Courtney Lewis conducts music by Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Dvořák in concerts that honor Sir Neville Marriner, the Orchestra’s former music director who passed away in October 2016
The Minnesota Orchestra, deeply saddened by the recent passing of former Music Director Sir Neville Marriner, will present tribute concerts in his memory on January 26 and 27—the dates Marriner had been scheduled to guest conduct the Orchestra. Former associate conductor Courtney Lewis leads the Orchestra in a program that will remain unchanged to honor Marriner’s personal selection of repertoire. The concerts open with Mendelssohn’s mysterious The Hebrides Overture and continue with Beethoven’s First Symphony. Then—echoing one of Marriner’s major accomplishments with the Orchestra, an acclaimed recording of the final three Dvořák symphonies—the ensemble performs Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony.
The concerts are performed at the Orchestra’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Thursday, January 26, at 11 a.m.; and Friday, January 27, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $96. Tickets are available online at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the section at the conclusion of this press release.
Sir Neville Marriner and the Minnesota Orchestra
Neville Marriner served as the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director from 1979 to 1986. During his tenure, he presided over a number of firsts, including the Orchestra's first composer-in-residence program and two international trips, to Australia in 1985 and Hong Kong in 1986, which helped set the stage for the Orchestra’s first European tours in the late 1990s. And in 1985 he achieved a distinction unique in the Minnesota Orchestra's annals by becoming the first Orchestra music director to be knighted. In 1982 he led a star-studded, televised “Tonight Scandinavia” concert attended by members of several Scandinavian royal families. In his final performance with the Orchestra in 2008, he conducted Elgar’s Violin Concerto with former Concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis as soloist.
A native of England, Marriner began his career as a violinist, serving as principal violin in the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1958 he established the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, which has become one of the world’s most highly-regarded chamber orchestras, and one of the most prolific orchestras in recordings.
Courtney Lewis, conductor
Courtney Lewis, who in 2014 completed his four-year tenure as the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate conductor, has established himself as one of his generation’s most talented conductors. He is currently in his second season as music director of the Jacksonville Symphony. His additional past appointments have included assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, which he will return to in April for a week of subscription concerts. He has also been a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Highlights of his 2015-16 season included debuts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Royal Flemish Philharmonic and Colorado Symphony, as well as assisting Thomas Adès at the Salzburg Festival for the world premiere of Adès’ opera The Exterminating Angel. More: opus3artists.com, courtneylewis.com.
Sir Neville Marriner’s Program Selections
Impressions of swirling waters and crashing waves unfold in The Hebrides Overture as Mendelssohn paints pictures of the dramatic sea and the haunting scenery on the islands off the Western coast of Scotland.
Beethoven’s First Symphony is full of crisp melodies and quick turns of phrase, as well as musical “inside jokes.” Later in life Beethoven would revolutionize the symphonic form, but in this early work he is content to compose music of clean lines and undeniable beauty.
Dvořák’s Eighth Symphony is full of luminous melodies and unexpected harmonic shifts. The second movement alludes to the funeral march of Beethoven’s Eroica, but lighter elements prevail in a whirlwind finale that is delightfully Czech.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
A TRIBUTE CONCERT TO SIR NEVILLE MARRINER
Courtney Lewis, conductor
MENDELSSOHN The Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 8
Free Concert Preview: Remembering Sir Neville Marriner, hosted by Phillip Gainsley. Guests include former Orchestra President/CEO Richard Cisek, Life Board Member Luella Goldberg and music critic Michael Anthony, in the Auditorium on Thursday, January 26, at 10:15 a.m., and in the Target Atrium on Friday,
For more information on this and other OH+ Events: minnesotaorchestra.org/ohplus.
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Subscription packages and individual tickets can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org, 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 minnesotaorchestra.org. For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org/subscribe. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.
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
Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator