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Xian Zhang, conductor
Xian Zhang, conductor | © Benjamin Ealovega

Tchaikovsky, Chen and Nielsen

Fri May 13 — Sat May 14, 2022

Orchestra Hall

~1.5 hrs including a 20 min intermission

Xian Zhang makes a long-awaited return to Orchestra Hall to conduct music of beauty and nostalgia. The concerts open with Qigang Chen’s L’eloignement for String Orchestra, a poignant work inspired by a Chinese proverb and the vital force of renewal and rebirth. Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel takes the solo spotlight in Carl Nielsen’s warm-hearted Flute Concerto. Returning to the theme of renewal, Aurora awakes from her slumber in Tchaikovsky’s Suite from The Sleeping Beauty.  

A Few Things to Know

  • An active triathlete, Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel was the winner of his age group in the 2019 Minneapolis Lifetime Fitness Triathlon. Read our recent interview with Adam here.
  • Qigang Chen was the music director of the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, which was watched by more than a billion people around the world.

Date & Time




  • CHEN


    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Qigang Chen’s L’Éloignement is a poignant work for strings inspired by a Chinese proverb and the vital force of renewal and rebirth, with music of conflicting moods that the composer calls “happy and sad, nostalgic and exciting.”


    Flute Concerto

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto is a compact piece in just two movements, charming and pastoral, yet also quirky, with a brash trombone asserting itself as the flute’s rival.


    Suite from The Sleeping Beauty

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty presents a tale of magical spells, a long-delayed romance and a royal wedding full of color. A soaring waltz, one of the most popular ever written, is among the highlights of the suite performed here.


    Francesca da Rimini

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Tchaikovsky’s symphonic poem Francesca da Rimini tells a tale from the epic poetry of Dante, of two adulterous lovers who are caught, murdered and cast into eternal torment. Unfolding in three sections, it contains some of Tchaikovsky’s stormiest music.


Minnesota Orchestra

Adam Kuenzel


Accessibility Services

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

Additional services are available upon request.

Sponsored By

This concert is sponsored by Christina and Terry Schopfer.