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Sphinx Virtuosi

The Sphinx Virtuosi

with conductor Tito Muñoz and the Minnesota Orchestra

Thu Feb 1 — Sat Feb 3, 2024

Orchestra Hall

~2 hours, including intermission

The Sphinx Virtuosi is a chamber orchestra comprising 18 of the nation's top Black and Latinx classical soloists. In these concerts, they'll share the stage with the Minnesota Orchestra, offering a sonic sampling of shorter orchestral works brimming with rhythm and reflection, including Carlos Simon’s meditative soundscape Breathe, Astor Piazzolla's evocative The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires and an epic, high energy conclusion with Silvestre Revueltas’ Sensemayá, a tone poem that’s often compared to Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

This program is presented as part of The Great Northern.

A Few Things to Know

  1. Michael Abels’ Global Warming was composed primarily response to the warming of political relationships worldwide at the end of the Cold War. However, since Abels wrote the piece in 1990, it has taken on new meaning in relation to the climate crisis.
  2. Inspired by the writings of theologian Howard Thurman, Carlos Simon’s Breathe creates space for reflection, peace and calm.
  3. American conductor Tito Muñoz. music director of the Phoenix Symphony, makes his Minnesota Orchestra debut in these concerts.

Explore the concert extras

Date & Time





    Global Warming

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Composed in 1990 and inspired by the post-Cold War thaw in international relations, Global Warming blends elements of folk music from divergent cultures, with solo strings employing sliding pitches in ethereal opening and closing sections.


    Marejada for String Orchestra

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    This piece from the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, originally intended for performance by a string quartet over Zoom, embraced the limitations of the medium by working around synchronization issues to create intriguing sounds that have taken on new life through in-person performances.

  • PIAZZOLLA/Desyatnikov

    Winter and Summer, from The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    The seasonal extremes of Buenos Aires are brought to life in two selections from Astor Piazzolla’s tango-flavored take on Antonio Vivaldi’s classic Four Seasons—by turns seductive, powerful and haunting.



    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Inspired by a quote from Howard Thurman, a spiritual adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Breathe paints a meditative soundscape that begs us all to “stay put for a spell.”


    Symphonic Variations on an African Air

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    In his Symphonic Variations, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor takes the tune of the Spiritual “I’m troubled in mind” and cleverly hides it in an expansive and innovative theme and variations.



    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Sensemayá, based on the Nicolás Guillén’s poem of the same name, builds from soloistic passages to a riotous climax for the full orchestra before ending ominously.


Minnesota Orchestra

Sphinx Virtuosi

Tito Muñoz


Njioma Chinyere Grevious


Plan your visit

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

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.

Sponsored by


Presented as part of

The Great Northern

The 2023-2024 Classical Season is presented by Ameriprise Financial.