Press Room

Soloist Change: Jennifer Koh Performs Bernstein's Serenade, May 3 and 4

Concertmaster Erin Keefe withdraws from solo role due to injury

Conductor Juanjo Mena leads the Orchestra in music by Haydn, Bernstein and Mozart

Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena returns to Orchestra Hall to conduct the Minnesota Orchestra in concerts on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4. Minnesota Orchestra Concertmaster Erin Keefe, who was originally scheduled to perform as the soloist for Bernstein’s Serenade, after Plato’s “Symposium,” has withdrawn from these concerts due to an injury. Violinist Jennifer Koh will replace Keefe as the featured artist and the repertoire will remain the same. Koh last appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra in October 2015, performing Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Additional works on the program include Haydn’s Mourning Symphony, Bernstein’s Divertimento for Orchestra and Mozart’s Symphony No. 40.

The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are performed at the ensemble’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Friday, May 3, at 8 p.m., and Saturday, May 4, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $30 to $97. 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.

Juanjo Mena, conductor
Spanish conductor Juanjo Mena is principal conductor of the Cincinnati May Festival and associate conductor of the Spanish National Orchestra. He has been chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, artistic director of the Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, chief guest conductor of the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa and principal guest conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. He has worked with many prestigious European orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as all the major Spanish orchestras. He has conducted most of the leading orchestras in North America, including the Boston, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto symphony orchestras, as well as the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics. Highlights of his 2018-19 season have included a tour of Spain with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and his debuts with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin. More:

Jennifer Koh, violin
Violinist Jennifer Koh is known for intense, commanding performances, delivered with dazzling virtuosity and technical assurance. She is dedicated to exploring a broad and eclectic repertoire, while promoting diversity and inclusivity in classical music. She has expanded the contemporary violin repertoire through a wide range of commissioning projects and has premiered more than 70 works written especially for her. One such premiere came with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2009, when she gave the first performance of Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Rooms. Among her current initiatives is The New American Concerto, a multi-season commissioning project that explores the form of the violin concerto and its potential for artistic engagement with contemporary societal concerns and issues through commissions from a diverse collective of composers. She also performs Bach and Beyond, a recital series that traces the history of the solo violin repertoire from Bach to 21st-century composers. Her most recent recording is an album of music by Kaija Saariaho, released by Cedille Records. More:

Haydn, Bernstein and Mozart
The emotional weight of Haydn’s Mourning Symphony is balanced by moments of reflection and gentleness. The muted-strings Adagio meant so much to Haydn that he requested it be performed at his funeral.

The solo violin in Bernstein’s Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium” carries on a dialogue with strings, harp and percussion, speaking variously with wit and mystery, beauty and humor—as if to replicate Plato’s dinner-table conversation on the nature of love.

Bernstein’s Divertimento for Orchestra, an eight-movement suite composed for the Boston Symphony’s centennial, is filled with jubilant dances and jazz-infused passages.

A sense of urgency runs throughout Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, one of only two minor-key Mozart symphonies. The breathless opening movement leads to a sensual Andante, then to a stern minuet; the finale is exciting and explosive.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Friday, May 3, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, May 4, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Juanjo Mena
, conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin [Note: Koh replaces Erin Keefe in these concerts.] 

HAYDN                              Symphony No. 44, Mourning Symphony
BERNSTEIN                       Serenade after Plato’s “Symposium”
BERNSTEIN                       Divertimento for Orchestra
MOZART                            Symphony No. 40

Tickets: $30 to $97


Tickets can be purchased online at, or by calling 612-371-5656 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.

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.






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

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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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