Grieg Piano Concerto
Thu Mar 23 — Fri Mar 24, 2023
“Olga Kern [is] an absolute whiz at the piano.” —The New York Times
Kinetic and frenetic, Hannah Kendall’s The Spark Catchers paints a vivid picture of the activity inside match-making factories in the 1800s, complete with soaring melodies and harmonic power. Then, virtuoso pianist Olga Kern makes her Minnesota Orchestra debut in Edvard Grieg’s distinctly Norwegian Piano Concerto. Conductor Christoph König also debuts in these concerts, leading the Orchestra in Robert Schumann’s Rhenish Symphony, a work that was sparked by Schumann’s move to the Rhine River and his visits to the spectacular Cologne Cathedral.
A Few Things To Know
- German-born conductor Christoph König is the chief conductor designate for the Spanish Radio Symphony Orchestra.
- Kern is a recipient of Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an honor that has been awarded to individuals such as Rosa Parks, Buzz Aldrin, Coretta Scott King and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
- Kendall’s The Spark Catchers was inspired by a poem of the same name by Lemn Sissay, which repeats the word “strike” at the end of several stanzas. The first section of Kendall’s piece is titled “Sparks and Strikes.”
- Schumann’s Third Symphony was a roaring success in his new post as music director in Dusseldörf, but his career there didn’t ultimately flourish; he struggled with his health and attempted suicide by jumping into the Rhine River three years after the work’s premiere.
Date & Time
The Spark Catchers1 min note
One Minute Note
Inspired by Lemn Sissay’s evocative poem commemorating a Victorian-era match factory workers’ strike, The Spark Catchers comprises four contrasting sections that summon moods of liveliness, darkness, suspense and delicacy.
Piano Concerto1 min note
One Minute Note
This virtuosic keyboard showcase, written when its composer was only 25, reveals its heritage in evocations of traditional Norwegian song and dance, and contains a wealth of themes and dramatic gestures.
Symphony No. 3, Rhenish1 min note
One Minute Note
This five-movement symphony, named for the German Rhineland the composer had just happily journeyed to, opens with energy, syncopations and rhythmic displacements. The charming second and third movements segue to a solemn fourth that brings the symphony’s first appearance of trombones, and the finale is a joyful return to sunlight.
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.
Plan your visit
- Pre-concert activities
- Valet Parking
- Pre-order Beverages
- Directions & Parking
- Helpful Tips
Pre-Concert Interview with Christoph König
When: Thurs Mar 23 | 10:15am
Pre-Concert Interview with pianist Olga Kern
When: Fri Mar 24 | 7:15pm
Where: N. Bud Grossman Mezzanine
Know Before You Go
An engaging performance awaits, and the fun doesn’t stop there. Make this visit your own with food and activity options. Browse these helpful tips, and when your concert date arrives, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.
Directions & Parking
All the information you need to know for getting to and from Orchestra Hall. Parking is just steps away from Orchestra Hall in the city-owned and skyway-connected 11th and Marquette Ramp.
Skip the lines at the bar! Pre-order your intermission beverage via the MN Orch App when you arrive at Orchestra Hall.
- Armless & Bariatric Chairs
- Assistive Listening Devices
- Large-Print Programs
- Noise-Cancelling Headphones
- Service Animals
- Wheelchair & Accessible Seating
Additional services are available upon request.