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Welcome, Wonder: Introducing Our 2024-25 Season

A black and white graphic of Thomas Sondergard with the Minnesota Orchestra, taken from an onstage perspective.

How does a 121-year-old symphony sound like it never has before? That’s a question best answered by Thomas Søndergård, who’s entering his second year as the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director. If the current season is any indication—from the heights of Richard Strauss’ Alpine Symphony to the onstage popping of Champagne on New Year's Eve—Søndergård has settled in just fine to his new musical home.

Together with Søndergård, we’ve just announced plans for our forthcoming season, which include plenty of new works, staples of orchestral music reinterpreted and many milestones to celebrate in-between. We can’t wait to tell you about it. (Ticket packages are on sale now, while single tickets will be available July 29.)

Credit: Zoe Prinds-Flash

With its opening notes in September and finale next June, the season ahead was designed with all concertgoers in mind and includes Classical, Live at Orchestra Hall, Holiday, Chamber Music, Young People’s Concerts, Relaxed Family Concerts and Sensory-Friendly Concerts. However you want to experience MinnOrch, there’s a program for you to discover.



“Pure ecstatic triumph” was how the Star Tribune described Music Director Thomas Søndergård’s opening concerts this past season. His sophomore season reflects how comfortable he now feels with the Orchestra he heads. The first program of the 2024-25 season invites concertgoers to accompany the Orchestra to Italy—figuratively, of course—with a program that centers Ottorino Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Andrea Tarrodi’s Liguria, a work with deep personal meaning for Søndergård. The second set of Season Opening concerts September 26 to 28 juxtaposes two masters of orchestration with whom Søndergård also shares a deep affinity: early modernist composer Maurice Ravel and Thomas Adès, a leader in contemporary orchestral music.

Credit: Zoe Prinds-Flash

Søndergård may be feeling at home in Minnesota, but the Holstebro, Denmark native will also be bringing his home to us. For the depths of Minnesota’s winter, he has curated Nordic Soundscapes, a two-week festival in January showcasing the music of composers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Come for the music, but stay for the hygge-inspired cultural activities and food on offer before each of the festival's concerts.

Søndergård's expertise in working with vocalists and choirs will be on full display throughout the season, too. In concerts November 22 to 23, he’ll lead performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the Minnesota Chorale and a handful of this generation’s outstanding vocal soloists. Later on, he’ll be joined by Grammy-winning soprano Julia Bullock for Benjamin Britten's captivating song cycle Les illuminations. And last but certainly not least, on May 1 and 3, Søndergård will guide the Orchestra's first complete performance of Puccini’s Turandot in 40 years. About the concert opera performance, Søndergård said:

My musical upbringing was in an opera house and opera is in my blood! Puccini knew the art of music drama and how to depict feelings through music. I can’t wait to share his Turandot with some of the best singers for these roles.

Thomas Søndergård

Since Søndergård first picked up a baton, he has advocated for new music. So it only makes sense that—alongside Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts—he’ll reintroduce the Orchestra’s Composer Institute, the organization’s residency program for emerging composers. Søndergård will take the podium for a concert on April 25 that culminates the residency program, with new music from each composer played by the Orchestra. Championing contemporary composers is something we can certainly expect from Søndergård in the years ahead: after all, at least 13 works across the 12 programs he’ll lead during the 2024-25 season have never been performed by the Orchestra before.

Concerts Conducted by Søndergård


A half-century later, and the cubes of Orchestra Hall are still popping. This October marks 50 years since the first concert in our downtown Minneapolis home in 1974, and more than 10 million people have visited the iconic auditorium since. Stay tuned for special activities that we’re planning to celebrate the milestone.

Select concerts throughout the fall will also feature repertoire that was performed by the Orchestra during its 1974-75 season, including a version of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor that was performed in the very first concerts and orchestrated by former Music Director Stanisław Skrowaczewski, who oversaw the Hall’s construction during his tenure.

Then-Music Director Stanisław Skrowaczewski "conducts" the ground-breaking ceremony at the site of Orchestra Hall in 1973.


All season long, we’ll be spotlighting music of our time from a diverse collection of contemporary composers, older works that have been historically obscured or otherwise not widely programmed, as well as pieces that have not been performed by the ensemble in decades. Within our Classical offerings alone, we'll perform at least 31 works never before played in our 121-year history. The repertoire we know and love is growing, so we mean it when we say that we’ll sound like we never have before!

Think, for instance, of concerts June 5 and 6, when Cristian Măcelaru brings selections from Wynton Marsalis’ Blues Symphony, André Jolivet’s Bassoon Concerto (to be performed by Principal Bassoon Fei Xie) and George Enescu’s Symphony No. 1—three works from different eras, all of which will be heard at Orchestra Hall for the first time.

Many concerts will also showcase well-known concert hall music in unexpected ways, inviting you to hear and interpret the works of familiar composers anew. Ravel and Adès. Stravinsky and Haydn. Bach's concertos performed on mandolin. We hope you'll join us with open ears.



The season is punctuated by welcomed returns and much-anticipated debuts of artists and conductors who are pushing classical music forward. If you love seeing a Steinway Grand rolled onstage, you can catch Yulianna Avdeeva performing Bernstein’s Second Symphony on October 18 and 19, Ingrid Fliter taking on Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 on May 8 and 9 and Alice Sara Ott interpreting Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto May 30 and 31.

If strings speak more to your heart, there's Leila Josefowicz performing Adès’ Violin Concerto, Concentric PathsSeptember 26 to 28, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in the hands of Randall Goosby November 14 and 15, and Isabelle Faust making her debut with Igor Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto February 28 and March 1.

As for an instrument you may not have pictured front and center, Wu Wei will make his Orchestra debut October 10 and 12 with the United States premiere of Jukka Tiensuu’s concerto Teoton, written for Wei’s 12th-century Chinese instrument, the sheng.

Seven of our own musicians will also take center stage over the course of the season, including Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora with Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto (January 2025); Principal Cello Anthony Ross with William Walton’s Cello Concerto (October 2024); First Associate Concertmaster Susie Park with Gabriela Ortiz’s Violin Concerto (February 2025); Concertmaster Erin Keefe with Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (March 2025); cellist Sonia Mantell with James MacMillan’s Kiss on Wood (March 2025): Principal Bassoon Fei Xie with Jolivet’s Basson Concerto (June 2025); and Acting Associate Principal Second Violin Cecilia Belcher with Beethoven’s Romance Nos. 1 and 2 (July 2025).

Some of today’s leading conductors will bring their unique perspectives and styles to Minnesota. Among them, composer Sir James MacMillan will make his Orchestra Hall debut as a conductor in concerts March 28 and 29; Chilean-Italian conductor Paolo Bortolameolli is organizing a program of modern and contemporary works by Latin composers February 14 and 15; Tabita Berglund offers a program dedicated in part to Franz Schubert March 13 and 14; Poland-native Marta Gardolińska opens her April 3 and 4 program with an Overture from fellow Pole Grażyna Bacewicz; and Jonathon Heyward brings his eclectic style to a program May 30 and 31 that stretches from Hannah Kendall to Robert Schumann.



An earlier start time and pre-concert happy hour make it possible to fit a trip to the orchestra into your busy week. Add to that a post-concert reception with musicians and you have our Symphony in 60 series. The forthcoming season includes two such programs, both of which feature two of the Orchestra’s artistic leaders. The first, on November 16, will be led by Søndergård and features a version of Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 orchestrated by Arnold Schoenberg. Taking place March 15, the second will feature Tabita Berglund at the helm, with an intimate performance by Erin Keefe of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto.



Our Chamber Music series is changing its tune. Reflecting the popularity of this oft-sold-out series, the concerts will move from the Target Atrium—our smaller performance space—to the Hall’s auditorium, allowing for more concertgoers to enjoy these performances. The Chamber Music series will continue to feature smaller ensembles of musicians performing without a conductor, while select programs will include guest soloists Behzod Abduraimov (April 2025) and James Ehnes (May 2025), inviting audiences to witness the dynamic collaboration between these renowned artists and our own musicians.

First Associate Concertmaster Susie Park in a chamber music rehearsal.

Credit: Darrell Owens


We’ll continue to offer livestreamed concerts and digital extras as part of our Emmy Award-winning This Is Minnesota Orchestra series on our website and social media channels. Hang tight, as we’ll announce those specific concert broadcasts as we get closer to the season.



Collaborations with artists of various genres from across the world. Concerts that celebrate a variety of holidays. Films presented live in concert. If you haven’t guessed yet, we’re referring to our Live at Orchestra Hall programming, which is spearheaded by Sarah Hicks, who knows a thing or two about crafting innovative performances.

Live at Orchestra Hall Concerts

Lunar New Year Celebration

Sat Feb 8, 2025

The upcoming season showcases the music of artists from the worlds of film, jazz, rock and folk. Led by Hicks, a program November 8 and 9 honors prolific film composer John Williams, while a multimedia concert on January 4 remembers the early years of the Beatles. Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will bring the jazz club experience to the Hall’s stage on January 28. And on March 21, music powerhouse Steve Hackman will introduce Minnesota to his groundbreaking orchestral fusion Brahms X Radiohead, which mixes the Romantic composer’s First Symphony with the band’s album, OK, Computer.

In October, the Orchestra will present "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" live in concert.


Prepare to laugh, cry and travel through time with our live performances of fan-favorite films. A week before Halloween, Hicks and the Orchestra will put on Hocus Pocus, Back to the Future just after Thanksgiving and the return of Elf for Christmastime. We’ll restart the Star Wars: In Concert saga with the 1977 film that started the franchise Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (October 2024) and present the final installment of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series with Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows™ Part 2.

Make Orchestra Hall your hub for the holidays, with the return of singer and pianist Tony DeSare December 11, a holiday tribute to John Denver December 13 and trumpeter Charles Lazarus reprising his jazzy Merry & Bright program December 15. These shows lead up to New Year’s Celebration concerts when former Minnesota Orchestra Associate Conductor William Eddins teams up with Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges and virtuoso pianist and friend of the Orchestra Jon Kimura Parker for a jazz-inspired program honoring the 100th anniversary of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

Moments of joy and remembrance will also welcome community downtown throughout the spring. For the first time, conductor Norman Huynh has curated our annual Lunar New Year concert, with Gao Hong and Ying Li as soloists. And Jonathan Taylor Rush will lead a concert commemorating Juneteenth that features the music of African American composers past and present.



One of the Minnesota Orchestra’s oldest traditions—since 1911, in fact—Young People's Concerts are designed for school groups of students in grades 1-6. Next season, we’ll present four distinct programs totaling 18 performances.

Relaxed Family Concerts are designed for audiences of all ages, including individuals with autism or sensory sensitivities; Sensory-Friendly Concerts occur in a more intimate setting and invite concertgoers of all ages, including those who are neurodivergent, to be who they are while enjoying music. See a full list of Young People's Concerts, Relaxed Family Concerts and Sensory-Friendly Concerts below:


Subscribers get the best seats, prices and benefits. Subscription packages are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale July 29.