Press Room

Minnesota Orchestra Performs The Planets by Gustav Holst, Sep 27-29

The Orchestra performs two pieces new to its repertoire by Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom and John Adams

Clarinetist Michael Collins solos in Adams’  Gnarly Buttons

Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducts the Minnesota Orchestra and members of the Minnesota Chorale in performances of Holst’s masterpiece, The Planets, on September 27 to 29. Before this familiar favorite is performed, the Orchestra plays two pieces brand new to its repertoire. The first is a colorful new work named for an Arabic poetic meter, Ramal, by Emmy-nominated Syrian-American composer Kareem Roustom. Following it is John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons for Clarinet and Small Orchestra, featuring clarinetist Michael Collins, who premiered the work in London in 1996, in his Minnesota Orchestra debut.

The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, September 27, at 11 a.m.; Friday, September 28, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, September 29, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $27 to $90. More information is available at and by phone at 612-371-5656.  For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release. 

Michael Collins, clarinet
Clarinetist Michael Collins has a distinguished career as a soloist, and in recent years he has also become highly regarded as a conductor. His recent conducting and performance highlights have included engagements with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Zurich Chamber Orchestra. This year Collins will perform at the BBC Young Musician 40th Anniversary BBC Prom, make his conducting debut with the English Chamber Orchestra and perform with the London Mozart Players. He has premiered many works including John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons, Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto, Brett Dean’s Ariel’s Music and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Riffs and Refrains. Collins is in great demand as a chamber musician, and his ensemble, London Winds, celebrates its 13th anniversary in 2018. During the 2019-20 season he will be an artist in residence at the Wigmore Hall. He is one of the world’s most recorded clarinetists, with releases on the Chandos, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, EMI and Sony labels. More:

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. He has led the Orchestra on five European tours, as well as an August 2018 visit to London’s BBC Proms, and on historic tours to Cuba in 2015 and South Africa in 2018. The Cuba tour was the first by an American orchestra since the thaw in Cuban-American diplomatic relations, while the five-city South Africa tour—the culmination of a Music for Mandela celebration of Nelson Mandela’s centennial—was the first-ever visit to the country by a professional U.S. orchestra. 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. In March 2018 the Orchestra released its newest album, featuring Mahler’s Sixth Symphony—part of a Mahler series that began with a Grammy-nominated Fifth Symphony recording. Due for release this season is a disc of Mahler’s Second Symphony. More:

Deep roots and other-worldly inspirations
Ramal, titled after a poetic meter used in pre-Islamic Arabic writing, is bold and rhythmically complex. Composer Kareem Roustom notes that “its emotional drive and changing meters reflect the unsettled state of the world.”

John Adams drew on a wealth of musical influences and memories—including a Protestant hymn, hoe-down songs and, most importantly, his father’s career as a New England swing band clarinetist—in Gnarly Buttons for solo clarinet and orchestra.

Holst’s Planets explores the astrological characteristics of Earth’s planetary neighbors, from the violent, odd-metered Mars to the icy and ethereal Neptune. A highlight is the stately melody at the core of Jupiter.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Thursday, September 27, 2018, 11 a.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall
Friday, September 28, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, September 29, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Michael Collins, clarinet
Women of the Minnesota Chorale 

ROUSTOM           Ramal
ADAMS             Gnarly Buttons for Clarinet and Small Orchestra
HOLST                  The Planets 

Tickets: $27 to $90


Individual tickets and subscription packages 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 (Stage Door ticketing is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lobby Box Office ticketing begins two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the skyway accessible 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. 

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

The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2018-19 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, Communications Manager and Assistant Editor
(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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