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Osmo Vänskä and Audra McDonald launch Minnesota Orchestra's 2015-16 season

First concerts of Minnesota Orchestra’s 2015-16 season feature soprano Audra McDonald as soloist, with Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducting classical and popular selections from Barber to Broadway

Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra return to the Orchestra Hall stage on September 11 and 12 to launch the 2015-16 season, joined by singer-actress Audra McDonald, winner of six Tony Awards and two Grammys. McDonald is well known for the breadth and versatility of her artistry, through her appearances everywhere from Broadway and the concert hall to film and television. In these concerts, the Orchestra performs several instruments-only selections including Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Copland’s Letter from Home and two movements from Respighi’s Fountains of Rome. McDonald and her instrumental trio join the Orchestra to perform two sets of favorites from the stage and screen, including “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “Moon River” and “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” Each concert is followed by a complimentary champagne toast and party to celebrate the new season.

The concert is performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Friday, September 11, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, September 12, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $45 to $125. Tickets are available online at and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the section at the conclusion of this press release.

Audra McDonald, soprano
With these concerts, Audra McDonald is welcomed to the Orchestra Hall stage for the first time since the 2001 Symphony Ball. The winner of six Tony Awards—the most ever for a performer—she returns to Broadway in the 2015-16 season as Lottie Gee in the new musical Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. She has been heard on the opera stage with both Houston Grand Opera and Los Angeles Opera. On television, she was seen by millions as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s The Sound of Music Live!, and her many additional TV credits include playing Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s Private Practice. She has also appeared in numerous films, most recently Ricki and the Flash.

A two-time Grammy-winner, McDonald records exclusively for Nonesuch Records, and her newest album is Go Back Home. She maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the world’s great stages and with leading orchestras internationally. An ardent proponent of marriage equality and an advocate for at-risk and underprivileged youth, she serves on the boards of Broadway Impact and Covenant House. She was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2015. She appears courtesy of IMG Artists, LLC. For more information, visit

Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, the Minnesota Orchestra’s tenth music director, is renowned internationally for his compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires. In addition to the Orchestra’s May 2015 tour to Cuba, he has led the Orchestra on four major European tours as well as regular tours to communities across Minnesota. His recording projects with the Minnesota Orchestra have also met with great success, including the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for their recording of Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies on the BIS Records label.

As a guest conductor Vänskä has led all the major American and European orchestras. His engagements for the 2015-16 season include concerts with the London Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, German Radio Orchestra Berlin and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande—in Geneva and on tour to China and India—as well as with major orchestras in the U.S., Finland, Iceland, Korea and the Netherlands. For more information, visit

Minnesota Orchestra
The Minnesota Orchestra is recognized for distinguished performances around the world, award-winning recordings, radio broadcasts and educational programs, and commitment to building the repertoire of the future. Founded in 1903 as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, the ensemble has toured statewide, nationally and internationally, earning rave reviews in music capitals around the world, and is heard on radio stations across the country on award-winning broadcasts produced by Minnesota Public Radio and distributed nationally and internationally. It has received many awards for adventurous programming and much acclaim for its recordings—including a 2014 Grammy Award—which date back to the 1920s. A typical season encompasses nearly 175 concerts that are heard live by 350,000 people, and education and outreach programs that serve 85,000 music lovers of all ages.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Friday, September 11, 2015, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, September 12, 2015, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Audra McDonald, soprano
Brian Hertz, piano
Mark Vanderpoel, bass
Gene Lewin, drums

MOZART                                      Overture to The Magic Flute
COPLAND                                    Letter from Home
BARBER                                      Adagio for Strings
BOCK/Stern/Hochman              “When Did I Fall in Love?” from Fiorello! (lyrics by Harnick)
ARLEN/Hochman                      “I Had Myself a True Love,” from St. Louis Woman (lyrics by Mercer)
LOEWE/Bennett/Lang               “I Could Have Danced All Night,” from My Fair Lady (lyrics by Lerner)
OFFENBACH                              Overture to Orpheus in the Underworld
RESPIGHI                                    Selections from The Fountains of Rome
MANCINI/Musiker                     “Moon River,” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (lyrics by Mercer)
LOESSER/Sebesky                     “I Can’t Stop Talking About Him,” from Let’s Dance
STYNE/Einhorn/Coughlin         “Make Someone Happy,” from Do Re Mi (lyrics by Comden and Green)
RODGERS/Bennett                    “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” from The Sound of Music (lyrics by Hammerstein)
HINDEMITH                               March, from Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber

Tickets: $45-$125


Subscription packages and individual tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling 612-371-5656 (612-371-5642 for subscriptions) or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

Please note that phone services and in-person sales locations will have limited summer hours between August 10 and September 7. Tickets may be purchased online at at any time. To order tickets by phone, call 612-371-5656 from Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For in-person sales, please visit the Orchestra Hall Stage Door or the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office (locations listed above) for ticketing assistance during business hours, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Orchestra Hall Box Office will be closed through September 7, and will reopen on Tuesday, September 8. All locations will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, September 7.

Published prices include a non-discountable facility fee of $5 per ticket. For single ticket purchases, there are no service charges for in-person transactions. There is a $6 service charge per transaction for all phone, fax or mail orders. Save $1 by purchasing tickets online or by having the Orchestra e-mail your tickets. (This charge is waived for subscribers and group purchasers ordering by phone, mail or in person.) Subscription packages are subject to a one-time $8 processing fee. No refunds. Some fees and restrictions may apply to ticket exchanges. All sales are final.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2015-16 season.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations 
(612) 371-5628 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Communications Office

Minnesota Orchestra
1111 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
Phone: 612.371.5600
Fax: 612.371.7170

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