Vänskä Conducts Romeo and Juliet
Thu Sep 30 — Sat Oct 2, 2021
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Umoja1 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 Concerto1 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).
Suite from Romeo and Juliet1 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.
The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra, led by Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård—who is serving as music director designate during the 2022-23 season—is recognized for distinguished performances around the world, award-winning recordings and broadcasts, educational engagement programs, and commitment to building the orchestral repertoire of the future. Founded in 1903, the Orchestra has an extensive history of touring throughout Minnesota, nationally and abroad, including high-profile visits in recent years to Cuba, Europe and South Africa. Recording projects undertaken in the past two decades include complete cycles of symphonies by Beethoven, Sibelius and Mahler, all recorded under Osmo Vänskä, who is now the Orchestra’s conductor laureate.
Minnesota Orchestra Conductor Laureate Osmo Vänskä, whose 19-year tenure as the Orchestra’s music director concluded in summer 2022, is renowned internationally for his compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires. His multi-year project with the Orchestra to perform and record all ten Mahler symphonies concluded in November 2022 with the Third Symphony. Signature initiatives of his music director tenure included a Sibelius symphonies cycle that earned the Orchestra its first Grammy Award and major tours to Cuba, Europe and South Africa. As a guest conductor, he has received extraordinary praise for his work with many of the world’s leading orchestras.
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 Previewwith 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.
- Assistive Listening Devices
- Large Print Programs
- Service Animals
- Wheelchair & Accessible Seating
Additional services are available upon request.