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Tuesday June 1, 2021

Minnesota Orchestra Announces Summer Programming and Increased Audience Capacity

July and August concerts feature pianist Jon Kimura Parker, plus four guest conductors and the return of large-scale Orchestra repertoire

Orchestra Hall seating capacity increases to 50% for July and August concerts

Changes to summer livestream schedule allow for focus on in-person audience safety and experience

Today the Minnesota Orchestra announced its concert programming for July and August 2021, as well as updates to Orchestra Hall’s audience capacity and safety protocols, and changes to livestream and live broadcast concert options. The Orchestra’s summer season will include four unique programs, each performed at least twice, featuring Jon Kimura Parker as piano soloist and guest conductors Dima Slobodeniouk, Ken-David Masur, Nathalie Stutzmann and Karina Canellakis on the podium throughout July and August. The Orchestra will return to repertoire for large-scale, full-size ensembles including pieces such as Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration, Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony.

“This summer, we celebrate the joy of returning to Orchestra Hall with audience members in the house,” said Jon Kimura Parker, the Orchestra’s Creative Partner for Summer Programming and guest piano soloist. “Music is filled with emotion, excitement, nostalgia, comfort, and humanity. Together, we will celebrate the summer, and we will celebrate coming together and making music for YOU!”

June concerts will maintain the safety measures the Orchestra outlined last month when tickets first became available, because audiences have made ticket purchases with these publicized protocols in mind. July and August concerts will reflect City of Minneapolis regulations, as well as the loosening of Stay Safe MN guidelines. See the protocols outlined below.

“We are so pleased that progress in the pandemic and the revised State safety guidelines are making it possible for the Orchestra to connect with a significantly larger in-person audience this summer than we had previously thought would be possible,” said President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns.

“In light of this shift, we are recalibrating the Orchestra’s summer concert plans to focus our energies around welcoming back audiences to Orchestra Hall. We will present one of those concerts as a livestream and TPT broadcast, rather than all four programs as we had previously announced. We’ll use this breathing room in the livestream schedule to build out plans and infrastructure for the fall, when we will be back with an updated This Is Minnesota Orchestra livestream and broadcast schedule, which will supplement our regular concert calendar.”

The concert on Friday, July 30, will proceed as planned as a livestreamed performance on the Orchestra’s website and social media, and live broadcast on Twin Cities PBS. All other concerts in July and August will be offered for in-person audiences only. All Friday night performances will continue to be broadcast live on YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio.

Tickets will be available for subscribers beginning on June 1. Tickets for the general public will be available beginning on June 8.

Safety Protocols in Orchestra Hall

June concerts will maintain the safety measures the Orchestra outlined last month when tickets first became available. Measures include:

  • Physically distanced, limited capacity seating for audiences of up to 400 people (20% capacity)
  • Masks required
  • Staggered arrival and departure times from the Hall to limit congestion
  • Attendees to complete a short symptom screening in advance of the event
  • No food or beverage service
  • Digital, contactless ticketing process

July and August concerts will reflect the most current City of Minneapolis regulations, as well as the loosening of Stay Safe MN guidelines. Measures include:

  • Seating that allows for one empty seat between each household, with capacity expanding up to 50% of Orchestra Hall
  • Masks required until the City of Minneapolis mask mandate is lifted. (If the City eases its ordinance, the Orchestra will use a phased approach to ease mask requirements at Orchestra Hall. The Orchestra’s website will note phased changes to the policy, and ticketholders will be notified.)
  • Digital, contactless ticketing process
  • Beverages served outdoors

Increased cleaning regimens will remain in place at Orchestra Hall, and ventilation standards continue to meet or exceed the CDC guidelines.

July and August Calendar of Events


Friday, July 16, 2021, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, July 17, 2021, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano

BERLIOZ                     Le Corsaire, Symphonic Overture
PRICE                          Piano Concerto
R. STRAUSS                Death and Transfiguration

Conductor Dima Slobodeniouk returns to the podium for Hector Berlioz’ Le Corsaire Overture and Richard Strauss’ great masterwork Death and Transfiguration. At the center, pianist Jon Kimura Parker performs Florence Price’s Piano Concerto for the first time in both his career and in the Orchestra’s history. 


Friday, July 30, 2021, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall [digital and in-person concert]
Saturday, July 31, 2021, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Sunday, August 1, 2021, 2 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Ken-David Masur, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Program to include:
STILL                           Moderately slow, from Symphony No. 2
BEACH                         Allegro con fuoco, from Gaelic Symphony
GERSHWIN                  Allegro, from Piano Concerto in F
WILLIAMS                   Summon the Heroes
BARBER                       Essay No. 1
PERKINSON                Alla sarabande and Alla burletta, from Sinfonietta No. 2, Generations

Ken-David Masur makes his Minnesota Orchestra conducting debut in a concert that honors musical heroes and hometown heroes. Jon Kimura Parker shares the stage with the Orchestra performing music by legends such as George Gershwin, John Williams, William Grant Still, Amy Beach, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson and Samuel Barber. The July 30 concert will be performed as a gift from the musicians to an invited audience of downtown Minneapolis frontline workers.


Friday, August 13, 2021, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, August 14, 2021, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor

Program to include:
SMETANA                    The Moldau, No. 2 from My Homeland
DVOŘÁK                      Symphony No. 9, From the New World

Conductor Nathalie Stutzmann leads the Orchestra in Bedrich Smetana’s The Moldau and Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony, a work built on Dvořák’s belief that the future of American music would sound like a true fusion of diverse cultures.


Friday, August 27, 2021, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, August 28, 2021, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Karina Canellakis, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Program to include:
MOZART                      Selections from Piano Concerto No. 21
TCHAIKOVSKY          Symphony No. 4

Minnesota Orchestra’s summer season concludes with a thrilling grand finale conducted by Karina Canellakis. Pianist Jon Kimura Parker performs selections from Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21, and the Orchestra will fill the stage again for Tchaikovsky’s emotional Fourth Symphony.


Tickets will be available for subscribers on June 1 and for the general public on June 8. They can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org and by calling 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141.

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

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.