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Tuesday May 7, 2024

Powerhouse Pianist Yefim Bronfman Returns to Minnesota Orchestra, Performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4

Led by guest conductor David Robertson, the program is bookended by two symphonies from contemporary American composers Adolphus Hailstork and John Adams

Yefim Bronfman first performed as a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1979, when he was just 21 years old; the acclaimed, Avery Fisher Prize-winning pianist last played with the ensemble in 2005, when he performed Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto. In his return to Orchestra Hall, he will perform that composer’s Fourth Piano Concerto. Premiered publicly in 1807 by Beethoven himself, the work is considered a cornerstone of the piano concerto repertoire, and was recorded by the Minnesota Orchestra in 2009 with Yevgeny Sudbin as soloist.

The program will take place at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, June 7, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $31 to $106. Free tickets for all programs are available to young listeners ages 6 to 18 thanks to the Orchestra’s Hall Pass program. The performance on Friday, June 7, will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio, including KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities.

David Robertson, the chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, will also return to Orchestra Hall for the first time in more than two decades. He will present symphonic works by two contemporary American composers, opening with the First Symphony of Adolphus Hailstork, the 82-year-old Albany, New York native who studied composition under French pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. Hailstork’s First Symphony utilizes a traditional symphonic format, but also brings an array of influences from varied cultural backgrounds—including subtle incorporations of music from Guyana, where he had recently studied.

The concerts will conclude with Doctor Atomic Symphony, which condenses and adapts selections from John Adams’ 2005 opera that tells the story of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and explores the weeks leading up to the first test of the atomic bomb. Scored for orchestra without voices, the symphony depicts the lab’s tension, wartime panic and a countdown to the test. (Oppenheimer is also the central subject of director Christopher Nolan’s celebrated 2023 film named after him.) Robertson has long been a champion of Adams’ music and, in collaboration with the St. Louis Symphony, was honored with a 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for a recording of another of Adams’ compositions, City Noir.


About David Robertson

David Robertson occupies the most prominent podiums in opera, orchestral and new music. He is a champion of contemporary composers and an ingenious programmer who has served in leadership positions with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, BBC Symphony Orchestra and, as protégé of Pierre Boulez, the Ensemble intercontemporain. He appears with the world’s great orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk and Czech Philharmonic, and at festivals on five continents. Since his 1996 Metropolitan Opera debut, he has conducted a breathtaking range of Met projects, including premiere productions of works by John Adams and Nico Muhly, and the 2019 production of Porgy and Bess, for which he shared a Grammy for Best Opera Recording. In 2022, he made his Rome Opera debut conducting Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová. Robertson is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. He serves on the Tianjin Juilliard Advisory Council, complementing his role as director of conducting studies, distinguished visiting faculty of the Juilliard School. More: opus3artists.com, conductordavidrobertson.com.

About Yefim Bronfman

Yefim Bronfman’s commanding technique, power and exceptional lyrical gifts are consistently acknowledged by the press and audiences alike. Recent performance highlights include summer festival appearances, a European tour celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Munich Opera and Orchestra, return engagements with New York Philharmonic and the Boston, Kansas City, National, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh and San Francisco symphonies, and a recital tour culminating at Carnegie Hall. This year marks the 45th anniversary of his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra when, in 1979, he performed Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto. Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union, Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the U.S., he studied at the Juilliard School, Marlboro School of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, he has been honored in recent years with the Jean Gimbel Lane prize in piano performance from Northwestern University and an honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music. More: opus3artists.com, yefimbronfman.com.


Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts



Friday, June 7, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall*

Saturday, June 8, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

David Robertson, conductor

Yefim Bronfman, piano


HAILSTORK Symphony No. 1
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4
ADAMS Doctor Atomic Symphony


Tickets: $31 to $106 [Free tickets available for young listeners ages 6 to 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program.]

* The performance on Friday, June 7, 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.

With these concerts, the Minnesota Orchestra honors the memory of James P. Callahan.

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.