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Thursday June 2, 2022

Minnesota Orchestra's International Day of Music Returns July 16, 2022

Free 12-hour music marathon held at Orchestra Hall from noon to midnight on Saturday, July 16, during opening weekend of Summer at Orchestra Hall

Artists include Alicia Thao, Border CrosSing, Duniya Drum and Dance, Lady Midnight and Salsa del Soul, among others

The International Day of Music, the Minnesota Orchestra’s free 12-hour celebration of music, will return to Orchestra Hall on Saturday, July 16, marking the opening weekend of the Orchestra’s new summer season, Summer at Orchestra Hall. Running from noon to midnight, the International Day of Music showcases free performances by 20 different ensembles—from Salsa del Soul to Lady Midnight—on four stages in and around Orchestra Hall, including a free performance featuring the Minnesota Orchestra outdoors on Peavey Plaza that will culminate in bells pealing in coordination across Minneapolis. See below for a complete list of artists.

“Day of Music has always been about sharing the abundance of musical talent in the Twin Cities,” says Director of Live at Orchestra Hall Grant Meachum. “We are grateful to our programming partners who have helped to bring together such an outstanding lineup of artists. This is a time to celebrate all types of music and we invite audiences to spend the day at Orchestra Hall exploring it all.” Programming partners for the 2022 International Day of Music are The Cedar Cultural Center, Asian Media Access, Green Minneapolis and the City of Bells.

All International Day of Music events are free and open to the public—with no tickets or reservations required. Performances take place on four stages simultaneously: Peavey Plaza Stage, the 11th Street Stage, in Orchestra Hall’s Target Atrium and main auditorium. The Orchestra was last able to offer an International Day of Music experience in the summer of 2019.

The July 16 event is part of the opening weekend for the Orchestra’s Summer at Orchestra Hall season, four weeks of music (July 15-August 7, 2022) curated by pianist and Summer at Orchestra Hall Creative Partner Jon Kimura Parker around “The Beethoven Influence.” 


Outside on the Peavey Plaza Stage—located on the lower level of the Peavey Plaza basin—the day begins with the preliminary round of a Dance Battle, followed by the battle’s final round which will include musical accompaniment by Minnesota Orchestra musicians. Other performers who will appear on this stage throughout the day include a collection of K-pop cover crews and West African drum and dance specialists Duniya Drum and Dance.  

In the lead-up to the evening Orchestra concert, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre characters will interact with audience members near the Peavey stage, and at 8:30 p.m. the Minnesota Orchestra will offer its first full-ensemble outdoor performance on Peavey Plaza since 2008. Led by conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin, the Orchestra will perform a one-hour program that culminates in the Great Gate of Kiev movement from Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition with a resounding finish: at the dramatic conclusion of the piece, church bells across downtown Minneapolis will peal in coordination. Organized in partnership with City of Bells, the Minneapolis nonprofit dedicated to coordinating, restoring and celebrating bells throughout the community, the concert will feature bells ringing from five downtown churches: St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Mary, St. Olaf Catholic Church and Central Lutheran Church, as well as Westminster Presbyterian Church, located directly across 12th Street from Peavey Plaza, where a new set of bells was installed in the Rose Tower in March 2020.

At the 11th Street Stage—hosted by programming partner The Cedar Cultural Center—performances start at 12:30 p.m. with Dakota/Boricua hip hop artist Tufawon, followed by Hmong singer-songwriter Alicia Thao; Congolese guitarist and singer Siama, sharing “feel-good music from the Heart of Africa”; Kenyan rapper, spoken word performer and dancer Fanaka Nation; and singer and multi-disciplinary artist Lady Midnight whose work draws on Afro-Caribbean-indigenous roots.

In Orchestra Hall’s Target Atrium, the day begins at 12 noon with a storytelling hour with Children’s Theatre Company’s Summer Story Programs, programmed in cooperation with Green Minneapolis; followed by an afternoon of chamber music with five different Minnesota Orchestra small ensembles including a special appearance by pianist Jon Kimura Parker; as well as performances by vocalist and pianist Luke Turner and the South African vocal ensemble 29:11 International Exchange.

 Inside Orchestra Hall’s main auditorium, the afternoon begins with a two-hour Dance Showcase organized in partnership with Asian Media Access, featuring Anglkung Music Ensemble, Jang-miArts and the Phoenix Dance Team; as well as performances by handbell ensembles Twin Cities Bronze and Bells of the Lakes; the dynamic young singers of VocalEssence’s Singers of This Age and the Border CrosSing choir. The evening is brought to a high-energy close with the nine-piece orchestra Salsa del Soul performing dance music from the Caribbean.

Connected to the bells-themed program that runs throughout the Day of Music, carilloneurs David Johnson and Kieran Cantilina will offer a 6 p.m. carillon concert at Central Lutheran Church, located just a few blocks from Orchestra Hall.


Summer at Orchestra Hall is a new take on the Minnesota Orchestra’s traditional summer festival, celebrating the Orchestra’s home in the city and its proximity to the revitalized Peavey Plaza.

Offered this summer with the theme “The Beethoven Influence” and running from July 15 to August 7, 2022, the experience features four curated weeks of music that illuminate Ludwig van Beethoven’s musical universe, exploring his influences and the composers he influenced in return. Spearheaded by Creative Partner for Summer at Orchestra Hall Jon Kimura Parker, who appears as pianist and host in several concerts, the programming celebrates a spirit of fresh musical invention and showcases partnerships with BRKFST Dance Company, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, and The Moving Company.

At all Summer at Orchestra Hall concerts, audiences will be able to enjoy an array of cocktail and beverage options—including a $5 happy hour—while listening to free pre- and post-concert music indoors and out by local artists. New this summer: those interested in dining can purchase a charcuterie board and other specialty food items from catering partner, The Wandering Kitchen, with both advance reservations (indoor and outdoor tables) and walk-up available. (Reservations can be made on the Orchestra’s website, beginning on July 5.) Ice cream will also be available throughout the festival and a variety of food trucks will be present for the International Day of Music. 

About Programming Partners

The Cedar Cultural Center is an eclectic non-profit music venue located in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis with a mission to promote intercultural understanding and appreciation through the presentation of global music and dance. The Cedar’s programming spans global roots, folk, indie, experimental, bluegrass, Americana and blues genres, and includes artist residencies, educational programs, workshops, films, dances, comedy, spoken word and community events. Over its 33-year history, The Cedar has established itself as a premiere U.S. venue, working to maintain the vibrancy and diversity of the Twin Cities’ arts scene by presenting more than 200 shows a year that highlight international artists, local emerging talent and nationally renowned voices. More: thecedar.org.

Asian Media Access is a comprehensive community media arts education agency supporting creative solutions for problems facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islander community through education, production, information technology and community organizing. More: amamedia.org

City of Bells is a nonprofit working to emphasize the importance of bronze bell installations—heralding the heartbeat of our communities—through discovery, education, promotion and restoration. Minnesota bears the distinction of being home to a greater number of bells than anywhere else in the U.S., and the Twin Cities is the site of some of the largest bronze bell installations in the country, including one bell that weighs 10,000 pounds (Westminster Presbyterian Church) and several large carillons (Central Lutheran Church with 47 bells and House of Hope Presbyterian Church with 49 bells) More: cityofbells.com

Green Minneapolis is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is creating a green future for Minneapolis with trees on every street and active, welcoming public spaces for all. The organization works to enrich quality of life, create a healthier environment and connect people through place. Green Minneapolis partnered with the City of Minneapolis to raise $10 million of public and private funding for the renovation of Peavey Plaza, and it currently operates, maintains and programs the plaza under a five year agreement with the City. More: greenminneapolis.org

A complete International Day of Music schedule accompanies this press release and is available online.