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A portrait of Thomas Sondergard, posing in a white suit against a wood wall. He's leaning slightly forward while sitting on a stool.
Thomas Søndergård, conductor | Photo: Zoe Prinds-Flash

Søndergård Conducts the Rite of Spring

Thu Oct 20 — Sat Oct 22, 2022

Orchestra Hall

Provocative. Primal. Powerful. Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, one of classical music's greatest hits, changed the course of music history. Experience what drove Parisian audiences to riot at its premiere in 1913. Plus, you won't want to miss music director designate Thomas Søndergård's only appearance with the Orchestra this season!

The Friday night performance will be broadcast with a live audience on TPT-2 and streamed live on the Minnesota Orchestra website. Not sure what to expect? Read on about the experience.

A Few Things to Know

  1. Thomas Søndergård began his music career at the age of 8, studying percussion. He joined the Royal Danish Orchestra as a timpanist until changing career paths to become a conductor at age 27.
  2. Of a Spring Morning was the final work created by French composer Lili Boulanger before she died tragically at the age of 24.
  3. Ravel’s Mother Goose ballet includes five tender and nostalgic miniatures inspired by fairy tales. He was known to have had an extensive collection of toys, music boxes, figurines and other small collectibles. His love of whimsical storytelling is apparent in Mother Goose.
  4. Stravinsky’s music for The Rite of Spring broke all the rules of traditional classical compositions, especially for use on the ballet stage. Initially rife with controversy, his music calls for an enormous orchestra which he pushes to the extremes of range, volume and rhythmic complexity.

Explore the concert extras

Date & Time





    Of a Spring Morning

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Lili Boulanger’s Of a Spring Morning invites us into a vivid scene, one buzzing with energy and excitement. Over the span of just a few minutes, her music paints shimmering colors and showcases delicate, beautiful growth, not unlike the first few moments of a fresh spring day.


    Mother Goose [complete ballet]

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Maurice Ravel’s simple and beautiful ballet score, based on five well-known French fairy tales, sounds like nothing so much as the innocent, easily entranced mind of a child. It is often played as a short orchestral suite, but these performances feature the complete work as Ravel originally wrote it.


    The Rite of Spring

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Of this work—which drew jeers at its 1913 premiere—Igor Stravinsky wrote: it “represents pagan Russia and is unified by a single idea: the mystery and great surge of the creative power of Spring.” Vibrant sounds of nature set the scene for the story, an imagined pagan ritual in which a sacrificial virgin dances herself to death.


Minnesota Orchestra

Plan your visit

  • Pre-concert activities
  • Valet Parking
  • Pre-order Beverages
  • Directions & Parking
  • Helpful Tips


When: 45 mins prior to concert
Where: Check lobby signage upon arrival

Host Phillip Gainsley will introduce music director designate Thomas Søndergård and explore his vision for the Minnesota Orchestra. Later, Phil will be joined by Minnesota Orchestra musicians on the music director search committee to learn about the qualities that led them to select Søndergård as their new leader.

Exhibit by The Museum of Russian Art

When: Thurs - Sat | Pre-Concert and Intermission
Where: Balcony A

This exhibit from the Museum of Russian Art is presented in conjunction with the performance of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, subtitled “Pictures from Pagan Russia in Two Parts.” Prompted by this, the display includes objects of folk art, rich in ancient Slavic pagan symbolism, often evoking solar signs and mythic creatures. 

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.

We also offer convenient valet parking as well as buses for our Thursday Coffee Concerts!

Pre-order beverages

Skip the lines at the bar! Pre-order your intermission beverage via the MN Orch App when you arrive at Orchestra Hall.


Video: Q&A with Thomas Søndergård and Michelle Miller Burns

Listen Ahead

Accessibility Services

  • Armless & Bariatric Chairs
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Large-Print Programs
  • Noise-Cancelling Headphones
  • Service Animals
  • Wheelchair & Accessible Seating

Additional services are available upon request.



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