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Tuesday April 2, 2024

Minnesota Orchestra's 2024 Summer Festival to Celebrate Music of the 1920s and Orchestra Halls 50-Year Anniversary

Virtuoso pianist Jon Kimura Parker returns to Summer at Orchestra Hall as creative partner and featured soloist in three concert programs

Concerts from July 8 to August 10 to be led by Sarah Hicks and compelling early-career conductors making their Minnesota Orchestra debuts, including Norman Huynh, Delyana Lazarova, Stephanie Childress and Lina González-Granados; guest artists include Byron Stripling, Carmen Bradford, Leo Manzari and Minnesota Orchestra violinist Natsuki Kumagai

Celebrating the “Roaring Twenties,” programming centers works from the era, including Ravel’s jazz-inspired Piano Concerto in G, Gershwin’s Concerto in F, selections inspired by Harlem’s nightclubs and the film An American in Paris performed live in concert

Taking place on July 27 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., the annual Day of Music will commemorate the 50-year anniversary of Orchestra Hall, inviting Twin Cities-based musicians, dancers and visual artists to activate the Hall with performances and activities throughout the day

The Minnesota Orchestra’s Summer at Orchestra Hall festival will return from July 8 to August 10, 2024, encompassing five weeks of programming at Orchestra Hall and various venues across the region. Guided by the theme of the Roaring Twenties, the festival features musical selections from the 1920s, a decade of significant artistic innovation.

Internationally renowned pianist and Creative Partner Jon Kimura Parker again serves as the festival’s curator, as well as a frequent host and soloist. “I can’t wait to be back in Minneapolis for Summer at Orchestra Hall!” says Parker. “The festival will dive into one of music’s most transformative decades—the Roaring Twenties. I’m thrilled to perform works by Ravel and Gershwin, two prolific composers inspired by jazz. Plus, you’ll hear works written for ballets and operas that illustrate the enduring influence of jazz on orchestral music.”

The summer festival will kick off with a week of free outdoor concerts as part of the Orchestra’s long-standing Symphony for the Cities initiative. Performances will take place on Monday, July 8, at the Lake Harriet Bandshell in Minneapolis; Wednesday, July 10, at the Hilde Center for the Performing Arts in Plymouth; Thursday, July 11, at the Lakefront Park Bandshell in Hudson, Wisconsin; and at the Winona Lake Park Bandshell in Winona on Saturday, July 13. Led by guest conductor Norman Huynh, repertoire will include patriotic songs, film music, and pieces by Carlos Simon, Edvard Grieg and Ludwig van Beethoven, among others.

Beethoven’s influence carries to concerts the following week at Orchestra Hall on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, centered around the composer’s Symphony No. 4; the program will be reprised on Sunday, July 21, in Winona as the concluding event of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival. With conductor Delyana Lazarova, the concerts will open with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni. First violin section member Natsuki Kumagai will appear as soloist with the Orchestra to perform Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ dynamic Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 5, No. 2.

The festival’s Roaring Twenties theme begins in earnest with a program on Friday, July 26, led by conductor Stephanie Childress that includes several orchestral works written for period ballets and operas, and inspired by jazz. At the center of the program, Parker will play Maurice Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G. And on Friday, August 2, conductor Lina González-Granados makes her Orchestra Hall debut, bringing repertoire to the ensemble that spotlights the music of George Gershwin, one of the most prolific composers of the era, including his jazz-influenced Concerto in F, again featuring Parker.

Conductor and trumpeter Byron Stripling and Grammy-nominated vocalist Carmen Bradford—both former members of the world-renowned big band Count Basie Orchestra—as well as tap dancer Leo Manzari will headline a one-night concert event inspired by the music of Harlem’s nightclubs; Uptown Nights will take place on Saturday, August 3. And in a final nod to the period—and to the music of Gershwin—the Orchestra, under the baton of Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks, will present the musical comedy An American in Paris live in concert on Friday, August 9, and Saturday, August 10; the Academy Award-winning 1951 film is interspersed with dance numbers set to Gershwin’s melodies and will be played simultaneously on a screen above the stage.

Other programmatic highlights returning to Summer at Orchestra Hall include the Day of Music, to be held from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 27. The 2024 Day of Music will feature celebrations around the 50th anniversary of the opening of Orchestra Hall—an anniversary that will be commemorated throughout the Orchestra’s fall 2024 programming, with specific plans to be announced. The day-long festivities will include free appearances by Twin Cities-based musicians, dancers and visual artists. A Relaxed Family Concert with the full Orchestra will take place in the Hall’s auditorium at 1 p.m., with a culminating performance by the ensemble at 8 p.m. And Parker will again reprise the Grand Piano Spectacular on Thursday, August 1, bringing together four virtuoso pianists on a single stage, with guest artists this year to include Gabriela Martinez, Osip Nikiforov and Szuyu Su.


Summer at Orchestra Hall

SYMPHONY FOR THE CITIES

 

Monday, July 8, 2024, 7:30 p.m. / Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis

Wednesday, July 10, 2024, 8:30 p.m. / Hilde Center for the Performing Arts, Plymouth

Thursday, July 11, 2024, 7:30 p.m. / Lakefront Park Bandshell, Hudson, Wisconsin

Saturday, July 13, 2024, 8 p.m. / Winona Lake Park Bandshell, Winona

 

Minnesota Orchestra

Norman Huynh, conductor

 

SMITH/Skrowaczewski The Star-Spangled Banner
WILLIAMS Harry’s Wondrous World, from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
BEETHOVEN Selection from Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
GRIEG Selections from Peer Gynt
ANDERSON Summer Skies and The Waltzing Cat
TRADITIONAL/ Hayman/Kessler Armed Forces Medley
SIMON Holy Dance, from Four Black American Dances

 

The Minnesota Orchestra’s summertime Symphony for the Cities concerts are offered as an annual thank-you to the community. This year’s concerts will be led by Norman Huynh, music director of the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, and will include patriotic songs, film music, and symphonic selections from Carlos Simon, Edvard Grieg and Ludwig van Beethoven, among others.

Tickets: FREE


Summer at Orchestra Hall

BEETHOVEN SYMPHONY NO. 4

 

Friday, July 19, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Saturday, July 20, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Sunday, July 21, 2024, 4 p.m. / Winona Middle School Auditorium, Winona

 

Minnesota Orchestra

Delyana Lazarova, conductor

Natsuki Kumagai, violin

 

MOZART Overture to Don Giovanni
SAINT-GEORGES Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 5, No. 2
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 4

 

After recent appearances with many of Europe’s most well-regarded symphonies, Delyana Lazarova will appear for the first time with the Minnesota Orchestra to lead a program from the heart of the Classical period of Western music, with each composed between 1775 and 1806. After opening with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s richly-textured Overture to Don Giovanni, first violin section member Natsuki Kumagai will perform a showpiece violin concerto of Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The concerts—the last of which will be presented in Winona as the concluding event of the annual Minnesota Beethoven Festival—will close with the famed composer’s sunny Fourth Symphony.

[Tickets note: Tickets for the July 21 performance as part the Minnesota Beethoven Festival will be available for purchase beginning Tuesday, April 9, via mnbeethovenfestival.com.]


Summer at Orchestra Hall

WEILL, RAVEL AND PROKOFIEV

 

Friday, July 26, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

 

Minnesota Orchestra

Stephanie Childress, conductor

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

 

WEILL Suite from The Threepenny Opera
RAVEL Piano Concerto in G
POULENC Suite from Les Biches
PROKOFIEV Suite from The Love for Three Oranges

 

In 2020, Stephanie Childress earned second prize at the inaugural Parisian conducting competition La Maestra. This summer, she makes her debut with the Minnesota Orchestra leading several orchestral works written in the 1920s. The program is centered around Jon Kimura Parker’s performance of Maurice Ravel’s jazz- and Basque folk music-inspired Piano Concerto in G. The concert also includes lively suites from three pieces written for the stage, including Kurt Weill’s The Threepenny Opera, Francis Poulenc’s Les Biches and Sergei Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges.


Summer at Orchestra Hall

DAY OF MUSIC

 

Saturday, July 27, 2024, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

 

Beginning at 9 a.m., the Day of Music features performances and exhibitions throughout Orchestra Hall, celebrating many genres of art for all ages. This year’s festival commemorates the 50th anniversary of Orchestra Hall with free offerings from Twin Cities-based musicians, dancers and visual artists. A Relaxed Family Concert with the full Orchestra will take place in the Hall’s auditorium at 1 p.m., with a culminating performance by the ensemble at 8 p.m.—both concerts will be conducted by Stephanie Childress. The complete Day of Music schedule will be announced in June.

[Tickets note: Free tickets to Orchestra concerts at 1 p.m. and 8 p.m. are available for young listeners under 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program. Choose Your Price tickets ($5 minimum ticket price) for listeners older than 18 are available for all seating sections for both concerts. All other Day of Music programs are offered free.]


Summer at Orchestra Hall

GRAND PIANO SPECTACULAR

 

Thursday, August 1, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

 

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

Gabriela Martinez, piano

Osip Nikiforov, piano

Szuyu Su, piano

 

A feature of the early years of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest, the predecessor of the Summer at Orchestra Hall festival that dates to 1980, the Grand Piano Spectacular has been reprised by Creative Partner Jon Kimura Parker for the past two summers, bringing together virtuoso pianists for a special concert. Alongside Parker, this performance will feature a new lineup of three pianists who represent the next generation of great recitalists: Gabriela Martinez, Osip Nikiforov and Szuyu Su. Specific repertoire will be announced at a later date.

[Please note: The Minnesota Orchestra does not appear on this program.]


Summer at Orchestra Hall

GERSHWIN CONCERTO IN F

 

Friday, August 2, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

 

Minnesota Orchestra

Lina González-Granados, conductor

Jon Kimura Parker, piano

 

HARBISON Remembering Gatsby (Foxtrot for Orchestra)
GERSHWIN Concerto in F
MILHAUD Le Bœuf sur le toit
GERSHWIN Catfish Row Suite, from Porgy and Bess

 

For her Minnesota Orchestra debut, conductor Lina González-Granados brings to Orchestra Hall a program focused on music that both drew from and canonized the sounds of the 1920s. Two works from George Gershwin highlight the program, including his Concerto in F for solo piano and orchestra, which will be performed by Jon Kimura Parker, and a selection from his famed opera Porgy and Bess. The concert will begin with John Harbison’s Remembering Gatsby, a 1985 composition inspired by the sights and themes of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age novel. Another piece shaped by popular media, Darius Milhaud’s Le Bœuf sur le toit was conceived as incidental music for Charlie Chaplin’s silent films.


Summer at Orchestra Hall

UPTOWN NIGHTS

with the Minnesota Orchestra

 

Saturday, August 3, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

 

Minnesota Orchestra

Byron Stripling, conductor and trumpet

Carmen Bradford, vocalist

Leo Manzari, tap dancer

 

Byron Stripling, the principal pops conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and a jazz trumpeter who has been a member of the world-renowned big band Count Basie Orchestra, leads the Minnesota Orchestra in a concert inspired by the famed musical hot spots of Harlem’s heyday. Uptown Nights has been performed with leading orchestras across North America and includes Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Carmen Bradford—a fellow former member of Count Basie Orchestra—as well as tap dancer Leo Manzari.


U.S. Bank Movies & Music

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS

with the Minnesota Orchestra

 

Friday, August 9, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Saturday, August 10, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

 

Minnesota Orchestra

Sarah Hicks, conductor

 

Celebrated as one of the “Top Ten Movie Musicals of All Time” by the American Film Institute, and starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, An American in Paris won the 1951 Academy Award for Best Picture. The comedy borrows its title from Gershwin’s 1928 symphonic poem; the film is interspersed with dance numbers set to Gershwin’s melodies. In this live-in-concert version, the Minnesota Orchestra will perform the iconic score under the baton of Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks while the complete film plays on a screen above the stage.


 

TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION

Tickets for Summer at Orchestra Hall programs will be made available to the general public on April 22, and can be purchased at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

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

The Summer at Orchestra Hall Creative Partner position is supported by Marilyn and Glen Nelson.

The Lake Harriet Bandshell performance is supported by the estate of Martha Rice.

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.