Press Room

Minnesota Orchestra Presents The Tin Forest Sensory-Friendly Family Concerts on May 12

Priced at $12, Sensory-Friendly Family Concerts are conducted by Akiko Fujimoto and hosted by local actor H. Adam Harris

The Orchestra performs Steve Heitzeg’s The Tin Forest, with story narration by Lynne Warfel

Concerts also feature piano soloist Emma Taggart

The Minnesota Orchestra performs two Sensory-Friendly Family Concerts on Sunday, May 12, under the direction of Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto. The one-hour-long concerts begin at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and are centered around the story of The Tin Forest, a beloved children’s book by Helen Ward, with music by Saint Paul-based composer Steve Heitzeg. Minnesota Public Radio personality Lynne Warfel will narrate the story while the Orchestra performs Heitzeg’s score. Local actor H. Adam Harris hosts the concert, which also includes a performance of the third movement of Grieg’s Piano Concerto, featuring 16-year-old pianist Emma Taggart, and musical selections by Antonín Dvořák, Libby Larsen, Bedřich Smetana and Florence Price.

These performances are Sensory-Friendly Family Concerts, which feature a relaxed and inclusive experience for people of all ages and abilities. American Sign Language interpreter Maria Dively will translate at both performances.

Steve Heitzeg’s The Tin Forest was originally commissioned as a chamber work for Kinder Konzerts; the Minnesota Orchestra subsequently commissioned a full-orchestra version of the work.

The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are performed at the ensemble’s home venue in downtown Minneapolis, Orchestra Hall, on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., with all tickets priced at $12. 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.

Akiko Fujimoto, conductor
Akiko Fujimoto joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2017 as assistant conductor and in 2018 became associate conductor. She conducts Young People’s Concerts, Symphonic Adventures for high schools, special events and outdoor concerts, and this summer will lead a family concert and a “Celebrating the Americas” program. Previously, she was associate conductor of the San Antonio Symphony and conducting associate for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Emma Taggart, piano
Sixteen-year-old pianist Emma Taggart recently won first place in the LaCrosse Symphony Concerto competition and first place in YPSCA’s Young People’s Concerto Competition. She has received many awards from prestigious competitions in both the U.S. and Europe, and she has been featured on Minnesota Public Radio’s Minnesota Varsity and National Public Radio’s From the Top. She has performed with orchestras such as the Milan Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, Dakota Valley Orchestra, Minnetonka Orchestra, Golden Valley Orchestra and La Crosse Symphony Orchestra. More:

Lynne Warfel, narrator
Lynne Warfel is a national host and producer on Classical 24, and she is heard locally on Classical Minnesota Public Radio each Saturday morning. She is the host of American Public Media’s Flicks in Five and Saturday Cinema, and as an actor and singer, has performed in movies and TV shows. Her radio credits also include KFAC and KUSC in Los Angeles; Radio Forth in Edinburgh, Scotland; and WCAL in Northfield, Minnesota. More:

Adam Harris, host
Adam Harris’s recent theatrical credits include puppeteering and voicing the title role of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax at the Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) and the Old Globe Theatre. He has also worked locally with the Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre and Pillsbury House Theatre. He is a proud Penumbra Theatre Company member, where he is also a lead facilitator. He is the education coordinator at the Playwrights’ Center; a resident teaching artist with the Guthrie and CTC; and a freelance equity, diversity and inclusion consultant.

Sensory-Friendly Family Concerts

Sunday, May 12, 2019, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Akiko Fujimoto
, conductor
Adam Harris, host
Emma Taggart, piano
Lynne Warfel, narrator

DVOŘÁK         Slavonic Dance in C major
GRIEG             Allegro moderato molto e marcato, mvmt. III from Piano Concerto in A minor
LARSEN          Wafting, mvmt III from Symphony: Water Music
SMETANA       Selections from The Moldau
HEITZEG         The Tin Forest
PRICE              Juba Dance, mvmt. III from Symphony No. 1

Tickets: $12


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.

Minnesota Orchestra Sensory-Friendly Family Concerts are sponsored by PNC Bank.

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
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Carl Schroeder

Publications Editor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Emma Plehal

Communications Manager and Assistant Editor
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Isaac Risseeuw

Social Media and Content Manager
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Communications Office

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

Download Showcase PDFs

Showcase Concert Magazine, April 2020   

For information on advertising in Showcase, contact:
Marilyn A. Miller
952-942-7355 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.