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Soloist Change: Pianist Juho Pohjonen to Replace André Watts in Minnesota Orchestra Season Opening Concerts

Program remains unchanged, featuring Pohjonen in Grieg’s Piano Concerto

Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen will replace André Watts as the featured soloist in the Minnesota Orchestra’s Season Opening concerts on September 19, 20 and 21. Mr. Watts is recovering from back and neck surgery and with great regret needs to withdraw from his upcoming appearance. Conducted by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, the program repertoire will remain unchanged, featuring Einojuhani Rautavaara’s A Requiem in Our Time, Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto, Elliott Carter’s Three Illusions for Orchestra and Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations.

Pohjonen performed as a soloist with the Lahti Symphony under Vänskä’s direction in 2006 and the two have performed together many times since. “I am very happy that Juho Pohjonen is going to play with the Orchestra,” says Vänskä, “but we are sorry to hear that Mr. Watts is unable to perform in these concerts, and we wish him well in his recovery.”

The Season Opening concerts are scheduled at 11 a.m. on Thursday, September 19; 8 p.m. on Friday, September 20; and 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 21, at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.

Profile: Juho Pohjonen

Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen performs widely in Europe, Asia and North America, collaborating with symphony orchestras and playing in recital and chamber settings. An ardent exponent of Scandinavian music, he has a growing discography which offers a showcase of compositions by such compatriots as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kaija Saariaho.

In the 2019-20 season, he debuts with the New Jersey Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, in addition to recital debuts at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Steinway Society of the Bay. He has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Vancouver Symphony and Buffalo Philharmonic, and at the Mostly Mozart Festival. He has also performed with orchestras throughout Scandinavia including the Danish National Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Avanti! Chamber Orchestra in Finland, and the Symphony Orchestras of the Swedish Radio and Mälmo. 

Pohjonen’s most recent recording with cellist Inbal Segev features cello sonatas by Chopin and Grieg, and Schumann’s Fantasiestücke, hallmarks of the Romantic repertoire.


[Editor’s Note: Piano soloist change listed below]

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall
Friday, September 20, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall 

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Juho Pohjonen, piano

RAUTAVAARA          A Requiem in Our Time, for Brass and Percussion
GRIEG                         Piano Concerto
CARTER                      Three Illusions for Orchestra
ELGAR                        Enigma Variations


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 (Stage door ticketing is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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.

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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Communications Office

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

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