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Thursday March 7, 2024

Minnesota Orchestra Welcomes Minneapolis-Based Hip-Hop Artist Nur-D for Collaboration at Orchestra Hall, April 5-6

In concerts conducted by Sarah Hicks, Nur-D will perform his original music arranged for orchestra by Andy Thompson

On April 5 and 6, 2024, Nur-D will partner with the Minnesota Orchestra for a pair of energetic debut concerts. One of the fastest risers in hip-hop in the Midwest, Nur-D is known for his infectious energy, passion for engaging with audiences, and ability to cross genres and push stylistic boundaries. Nur-D has partnered with arranger Andy Thompson (Dessa, Taylor Swift, Céline Dion, jeremy messersmith) to adapt his music for symphonic orchestra, crafting a unique hip-hop-classical crossover. The South African musical ensemble 29:11 International Exchange—who has regularly appeared in concerts with the Orchestra since 2019—will also join Nur-D in these concerts.

The program will take place at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, April 5, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 6, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $33 to $99. Prior to both concerts, the Orchestra Hall lobby will host activities and food from vendors curated by Nur-D, including Banana Leaf Collective, The Legacy Building, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen and Modist Brewing.

Matt Allen, a Bronx, New York-born, Rosemount, Minnesota-raised artist known onstage as Nur-D, first began performing across his home state in 2018. Since then, he has performed alongside some of hip-hop’s biggest acts, including Wu-Tang Clan, Ludacris and Tyler, The Creator. His sophomore album Songs About Stuff was featured as one of the Star Tribune’s Best Albums of 2019. Released in 2023, his latest album Crush is a celebration of body positivity and love, following previous projects that were influenced by the uprising in Minneapolis after George Floyd’s murder. Nur-D’s concerts with the Orchestra will incorporate works from throughout his expansive discography.

The Minnesota Orchestra’s partnership with Nur-D follows the organization’s previous collaborations with leading local artists who have shaped the Twin Cities’ music scene. Under the direction of Sarah Hicks, principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall, the ensemble has collaboratively created programs with such guests as Chastity Brown, Cloud Cult, The New Standards and Dessa—with whom the Orchestra recorded and released a full-length, live-in-concert album titled Sound the Bells. The program with Nur-D reflects the Orchestra’s commitment to driving innovation in the orchestral field and highlighting the perspectives of artists making music in the Twin Cities today.


About Sarah Hicks

Sarah Hicks, the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall, has led a broad range of programs since joining the Orchestra as assistant conductor in 2006 and has earned wide acclaim as a guest conductor in the United States and abroad. Her career has seen collaborations with a diverse range of artists, from Hilary Hahn and Dmitri Hvorostovsky to Rufus Wainwright, Jennifer Hudson and Smokey Robinson. She has been an artistic leader in concerts featuring artists from Minnesota’s internationally renowned popular music scene, including shows with PaviElle French, The New Standards, multiple sold-out performances with Dessa and collaborations with indie band Cloud Cult. Her passion for cross-genre partnerships led to a 2019 album with Dessa and the Orchestra entitled Sound the Bells, and in 2021 she collaborated with DrLupo for an innovative live-gaming project for Intel. This spring she will also lead the Orchestra in concerts featuring folk-pop duo Indigo Girls. A specialist in film music and the film-in-concert genre, Hicks premiered Pixar in Concert and Disney and Pixar’s Coco in Concert. More: minnesotaorchestra.org.

About Nur-D

Nur-D is a breath of fresh air in the music scene who is breaking genre convention with every new project. With influences of anime, pro-wrestling, musical theatre, Dungeons & Dragons and so much more, Nur-D brings a little something for everyone with every track. Born in the Bronx, New York, and growing up in the small town of Rosemount, Minnesota, has given Nur-D a unique perspective that comes through constantly in his music. Also an advocate for social change, Nur-D champions causes around social justice, artists rights and community safety both on and off the stage. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of music legends like Missy Elliott, David Bowie, Elton John and Prince in the way of bringing an extra spark of life and creativity into his music, which is easy to see from the very first downbeat. More: nurdrocks.com.

About 29:11 International Exchange

The members of the musical ensemble 29:11 come from the areas of the Cape Flats in Cape Town, South Africa. They have been trained by world-renowned musician Camillo Lombard and are currently under the direction of Brendon Adams, co-founder of New Hope International Exchange. They debuted at Orchestra Hall in 2019 in performances of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, and featured in both the 2022 presentation of Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed and the 2023 world premiere of Carlos Simon and Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s brea(d)th. More: 2911intl.org.

About Andy Thompson

Andy Thompson is a composer, arranger, producer, mixer and multi-instrumentalist who relishes combining two of his original musical loves: putting notes on paper and great pop music. After studying composition and jazz at the University of Michigan, he has operated mainly in pop, hip-hop and classical crossover worlds, making music with Atmosphere, Belle and Sebastian, BOY, Céline Dion, Chastity Brown, Cloud Cult, Dan Wilson, Daniel Johnston, Graveyard Club, Jason Mraz, jeremy messersmith, Madisen Ward, Mama Bear and Taylor Swift. More: andywho.com.


Live at Orchestra Hall



Friday, April 5, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Saturday, April 6, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Sarah Hicks, conductor

Nur-D, singer, rapper and writer

29:11 International Exchange, musical ensemble

DJ Hayes, producer

Robin Gilligan, vocals

Isaac Jordan, vocals

Shanice Mason, vocals

Tuvok the Word, vocals

Kyle Bochert, horn

Cody LeDuc, trombone

Skylar Pratt, saxophone

Dave Stangel, saxophone

Erik Sundman, piano

Josh Pratt, production manager

Andy Thompson, arranger


Tickets: $33 to $99



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.

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.