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Minnesota Orchestra in Austin, MN

Our Common Chords celebration in Austin, Minnesota begins on Sunday, April 30 and culminates in a Minnesota Orchestra performance at Knowlton Auditorium on Saturday, May 6. Join the festivities!

Events with a * are free and open to the public.

Complete Common Chords Schedule

* Knowlton Auditorium (2pm)

Hear a performance by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. (ticketed event)

* Austin City Hall (5:30pm)
A Minnesota Orchestra brass quintet kicks off Common Chords at the City Council meeting.

* Gravity Storm Brewery (7:30—8:30pm)
Enjoy a pint of music with an Orchestra brass quintet.

* Town Center (9:45—10:15am)
A morning pick-me-up performance with a Minnesota Orchestra string quartet.

School Visits (10—11am)
Orchestra ensembles visit area schools.

KSMQ Public Television (10—11am)
Press appearance by the brass quintet.

* Mayo Clinic Health System Austin (11 am—12pm)
Minnesota Orchestra string quartet performs in the clinic lobby.

* Spam Museum (1—2pm)
Music and conversation with an Orchestra brass quintet.

School Visits (2—3:30pm)
Orchestra ensembles visit area schools.

* Rotary Park (6pm)
Our brass quintet offers a fun, outdoor performance as part of an Oaxaca basketball exhibition. Food trucks present. (Weather dependent)

School Visits (9:30—11am)
Orchestra ensembles visit area schools.

* Riverland College, East Building (11—12pm)
Minnesota Orchestra string quartet performs.

* Hormel Institute (11:30—12pm)
Mid-day performance by a woodwind quintet.

School Visits (2—2:30pm)
Orchestra ensembles visit area schools.

Music Teacher Appreciation (6:30—8pm)
Orchestra ensembles perform at an event celebrating Austin music educators.

School Visits (9—10:45am)
Orchestra ensembles visit area schools.

* Austin Community Recreation Center (10—11am)
The sound of strings supports morning yoga at the YMCA with live music.

* Paramount Theatre (12—1pm)
A lunchtime performance by a string quartet. Attendees are welcome to bring a bag lunch.

School Visits (2—3:30pm)
Orchestra ensembles visit area schools.

* Jay C. Hormel Nature Center (3-4pm)
A performance by a woodwind quintet, followed by a commemorative tree planting.

* Knowlton Auditorium, Austin High School Orchestra concert (7pm)
Minnesota Orchestra string, woodwind and brass ensembles join the Austin Senior High School Orchestra concert for a special selection.

IJ Holton Intermediate School (1—2pm)
Led by conductor Sarah Hicks, the Minnesota Orchestra offers a Symphonic Adventures concert for fifth and sixth grade students.

Sweet Reads Books & Candy (3pm)
Take a mid-afternoon break to enjoy cello duets.

Hormel Historic Home (6pm)
Members of the Austin Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra gather for conversation.

Austin High School, Knowlton Auditorium (10:30am—12pm)
Members of the Austin Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra play side by side in a special rehearsal led by conductor Sarah Hicks.

* Austin Public Library (2-3pm)
Perfect for preschoolers: this chamber music performance introduces youngsters to the instruments of the orchestra and features a narrated musical story.

MacPhail Recital Hall (2-3:30 pm)
Minnesota Orchestra cellist leads a masterclass with MacPhail students.

* Austin High School, Knowlton Auditorium (7pm, ticketed event)
Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks leads the Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra in a dazzling program of orchestral music. 

Tickets: $10 adults, $5 students, available in advance at Coffee House on Main, Hy-Vee and Sweet Reads.

About Common Chords

In 2011, the Minnesota Orchestra began a new chapter in its history of touring with the launch of Common Chords, through which the Orchestra immerses itself in a single Minnesota community for a week. Grand Rapids was the first host city in October 2011, followed by Willmar, Hibbing, Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Mankato, North Minneapolis and, in spring 2023, Austin.

In all Common Chords residencies, musical activities take place in both traditional and non-traditional settings, ranging from concert halls and schools to coffee shops, pubs and community centers. These varied settings provide opportunities to experience classical music in surprising venues or simply happen upon a musical performance. In each community, Orchestra staff works with a steering committee of community volunteers—including business owners, civic representatives, educators, and nonprofit leaders—to develop goals and activities during the week in residence.

With Support from


Mayo Clinic