Kavakos, Bach and Brahms
Thu May 11 — Fri May 12, 2023
Audience members and Minnesota Orchestra musicians alike are eagerly awaiting this special concert when violinist Leonidas Kavakos returns not only as guest soloist, but also as conductor. As a violinist, Kavakos is known around the world for his crystal-clear tone and ardent musical integrity. He leads the ensemble while playing the solo part in Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1, a work that the composer himself likely performed in house concerts and at social gatherings. Then, stepping onto the podium, Kavakos guides the Orchestra through Brahms’ dramatic, grand, triumphant First Symphony.
A Few Things To Know
- Johannes Brahms felt extreme anxiety about composing symphonies in the wake of Beethoven’s incredible symphonic output. He struggled for more than two decades to complete Symphony No. 1. “I shall never write a symphony!” Brahms once told a friend. “You have no idea how it feels for someone like me always to hear such a giant as Beethoven marching along behind me!”
- Leonidas Kavakos recently performed the world premiere of a concerto written for him by composer Unsuk Chin. Chin had planned to write no more than one concerto for each instrument during her career, but after hearing Kavakos, she made an exception. Shards of Glass was premiered by the London Symphony and Sir Simon Rattle in January 2022.
Date & Time
Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052R1 min note
One Minute Note
The perpetually busy Bach often repurposed his music for various uses, and the D-minor Violin Concerto is among his works that exists in multiple forms; its score survived only a keyboard concerto, and musicologists have reconstructed a violin version believed to be the root work. It contains three movements, ordered in the traditional fast-slow-fast form; the outer movements showcase Baroque dynamism, framing an eloquent, pain-infused Adagio.
BRAHMSSymphony No. 1
One Minute Note
Brahms’ First Symphony—sometimes called “Beethoven’s Tenth” for its kinship with that composer’s nine symphonies—has an anguished opening. But at its buoyant close, a brilliant horn call clears the way for a melody in which we recognize the influence of the “Ode to Joy.”
conductor and violin
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
When: Thurs May 11 | 10:15am - Fri May 12 | 7:15pm
Where: Auditorium (Thurs) & Target Atrium (Fri)
Join host Phillip Gainsley and guests in a conversation about today's concert and more.
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.