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Lorna McGhee, flute
Lorna McGhee | © Takayuki Saito
Guarantors' Week

Vänskä Conducts Romeo and Juliet

Thu Sep 30 — Sat Oct 2, 2021

Orchestra Hall

~2 hrs including a 20 min intermission

As we dedicate these concerts to the generous donors at the heart of this Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä leads a program that reaches into the soul. Transformative music calls for unity in Valerie Coleman’s Umoja and speaks of the wonders of a bird in flight in a flute concerto by Kaija Saariaho, performed by Lorna McGhee. Then, the Orchestra retells the tale of star-crossed lovers through Sergei Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet Suite.

A Few Things to Know

  1. Umoja, a Swahili word meaning Unity, is also the first principle of Kwanzaa—encouraging people to strive for and maintain unity in family, community, nation and race. 
  2. In these concerts, the Minnesota Orchestra celebrates the career of cellist Marcia Peck, who retires at the end of October after playing in the Orchestra’s cello section for an incredible 50 years.
  3. Kari Kriikku’s originally-scheduled performance of Kaija Saariaho’s Clarinet Concerto, D'OM LE VRAI SENS, is being postponed to a future season. Instead, we welcome Lorna McGhee as the soloist in Saariaho’s Flute Concerto, Aile du songe (Wing of the Dream). In addition, Anders Hillborg’s Through Lost Landscapes, also originally scheduled for these concerts, will be performed on a future date.

Date & Time






    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Valerie Coleman’s Umoja, which exists in several versions for vocal and instrumental ensembles, is a stirring anthem that draws its title from the Swahili word for “unity.” The composer states: “Now more than ever, Umoja has to ring as a strong and beautiful anthem for the world we live in today.”


    Aile du songe (Wing of the Dream), Flute Concerto

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Kaija Saariaho’s Flute Concerto speaks musically of shadows, landscapes and the wonders of a bird in flight. It has five sections—the first three falling under the heading Aérienne (Aerial) and the last two under Terrestre (Earthly).

  • Intermission

    Suite from Romeo and Juliet

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    These Romeo and Juliet selections from Sergei Prokofiev’s ballet, chosen by Osmo Vänskä in the story’s chronological order rather than in one of Prokofiev’s more standard concerts suites, summon vivid images, from a masked ball to a violent duel to a blissful wedding night. The somber closing music reflects the star-crossed lovers’ tragic end.


Minnesota Orchestra

Osmo Vänskä


Your Concert Experience

Join us for Q&A’s, hosted discussions, pre and post-show drinks with musicians and more. All free with your concert ticket!

Navy Band Great Lakes Brass Ambassadors

When: Thu Sep 30 | 10:00-10:45am
Where: Roberta Mann Grand Foyer

As the "Ambassadors to the Midwest," the Navy Band Great Lakes' primary responsibility is to support Navy outreach in an eleven-state area. Their Brass Ambassadors ensemble is comprised of five brass instrumentalists and will perform a wide-ranging program.

Concert Preview

with Brian Newhouse and Valerie Little

When: Fri Oct 1 & Sat Oct 2 | 7:15-7:45pm
Where: Target Atrium

Join the Minnesota Orchestra's Assistant Principal Librarian Valerie Little and special guest Brian Newhouse for an insightful conversation about the evening's program.  

Listen Ahead

Accessibility Services

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

Additional services are available upon request.

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