with which he will perform and conduct a program of Vivaldi. In Europe, he performs with the SWR Symphonieorchester Stuttgart, Kölner Philharmonie, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Tonkünstler Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, among other ensembles. In 2022 he became one of the youngest artists to be appointed to the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, and this season he leads a Curtis string ensemble in a national tour. In recent seasons his passion for contemporary music has led to new works written for him by Frederic Rzewski and Gabriella Smith, the latter co-commissioned by the Schubert Club in St. Paul. He has given multiple performances of Jennifer Higdon’s Violin Concerto and recorded Thomas Larcher’s concerto with the Tonkünstler Orchester; he premiered Chris Rogerson’s Violin Concerto, The Little Prince, with the Kansas City Symphony. He also performs in recital and chamber music settings at major halls across the world. More: opus3artists.com, benjaminbeilman.com.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts



Thursday, May 9, 2024, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall

Friday, May 10, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall*


Minnesota Orchestra

Elim Chan, conductor

Benjamin Beilman, violin


CHIN subito con forza
KORNGOLD Violin Concerto
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 2


Tickets: $25 to $106 [Free tickets available for young listeners ages 6 to 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program.]

* The performance on Friday, May 10, will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio, including KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities.

Symphony in 60



Saturday, May 11, 2024, 6 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Elim Chan, conductor


CHIN subito con forza
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 2


Tickets: $25 to $48 [Free tickets available for young listeners ages 6 to 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program. Choose Your Price tickets ($5 minimum ticket price) are available for select seating sections.]



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.