Update browser for a secure Minnesota Orchestra experience

It looks like you may be using a web browser version that we don't support. Make sure you're using the most recent version of your browser, or try using of these supported browsers, to get the full Minnesota Orchestra experience: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge.

Inside the Music

Søndergård’s Summer Playlist

An image of Thomas Sondergard sitting in a chair, smiling, in a large, white-walled and glass building.

In his first season as the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director, Thomas Søndergård will bring to Orchestra Hall the music of outstanding contemporary composers like Lera Auerbach and Eleanor Alberga, as well as revered works from the likes of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. But what does the maestro have playing in his headphones during these late summer days? Many familiar favorites, it turns out. Get a sense of Thomas’ tastes with the playlist below and read on for his reasoning behind each selection.

Johannes Brahms – Violin Sonata No. 1

“I have always loved Brahms—maybe more than any other composer (apart from Richard Strauss)—not least after the Coronavirus break with no music…his Sonata No. 1 in G major is just outstanding. I often just listen to the first movement—which I adore—anywhere, on the metro, on a bench or in the air.”

Wolfgang Amadè Mozart – Così fan tutte, Act 1: "Soave sia il vento"

“Mozart: always there, always welcome, anytime. This takes me back to one of the finest experiences I had in Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France, where I played in the orchestra of the summer festival and first started to become interested in conducting.”

Corinne Winters as Fiordiligi, Angela Brower as Dorabella and Johannes Martin Kränzle as Don Alfonso sing the Act I trio "Soave sia il vento" in the Royal Opera House's production of "Così fan tutte."

Wynton Marsalis – Street of Dreams

“Wynton Marsalis is one of my absolute favorite musicians of all time. His groove, his sound, his sense of rhythm—I just love it, and I have listened to this since I heard it for the first time in the beginning of the ’90s.”


Richard Strauss – Don Juan

“Strauss: master of the opera, master of the orchestra. Just listen to this.


Richard Strauss – Final Scene from Salome

“One of the best operas ever written. I will record this final scene with the outstanding soprano Malin Byström in August. Here is a YouTube clip from a production with the Dutch National Opera.”

Soprano Malin Byström performs Strauss' "Salome" with the Dutch National Opera & Ballet.

On September 21-23, watch Søndergård lead the Orchestra in one of his summer picks, Strauss’ Don Juan.

Get Tickets