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Joshua Bell, violin | © Benjamin Ealovega
Season Opening

Osmo Vänskä and Joshua Bell

Thu Sep 23 — Fri Sep 24, 2021

Orchestra Hall

~2 hrs including a 20 min intermission

A new season begins as Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducts music written for our very own city of Minneapolis in Kalevi Aho’s Minea. Then one of Western classical music’s greatest talents, violinist Joshua Bell, takes the stage for Max Bruch’s heroic Scottish Fantasy. Jessie Montgomery’s Banner invites us to consider the sound of an anthem for our time before Vänskä and the Orchestra soar through one of history’s extraordinary symphonies, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fifth. We’ve waited two years to launch a season like this!

A Few Things to Know

  • Vänskä’s first concerts as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra took place in September 2003; Beethoven’s Fifth was the symphony he selected to make the opening statement of his 19-year tenure. 
  • Minea was commissioned by Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra with the goal of giving every musician onstage “an opportunity to shine.”
  • Joshua Bell was the guest soloist in Vänskä’s very first conducting appearance at Orchestra Hall, three years before being named music director. 

Program

  • AHO

    Minea

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    In this concert opener premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra in 2009, scored for large orchestra with an expanded percussion section, each instrument is given a chance to shine as volume and tempo increase throughout.

  • BRUCH

    Scottish Fantasy

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Although he was German, Max Bruch was attracted to the folksongs of Scotland and Wales. His Scottish Fantasy, while not technically a violin concerto, spotlights the solo violin in a prelude and four movements—played without pause—ranging from a solemn prelude to a heroic, virtuoso close, and incorporating a variety of folk tunes.

  • INTERMISSION
  • BEETHOVEN

    Symphony No. 5

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    The narrative of the Fifth Symphony is a classic example of progress from turbulence to victory. The four notes of the familiar opening are heard throughout the first movement. The Andante brings variations on a lovely, arching melody; the third movement seems ghostly and threatening. Beethoven then tunnels through the darkness, drums thudding, into bright C-major light.

  • MONTGOMERY

    Banner

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    In Banner, Jessie Montgomery asks us: “What does an anthem for the 21st century sound like in today’s multi-cultural environment?” Her answer includes individual voices interacting with a unified ensemble through fragments of music from The Star-Spangled Banner, the Mexican national anthem, protest songs, Puerto Rican melodies, folk songs and more, blending together the musical icons of a diversified world.

Artists

Minnesota Orchestra

Osmo Vänskä

Music Director

Joshua Bell

violin

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!

Concert Preview

When: Thu Sep 23 | 6:45-7:15pm
Where: Target Atrium

Join Phillip Gainsley and Minnesota Orchestra musicians Natsuki Kumagai, Sam Bergman, and Sophia Mockler for a conversation about the upcoming Minnesota Orchestra season and more. 

Homewood Studios

National Anthem Responses Display

When: Thu Sep 23 | Pre-concert and Intermission
Where: Balcony A

These concerts include both The Star Spangled Banner and Jessie Montgomery's Banner, which explores the idea of the anthem for the 21st century. Artists from Homewood Studios share visual responses to the topic alongside written remarks about the national anthem's history by scholar Melinda Russell. 

Concert Preview

When: Fri Sep 24 | 7:15-7:45pm
Where: N. Bud Grossman Mezzanine

Join Phillip Gainsley and Minnesota Orchestra musicians Natsuki Kumagai, Sam Bergman, and Sophia Mockler for a conversation about the upcoming Minnesota Orchestra season and more. 

Homewood Studios

National Anthem Responses Display

When: Fri Sep 24 | Pre-concert and Intermission
Where: Balcony A

These concerts include both The Star Spangled Banner and Jessie Montgomery's Banner, which explores the idea of the anthem for the 21st century. Artists from Homewood Studios share visual responses to the topic alongside written remarks about the national anthem's history by scholar Melinda Russell. 

Listen Ahead

Accessibility Services

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

Additional services are available upon request.

Sponsored By

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