Press Room

Osmo Vänskä and Joshua Bell Begin Minnesota Orchestra's 2016-17 Season

First concerts of Minnesota Orchestra’s 2016-17 season feature renowned violinist Joshua Bell performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto

Minnesota Orchestra performs the music of Todd Levin, Tchaikovsky and Brahms; Osmo Vänskä conducts

Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra return to the Orchestra Hall stage on September 22 and 23 to launch the 2016-17 season, beginning with concerts featuring world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell. The season starts off with a bang as the Orchestra performs Todd Levin’s Blur, described by Orchestra flutist Wendy Williams as “a rhythmic, techno-pop, virtuosic romp through the orchestra!” At the center of the program, Bell, who last performed at Orchestra Hall in 2014 and previously toured with the Orchestra to Europe in both 2009 and 2004, will perform Tchaikovsky’s brilliant and beautiful Violin Concerto. Then, the richness of Brahms’ music will fill Orchestra Hall for the second half of the evening as the Orchestra performs his cheerful Second Symphony.

The concert is performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, September 22, at 7:30 p.m., and Friday, September 23, 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.

Joshua Bell, violin
Joshua Bell is one of the most celebrated violinists of our era, known for his restless curiosity, passion and musical interests. Equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist and orchestra leader, he was named the music director of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 2011, becoming the first person to hold this post since Sir Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1959. An exclusive Sony Classical artist, Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs garnering Grammy, Mercury, Gramophone and Echo Klassik awards since his first Decca LP recording at age 18. His new recording, For the Love of Brahms—recorded with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, British cellist Steven Isserlis and pianist Jeremy Denk—will be available September 30. 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, with a fifth taking place in August 2016, 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. The final disc in the series was just released in Europe and will be released in the United States in September 2016. As a guest conductor Vänskä has led all the major American and European orchestras. 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 300,000 people, and education and outreach programs that serve 85,000 music lovers of all ages. For more information, visit

A Virtuosic Season Opening
Todd Levin’s Blur is a six-minute piece of non-stop, driving action. Then, Tchaikovsky’s dazzling Violin Concerto is noted equally for bravura passagework and the pure romantic realism for which Tchaikovsky is known, with soulful melodies yielding to folk-like dance tunes and rhythms in the exhilarating Finale.

Comprising the concert’s second half, Brahms’ Second Symphony, which the composer described as “cheerful and delightful,” has an expansive feel, yet it is a tightly integrated, concentrated work. A three-note motif leads the way from the work’s opening measures, through a buoyant first movement, a stirring Adagio, a leisurely trio movement and a blazing finale.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Thursday, September 22, 2016, 7:30 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Friday, September 23, 2016, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Joshua Bell, violin

LEVIN                         Blur
TCHAIKOVSKY         Violin Concerto
BRAHMS                    Symphony No. 2        

Tickets: $45 to $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 8 and September 4.

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 2016-17 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.

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

Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator
(612) 371-5625 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press Contacts

Gwen Pappas

Director of Communications
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Carl Schroeder

Publications Editor
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Emma Plehal

Communications Manager and Assistant Editor
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Isaac Risseeuw

Social Media and Content Manager
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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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