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Karina Canellakis
Karina Canellakis, conductor | © Mathias Bothor

Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances

Fri Feb 25 — Sat Feb 26, 2022

Orchestra Hall

~2 hrs including a 20 min intermission

After conductor Karina Canellakis’ recent performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Star Tribune raved about her “infectious enthusiasm” and “fiery energy.” Now, she returns to the podium to conduct music by Julia Perry and Sergei Rachmaninoff. At the center of the concerts, cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras makes his Minnesota Orchestra debut as soloist in Richard Strauss’ musical depiction of Don Quixote, in which the cello plays the leading role of Don Quixote de la Mancha and a solo violist from the ensemble is featured as his squire, Sancho Panza.

The performance on Feb 25, 2022 will be broadcast with a live audience on TPT-2 and livestreamed on the Minnesota Orchestra website. Not sure what to expect? Read on about the experience

A Few Things to Know

  • These concerts mark the Minnesota Orchestra’s first performances of music by 20th century American composer Julia Perry.
  • Symphonic Dances would be Rachmaninoff’s last composition, and he seemed to know it as he wrote the piece, adding a note of gratitude for his musical life after the final measure in the score: “I thank thee, Lord!”
  • Jean-Guihen Queyras was voted “Artist of the Year” by readers of the Diapason and “Best Instrumental Soloist” for the Victoires de la Musique Classique in 2008.

Date & Time





    Short Piece for Orchestra

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Perry’s humbly named Short Piece for Orchestra is symmetrical in form, beginning and ending with vigor. One inner episode is moderately paced and strongly melodic, and another is full of pensive melancholy and falling melodic lines.


    Don Quixote

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Strauss captures the humor and humanity of Cervantes’ great novel in a magnificent work spotlighting solo cello. With Don Quixote portrayed by the cello and his long-suffering squire, Sancho Panza, primarily by the viola, the music depicts their escapades in a series of colorful variations. Among the most famous: the Don’s battles with windmills and an unsuspecting flock of sheep, and an encounter with his imagined, idealized lady love, Dulcinea.


    Symphonic Dances

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Rachmaninoff’s final composition is full of rhythmic energy and colorful orchestration. The alto saxophone makes a rare orchestral appearance in this three-movement work, which closes with a breathtaking setting of the Dies Irae.


Minnesota Orchestra

Your Concert Experience

Join us for Q&A’s, hosted discussions, exhibits and more. All free with your concert ticket!

Concert Preview

with Valerie Little

When: Fri Feb 26 - Sat Feb 27 | 7:05pm-7:25pm
Where: Auditorium

Join Assistant Principal Librarian Valerie Little for a discussion about this concert program and more. 

Indulge at the Elixir Haus

When: Pre-Concert and Intermission
Where: Cargill Commons

Beverage service is available before and during each winter concert at Elixir Haus (located outside Orchestra Hall). Grab your coat and head outside for a sip of spirits or a cup of hot cocoa. 

Pre- and Post-Concert Activities Sponsored By

UBS logo

Video: Roderick Cox conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances

Listen Ahead

Accessibility Services

  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Large Print Programs
  • Service Animals
  • Wheelchair & Accessible Seating

Additional services are available upon request.

Sponsored By

With this concert we gratefully recognize Dr. Mary and Jim Lawrence/Lawrence Family Foundation for their generous contribution to the Minnesota Orchestra.