The Minnesota Orchestra and Music Director Osmo Vänskä on Sunday announced a brand-new initiative to record the music of Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer.
The new project follows on the heels of the Orchestra’s critically-acclaimed albums of symphonies by Beethoven, Sibelius and Mahler, and marks a bold new direction for the Orchestra, which is known for recording the music of major classical orchestral composers rather than music by former American League MVPs and three-time batting champions.
At an April 1 press conference, Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Kevin Smith emphasized that the Mauer project is an extension of the Orchestra’s “Minnesota Model” strategic plan, which focuses on community engagement and a willingness to break industry molds with exciting, experimental undertakings. “We’ve been thrilled with the reaction to our collaborations with Minnesota natives like Dessa and Cloud Cult,” Smith said. “We think the Twin Cities community will respond enthusiastically to this cutting-edge partnership with one of our most famous homegrown talents: a brilliant singer-songwriter and part-time professional baseball player with killer sideburns, Joe Mauer.” Smith added that Mauer often sits out the Twins’ afternoon games on days that follow night games, which frees up time for him to rehearse at Orchestra Hall.
The Orchestra will hold the first Mauer recording sessions during the All-Star Break in mid-July 2018. Contingency plans are set in case Mauer is selected as a Twins representative at the All-Star Game in Washington, D.C.: in this event, the Orchestra would travel with Mauer to the nation’s capital and hold recording sessions at the Kennedy Center during the Home Run Derby. The sessions are scheduled to include Mauer’s orchestral arrangements of baseball standards such as Take Me Out to the Ballgame and The Star-Spangled Banner, along with the 2001 number one draft pick’s regular walk-up music What You Know by rapper T.I., plus original Mauer compositions including Target Field Tango, The Ex-Catcher’s Capriccio and Symphony No. 7 in E minor. The Orchestra will pay Mauer an undisclosed amount for a projected series of eight albums.
“When I first heard that we were going to record music by Joe Mauer, I wasn’t so sure,” said Music Director Osmo Vänskä. “He had so many hit singles in the first ten years of his career, but then there were some injuries. But he was very good again last year, and he even played a one-night-only gig in New York’s Yankee Stadium in October. So now is the perfect time to work with him.”
Mauer, who is busy this weekend on a concert tour in Baltimore, was unavailable for comment.
The events, personnel, recording projects and Major League Baseball activities portrayed above are strictly satirical. Article posted April 1, 2018.