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Thursday December 14, 2023

Minnesota Orchestra Principal Cello Anthony Ross to Perform Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, January 12-13

Led by guest conductor Jun Märkl, the program also includes Johannes Brahms’ Third Symphony

Conductor Jun Märkl will lead concerts in which the Minnesota Orchestra’s own Principal Cello Anthony Ross will perform Antonín Dvořák’s passionate Cello Concerto. The dynamic leader of the Orchestra’s cello section since 1991, Ross has performed all the standard cello repertoire during his tenure with the ensemble. He last performed Dvořák’s passionate Cello Concerto—one of the most popular ever written for the instrument—at Orchestra Hall in 2004. Dvořák wrote the concerto from November 1894 to February 1895, about a year after a summer spent in Iowa and Minnesota that would help usher in a new creative period for the Czech composer.

The program will take place at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, January 12, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, January 13, at 7 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $41 to $121. Free tickets for both programs are available to young listeners ages 6 to 18 thanks to the Orchestra’s Hall Pass program. The January 12 performance will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio. 

The second half of the program features a remarkable Third Symphony by Dvořák’s friend and mentor, Johannes Brahms. The opening notes of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 are F, A-flat, F, which represent the first letters of the phrase frei abher froh, or “free but happy” (adapted from friend and violinist Joseph Joachim’s frei abher einsam, “free but alone”), making a distinct connection between this symphony and the composer’s troubled personal life at the time it was written. Brahms’ dramatic Third Symphony is the most compact of his four symphonies; he wrote it in the summer of 1883 while staying in the city of Wiesbaden in Germany’s picturesque Rhine Valley.


About Jun Märkl

Jun Märkl is a highly respected interpreter of core Germanic repertoire and has become known for his explorations of French Impressionists. He serves as music director of the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, and is artistic advisor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Residentie Orkest The Hague, and the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. His longstanding relationships with the state operas of Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Semperoper Dresden and the Metropolitan Opera have been complemented by his music directorships of the Orchestre National de Lyon, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra and Basque National Orchestra. Märkl has an extensive discography of more than 50 albums including the complete Robert Schumann symphonies with the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He is currently working on a cycle of music by Camille Saint-Saëns, Richard Strauss and Toshio Hosokawa. Born in Munich, Märkl won the conducting competition of the Deutscher Musikrat in 1986 and studied at Tanglewood with Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa. Soon after he appeared in opera houses throughout Europe, and subsequently held his first music directorships at the Staatstheater Saarbrücken and the Nationaltheater Mannheim. More: musicvinearts.com, junmarkl.com.

About Anthony Ross

Prize-winning cellist Anthony Ross has appeared as soloist many times with the Orchestra, performing all the standard cello concertos under then-music directors Osmo Vänskä, Edo de Waart and Eiji Oue. Equally passionate about new music, he has given powerful performances of Michael Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway, James MacMillan’s Cello Concerto and Paul Moravec’s Montserrat. He and his wife, cellist Beth Rapier, have also championed David Ott’s Concerto for Two Cellos since 1993. Prior to assuming the principal role in Minnesota, Ross performed for four years as principal cello of the Rochester Philharmonic under David Zinman. As concerto soloist, Ross has played with the Moscow State Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the South Dakota Symphony and many other Midwest regional orchestras. Ross’ recordings include Leonard Bernstein’s Three Meditations from Mass, the George Lloyd Cello Concerto with the Albany Symphony, and the sonatas of Rachmaninoff and Elliott Carter. More: minnesotaorchestra.org.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts



Friday, January 12, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall*

Saturday, January 13, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Jun Märkl, conductor

Anthony Ross, cello


DVOŘÁK Cello Concerto
BRAHMS Symphony No. 3


Tickets: $41 to $121 [Free tickets available for young listeners ages 6 to 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program.]

* The performance on Friday, January 12, 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.