July 7, 2020
Concert Cancellations and a Phased Return to Live Music
The Minnesota Orchestra is pleased to announce a phased return to live concerts, beginning with 24 newly-programmed chamber music (small ensemble) concerts outside Orchestra Hall on Peavey Plaza throughout the month of August. These concerts are offered as a complimentary thank-you for concertgoers who currently hold tickets to previously-scheduled August and early September full-Orchestra performances, which have been cancelled in compliance with the Stay Safe MN current guidelines for large events.
“While we aren’t able to offer the full-Orchestra concerts in August that we originally envisioned, we are pleased to focus on what the Orchestra can responsibly and creatively do next month in alignment with the State’s ‘Stay Safe MN’ guidelines,” said President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns. “Right now, that means we can take advantage of summer weather to offer outdoor chamber music for small audience groups—with physically separated seats, face masks and screening surveys all in place. This is the first step in the Orchestra’s gradual, phased approach to offering concerts again, and we are proceeding with great care to make it a safe and joyful experience.”
With programs designed by the Minnesota Orchestra musicians, every concert throughout the month of August will feature a piece of music written by a Black composer. The repertoire will be announced from the stage and will include music by composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Benjamin Britten, Valerie Coleman, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Paquito D’Rivera, Jean Françaix, Devonté Hynes, Wolfgang Amadè Mozart, Daniel Bernard Roumain, William Grant Still, Igor Stravinsky, Jerod Tate, Heitor Villa-Lobos and George Walker, among many others.
These limited-capacity, physically-distanced performances will each feature groups of up to eight Orchestra musicians. Concerts will take place daily at 7 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, from August 4 through August 30. Each event will be approximately 70 minutes in length and will run without intermission. The total capacity for the concerts, including musicians, staff and audience members, will be up to 250 people, and seating for both musicians and audience members will be physically spaced at a safe distance. In the case of inclement weather, performances will be cancelled.
Ticketholders will be contacted directly with a full range of ticket/credit options for the cancelled concerts, as well as an invitation to attend the newly-added outdoor performances. Due to limited capacity, tickets are not available for purchase to these chamber performances, but there will be a small number of complimentary tickets available to the public through an online lottery system.
“Minnesota Orchestra musicians are so grateful to the loyal audience members who have stood by the organization through pandemic-related concert changes and cancellations over the past four months,” said Silver Ainomäe, associate principal cello and chair of the Musicians’ Artistic Advisory Committee. “We’ve spent several weeks reformulating our August programming to showcase really wonderful small ensemble chamber music. New safety measures will be part of concertgoing now, but these will not diminish the music itself. We can’t wait to offer live musical performances again as a gesture of our thanks.”