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Tuesday April 9, 2024

Minnesota Orchestra Announces 2024-25 Season

The season will be the second led by Music Director Thomas Søndergård, and reflects his expertise across a range of orchestral and operatic repertoire, and commitment to championing contemporary composers and rarely heard works

With Søndergård at the helm, special projects throughout the 2024-25 season include a two-week festival spotlighting Nordic composers and culture, the return of the Composer Institute and an opera-in-concert initiative with Puccini’s Turandot

The classical season will feature such virtuosos as violinists James Ehnes and Isabelle Faust, pianists Ingrid Fliter and Alice Sara Ott, fast-rising stars Yunchan Lim, Bruce Liu, Randall Goosby and more; seven Minnesota Orchestra musicians will perform as soloists

The Minnesota Orchestra will commemorate 50 years at Orchestra Hall, with several classical programs featuring works that the ensemble performed during its 1974-75 season—the first in its orchestral home

Innovative Live at Orchestra Hall programming includes concerts dedicated to the music of John Williams, John Denver, the Beatles, and a fusion of Brahms and Radiohead; films to be presented live-in-concert include Hocus Pocus and Back to the Future

Special holiday programs include a full lineup of December concerts, a Lunar New Year celebration and a Juneteenth commemoration

Also returning: Chamber Music concert series, Symphony in 60, Young People’s Concerts, Relaxed Family and Sensory-Friendly Concerts

For a chronological listing of all Orchestra events for the 2024-25 season, please visit the season calendar

Music Director Thomas Søndergård and the Minnesota Orchestra have announced plans for their 2024-25 season—the second led by Søndergård and the 50th anniversary of the opening of Orchestra Hall, the organization’s home in downtown Minneapolis. Søndergård will begin the season in September with two weeks of concerts that together include three works by Andrea Tarrodi and Thomas Adès that are new to the Orchestra. The June 2025 season finale with Søndergård includes a dance-inspired program with music from Carlos Simon, Sergei Prokofiev and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

The forthcoming season will reflect Søndergård’s unique perspective as a conductor as well as his many priorities for his tenure as music director. In January 2025, the Danish conductor will bring the inaugural Nordic Soundscapes festival to Orchestra Hall, with two weeks of programming showcasing the contributions of historic and contemporary composers from Nordic nations. Søndergård also brings large-scale music for voices and orchestra to the Hall, with a presentation of both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem (November 2024) and Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot (May 2025). And alongside Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts, Søndergård will relaunch the Minnesota Orchestra’s residency program for emerging composers, the Composer Institute, which culminates in a public concert April 25.

The season is intentionally designed for concertgoers of all ages and interests, including Live at Orchestra Hall offerings led by Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks, as well as Holiday, Chamber Music, Symphony in 60, Young People’s Concerts, Relaxed Family Concerts and Sensory-Friendly programming.




Thomas Søndergård began his tenure as the 11th music director of the Minnesota Orchestra at the beginning of the 2023-24 season. His plans for the ensemble’s 2024-25 season demonstrate his range across both standard and contemporary repertoire, as well as his passion for collaborating with classical music’s rising and established stars. Season Opening concerts September 20-21 include the Orchestra Hall debut of 20-year-old Van Cliburn Competition winner Yunchan Lim, who will perform Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. The following week, in concerts September 26-28, Søndergård will lead a program juxtaposing two masters of orchestration—Maurice Ravel and Thomas Adès—with Avery Fisher Prize winner Leila Josefowicz performing Adès’ Violin Concerto, Concentric Paths. Additional soloists appearing on the season with whom Søndergård has a long working relationship include violinist Isabelle Faust (February 2025) and pianist Ingrid Fliter (May 2025).

Søndergård’s expertise in the vocal and operatic sphere will be on full display in the upcoming season. In concerts November 22-23, he will lead performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the Orchestra, the Minnesota Chorale and a collection of this generation’s leading voices, including three-time Grammy Award-winning bass-baritone Dashon Burton and tenor Jack Swanson, a native of Stillwater, Minnesota. Later in the season, Søndergård will be joined by Grammy-winning soprano Julia Bullock for a presentation of Benjamin Britten’s captivating song cycle Les illuminations, March 7-8. And in concerts May 1 and 3, Søndergård will offer the Orchestra’s first complete performance of Puccini’s Turandot since 1985. Soloists will include soprano Christine Goerke in the title role—a part she has recently played at the Metropolitan Opera to great acclaim—as well as bass Adolfo Corrado and soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha.

Regarding the presentation of Turandot, Søndergård noted, “My musical upbringing was in an opera house and opera is in my blood! Puccini knew the art of music drama and how to depict feelings through music. I can’t wait to share his Turandot with some of the best singers for these roles.”

Søndergård has earned a reputation for incisive interpretations of works by composers from his native Denmark, and from the Nordic region more broadly. For the depths of Minnesota’s winter, he has curated Nordic Soundscapes, a mid-January festival that includes music from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as culinary and cultural offerings of the region for audiences to enjoy. Taking place January 10-11, the first program features the Orchestra’s Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora in the Clarinet Concerto of Carl Nielsen—a composer with whom Søndergård, a recipient of the 2023 Carl Nielsen Honorary Foundation Award, shares special affinity. The program’s second half explores primarily contemporary pieces that evoke Nordic landscapes, including Daníel Bjarnason’s Air to Breath, Bent Sørensen’s Evening Land and Outi Tarkiainen’s Midnight Sun Variations. The second Nordic Soundscapes program January 16-18 is highlighted by the Orchestra Hall debut of Johan Dalene, winner of the 2019 Carl Nielsen Competition, who will perform that composer’s Violin Concerto.

Championing boundary-redefining living composers is a priority of Søndergård’s tenure. He leads a concert on April 25 that marks the return of the Composer Institute, the Orchestra's residency program for emerging composers which will now return on a biennial basis and be led in 2025 by composer Kevin Puts. Søndergård will conduct the culminating concert of the experience, with new music from each composer played by the Orchestra. Of the 12 concert programs Søndergård will lead during the 2024-25 season, at least 13 works will be featured that have never before been performed by the Orchestra, including selections from Elfrida Andrée, Dorothy Howell and Karim Al-Zand.


The inaugural concert at Orchestra Hall took place in October 1974, and more than 10 million people have attended concerts in the iconic auditorium since. Several initiatives throughout the organization’s fall 2024 programming will commemorate the five decades that the Hall has served as the Orchestra’s home, with specific activities to be announced at a later date.

As another nod to the half-century milestone, select concert programs will renew repertoire that the Orchestra performed during its 1974-75 season. Such works include Maurice Ravel’s Valse Nobles et sentimentales and movements from the composer’s Miroirs suite in the second week of Søndergård’s season-opening concerts. Then, concerts December 5-6 feature a version of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor that was performed during the very first concerts at the Hall and orchestrated by Stanisław Skrowaczewski, who oversaw the Hall’s construction during his tenure as the Orchestra’s sixth music director.


The Minnesota Orchestra’s 2024-25 season spotlights music of our time from a diverse collection of contemporary composers, older works that have been historically obscured or otherwise not widely programmed as well as pieces that have not been performed by the ensemble in decades. Within its Classical offerings alone, the Orchestra will perform at least 31 works never played in its 121-year history. Such programming priorities are exemplified in a program June 5-6 led by Romanian conductor Cristian Măcelaru that includes selections from Wynton Marsalis’ Blues Symphony, André Jolivet’s Bassoon Concerto—to be performed by the Orchestra’s Principal Bassoon Fei Xie—and fellow Romanian composer George Enescu’s Symphony No. 1—three works from different eras, all of which will be heard at Orchestra Hall for the first time.

Programming throughout the season reflects the Orchestra’s continued commitment to intentionally building concert programs that feature more works by past and present composers of African, Middle Eastern, Latin, Indigenous and Asian descent. The Listening Project—an annual initiative since the Orchestra’s 2021-22 season to perform and record music of historically underrepresented composers—will move to a biennial format in rotation with the Composer Institute, though works from throughout the 2024-25 season will continue to be recorded for inclusion in the Orchestra’s Listening Project digital catalog.

Many programs showcase well-known concert hall music in unexpected ways, inviting audiences to hear and interpret the works of familiar composers anew, beginning with Søndergård’s September program juxtaposing Ravel and Adès. In a program December 5-6, conductor Jordan de Souza leads concerts that reimagine Bach pieces for larger symphonic forces and include mandolin superstar Avi Avital borrowing concertos Bach wrote for harpsichord and violin to perform on his instrument. And a February 28-March 1 program planned by Søndergård will bookend selections from composer Igor Stravinsky with pieces by Franz Joseph Haydn, examining the 18th-century composer’s enduring influence into the 20th century.


The Orchestra’s 2024-25 season is punctuated by welcomed returns and much-anticipated debuts of artists and conductors pushing classical music forward. Returning soloists include Behzod Abduraimov performing Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (April 2025) and James Ehnes taking on Antonín Dvořák’s Violin Concerto (May 2025). Ascendant pianists to perform with the Orchestra for the first time include George Li (January-February 2025) performing Franz Liszt’s virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 1, Alice Sara Ott undertaking Ludwig van Beethoven’s forceful Piano Concerto No. 3 (May 2025) and Bruce Liu, who will offer his interpretation of Prokofiev’s dazzling Piano Concerto No. 3 (June 2025). Rising violinist Randall Goosby—a recipient of the 2022 Avery Fisher Career Grant—will present Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto under the baton of Søndergård (November 2024). And Wu Wei will make his Orchestra debut with the United States premiere of Jukka Tiensuu’s concerto Teoton, written for Wei’s 12th-century Chinese instrument, the sheng (October 2024).

Together with the aforementioned soloist performances from Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora (January 2025) and Principal Bassoon Fei Xie (May 2025), a total of seven of the Orchestra’s own musicians will take center stage this season: on October 31-November 2, Principal Cello Anthony Ross will perform William Walton’s Cello Concerto; First Associate Concertmaster Susie Park will perform Gabriela Ortiz’s blazing Violin Concerto (February 2025); Concertmaster Erin Keefe will share Beethoven’s beloved Violin Concerto (March 2025); cellist Sonia Mantell will perform James MacMillan’s Kiss on Wood (March 2025); and Acting Associate Principal Second Violin Cecilia Belcher will take on Beethoven’s Romance Nos. 1 and 2 (July 2025).

Conductors returning to Orchestra Hall are headlined by Conductor Laureate Osmo Vänskä, who for the first time will lead the ensemble in Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony (October-November 2024), Dima Slobodeniouk in concerts culminating in Gustav Holst’s The Planets (October 2024) and Edward Gardner—principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra—in folk music-inspired concerts (May 2025). Among the conductors making their Orchestra debuts is Sir James MacMillan, who the Orchestra has championed as a composer since 2002. The program MacMillan leads March 28-29 features works honoring faith and religion, including selections of his own compositions as well as the music of Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Rachmaninoff. Additional conductors to make their debuts and introduce their unique perspectives and styles to Minnesota audiences include Chilean-Italian conductor Paolo Bortolameolli organizing a program of modern and contemporary works by Latin composers (February 2025); Tabita Berglund with a program dedicated to Franz Schubert (March 2025); Poland-native Marta Gardolińska in concerts that open with an Overture from fellow Pole Grażyna Bacewicz (April 2025); and Jonathon Heyward, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, with a program that stretches from Hannah Kendall to Robert Schumann (May 2025).


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 2024-25 season includes two such programs that prominently feature Minnesota Orchestra artistic leaders. The first, on November 16, will be led by Søndergård and features a version of Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg. Taking place March 15, the second will comprise an intimate performance by Erin Keefe of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.


In recent seasons, the Orchestra’s ever-popular Chamber Music series has been presented in the Target Atrium, a smaller performance space within Orchestra Hall. Reflecting the popularity of this oft-sold-out series, the concerts will move to the Hall’s auditorium, allowing for more concertgoers to experience these performances. The 2024-25 season encompasses three such programs on January 12, April 5 and May 17. The Chamber Music series will continue to feature smaller ensembles of musicians performing without a conductor, while the programs in April and May will include guest soloists Behzod Abduraimov and James Ehnes, respectively, inviting audiences to witness the dynamic collaboration between these renowned artists and the Orchestra’s own musicians; Abduraimov will perform Dvořák’s Piano Trio No. 4 with Susie Park and Anthony Ross, and Ehnes will interpret Beethoven’s Septet alongside six Orchestra musicians.


The Orchestra will continue to offer livestreamed concerts and digital extras as part of its Emmy Award-winning This Is Minnesota Orchestra series through its website and social media channels. Specific concerts to be broadcast will be announced at a later date.



Live at Orchestra Hall presents performances and collaborations with artists of various genres from across the world, films presented live in concert and musical celebrations of a variety of holidays. Most concerts are conducted by Sarah Hicks, the Orchestra’s principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall.


The 2024-25 season of Live at Orchestra Hall showcases the music of artists from the worlds of film, jazz and rock music. Led by Hicks, a program November 8-9 spotlights prolific film composer John Williams. A multimedia concert on January 4 remembers the early years of the Beatles, with many of the band’s #1 hits arranged for orchestra and accompanied by previously unseen photos projected onstage. Wynton Marsalis will return with his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, bringing the jazz club experience to the Hall’s stage on January 28. And on March 21, music powerhouse Steve Hackman will introduce to Minnesota his groundbreaking orchestral fusion Brahms X Radiohead, which fuses the Romantic composer’s First Symphony with the band’s album, OK, Computer.


The Minnesota Orchestra’s movies and music programming presents live performances of film scores while the major motion pictures are screened in high definition above the stage. A collection of pioneering and fan-favorite films will be shown throughout the season: first, the Orchestra will restart its Star Wars: In Concert series with four presentations of the 1977 film Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope that began the franchise (October 2024); the weekend before Halloween, the Orchestra will perform the comedy film Hocus Pocus; just after Thanksgiving, the Orchestra will present the family-friendly time-travel film Back to the Future; in time for Christmas, Ron Spigelman will lead the ensemble in Elf; and from February 20-22, the Orchestra will present the final installment of the beloved Harry Potter Film Concert Series with Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows™ Part 2.


The Minnesota Orchestra’s holiday offerings in December 2024 commence with the return of jazz and soul singer and pianist Tony DeSare on December 11. On December 13, former bandmates of John Denver will join the Orchestra for A Rocky Mountain Holiday Celebration, a multimedia tribute to the late singer-songwriter. A brassy staple of the holiday season at Orchestra Hall, trumpeter Charles Lazarus, his all-star band and special guests will present Merry & Bright on December 15. And on December 31-January 1, former Minnesota Orchestra Associate Conductor William Eddins will team up with Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges and virtuoso pianist and friend of the Orchestra Jon Kimura Parker for a jazz-inspired New Year’s Celebration program honoring the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Moments of celebration will also welcome community to Orchestra Hall throughout the spring. Now in its fourth year, the Minnesota Orchestra will honor Lunar New Year in a program curated by conductor Norman Huynh that features the return of pipa player Gao Hong, the Orchestra Hall debut of pianist Ying Li and a new Minnesota Orchestra commission by Vietnamese-American composer—and Composer Institute alumnus—Viet Cuong (February 2025). And in its third iteration, a concert commemorating Juneteenth led by Jonathan Taylor Rush will feature music by Black American composers including Michael Abels, Valerie Coleman, James P. Johnson, James Lee III, Carlos Simon and Mary D. Watkins (June 2025).



A tradition since 1911, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts are designed for students in grades 1-6. Scheduled during the school day, they provide educational field trips for student groups and home school students across the state. Over the course of the 2024-25 season, the Orchestra will present four distinct programs comprising 18 total performances. These include such programs as Orchestra in Orbit (October 2024), The American Musical Tapestry (February 2025), Musical Ups and Downs (March 2025) and Musical Wonders of the World (April 2025).

Three Relaxed Family Concerts will be offered to audiences of all ages, including individuals with autism or sensory sensitivities. With music education an ongoing priority for Søndergård, the Orchestra’s music director will again lead a Relaxed Family Concert on the afternoon of March 2; additional programs will be conducted by Cosette Justo Valdés (October 2024) and Molly Turner (April 2025). Relaxed Family Concerts take place within the main auditorium and include the entire ensemble, while the Orchestra’s Sensory-Friendly Concerts occur in the smaller and more intimate Target Atrium and feature solo musicians or select ensembles. Sensory-Friendly Concerts are hosted by Lyndie Walker, MT-BC, from Toneworks Music Therapy Services, and invite concertgoers of all ages to be who they are while enjoying music (October 2024, February 2025 and April 2025).




Ticket packages of three or more concerts are on sale now, and can be purchased at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5642. Single tickets will be available on July 29, 2024. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

The 2024-25 Classical Season is presented by Ameriprise Financial.

The Chamber Music Series is sponsored by Dr. Jennine and John* Speier.

The Movies & Music series is presented by U.S. Bank.

The Relaxed Family Concert series is sponsored by PNC. Co-sponsored by Eric and Celita Levinson.

These activities are 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.