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Wednesday February 14, 2024

Rising Conductor Eun Sun Kim Makes Minnesota Orchestra Debut in Program Featuring Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony

Taking place March 8-9, the program features two works never before performed at Orchestra Hall: Texu Kim’s Dub-Sanjo and Arnold Schoenberg’s Erwartungwhich will feature soprano Heidi Melton

Named a 2021 Breakout Star in Classical Music by The New York Times, guest conductor Eun Sun Kim will make her first appearance at Orchestra Hall in concerts headlined by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Tchaikovsky’s expressly abstract composition is one of the most-performed symphonies in the Minnesota Orchestra’s history. Its first performance by the ensemble took place in November 1906—less than 20 years after its world premiere. The symphony is filled with powerful mottos, balletic beauty and high drama, and its finale offers an infamous false conclusion that often tricks listeners into thinking the performance is complete.

The program will take place at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, March 8, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $31 to $106. Free tickets for both programs are available to young listeners ages 6 to 18 thanks to the Orchestra’s Hall Pass program.

Contrasting Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony are two works of vastly different regions and traditions that the Minnesota Orchestra has never before performed. The concert will open with Dub-Sanjo, a work from 2015 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute alumnus Texu Kim. The piece draws on melodic patterns common in sanjo, a virtuosic Korean folk music tradition that Kim has reimagined for symphony orchestra. Dub-Sanjo was commissioned by the Korean National Symphony Orchestra and received its premiere by that ensemble in 2017.

Highly regarded in operatic spheres, conductor Eun Sun Kim began her tenure as the Caroline H. Hume Music Director of San Francisco Opera in 2021. In this program, Kim will lead the Orchestra in its first performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s modernistic opera Erwartung, which premiered in Prague a century ago. A monodrama in one act, Erwartung unfolds as a musical stream of consciousness. The opera has varied influences, from the Expressionist art movement to the writings of Sigmund Freud. Heidi Melton will perform the solo soprano role, which depicts the sole character of “the Woman” wandering through a forest in the nighttime searching for her lover. Winner of the Mario Lanza Competition, Melton has a voice that was recently described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “big, gleaming and tonally resplendent.”


About Eun Sun Kim

Korean conductor Eun Sun Kim is a regular guest conductor at prestigious opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Semperoper Dresden, Staatsoper Berlin and Teatro alla Scala in Milan. In the 2023-24 season she debuts with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Opéra national de Paris. At San Francisco Opera, she leads Il trovatore, Lohengrin and The Magic Flute, as well as Opera Ball and Opera in the Park. She also conducts Parsifal at Houston Grand Opera as well as concerts with Colorado Symphony and Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona. Her recording of a new arrangement of Wagner’s Ring with the National Brass Ensemble has just been released by Pentatone on the album Deified. Among the highlights of her tenure with San Francisco Opera is the world premiere of John Adams’ Antony and Cleopatra. Her honors include first prize in the International Jesús López Cobos Opera Conducting Competition at the Teatro Real Madrid. More: arsis-artists.com, eunsunkim.com.

About Heidi Melton

American dramatic soprano Heidi Melton has earned special acclaim for her interpretations of Wagner’s music and for her resplendent voice. She opened the 2023-24 season with a debut at the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for concert performances of Cavalleria rusticana in the role of Santuzza, conducted by James Gaffigan. Other season highlights include a return to Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra for Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland as the Queen of Hearts. Last season Melton debuted at Seattle Opera in Tristan and Isolde as Isolde. On the concert stage, she debuted with the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona in Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs, with the New World Symphony for a program of Wagner selections and with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Egmont. She returned to the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra to sing Mescalina in Le grand macabre, followed by a return to Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for Act II of Tristan and Isolde with conductor Karina Canellakis. She is the recipient of many prestigious awards and prizes; among them are the George London Foundation’s George London/Kirsten Flagstad Memorial Award. More: opus3artists.com.


Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts



Friday, March 8, 2024, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall*

Saturday, March 9, 2024, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall


Minnesota Orchestra

Eun Sun Kim, conductor

Heidi Melton, soprano


T. KIM Dub-Sanjo
TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5


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

* The performance on Friday, March 8, 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.

These concerts are generously sponsored by Huntington Bank.

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.