December 11, 2020
Minnesota Orchestra Announces Revised Concert Calendar Through March 2021
The Minnesota Orchestra today announced a plan to continue its revised concert season through March 2021, with four Friday night concerts newly-designed for television, radio and streaming audiences. These concerts—each hosted by Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks—will be shared live on Twin Cities PBS (TPT)’s MN Channel; broadcast live on Classical Minnesota Public Radio, hosted by Melissa Ousley; and streamed live online for free. The broadcasts and livestreams will continue to afford wide and easy access for audiences across the state (and beyond) to experience a Minnesota Orchestra performance. In addition, a special, livestreamed Young People’s Concert Experience will premiere on February 12, 2021.
Music Director Osmo Vänskä will conduct three of the four Friday night concerts (January 15, January 29 and March 19), with returning guest conductor Juraj Valčuha leading the Orchestra on March 5. Each concert will feature soloists, either from within the Minnesota Orchestra or esteemed special guests, in what will be the first concerto performances at Orchestra Hall since March 13, 2020, when Kirill Gerstein played Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto to a radio-only audience.
The year 2021 will begin with a concert showcasing the solo debut of the Orchestra’s Principal Bassoon Fei Xie, who will perform Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto on January 15. Then, Principal Oboe John Snow and Principal Second Violin Peter McGuire will play Bach’s Concerto in C minor for Oboe and Violin on January 29. On March 5, Juraj Valčuha will conduct an exciting program that will feature guest violinist James Ehnes. Originally scheduled to open the 2020-21 Minnesota Orchestra season, pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will return to the Orchestra Hall stage on March 19. Program details are still being finalized.
Each program will feature music written by composers of color, as part of the Orchestra’s commitment to broaden its repertoire, make its programming more equitable, and amplify works by composers from historically under-represented communities. Through January and March, the Orchestra will share music by Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Philip Herbert, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson and George Walker, in addition to composers yet to be announced as part of the Young People’s Concert Experience.
On February 12, 2021, a special Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concert Experience, conducted by Sarah Hicks, will be performed for virtual audiences of all ages. The program, titled Musical Menagerie, will invite students and families to connect music with animals—thanks to a partnership with the Minnesota Zoo—in a concert that presents a variety of composers and styles of music as well as unique film elements and special guests.
In accordance with the Orchestra’s gradual phased return to live concert performances, each concert planned through March 2021 will offer approximately 60 minutes of music and will be programmed with appropriate health and safety measures in place for all musicians and staff, including ensemble size limitations, light quarantining, COVID-testing, masking and physical distancing.
Minnesota Orchestra subscribers are being directly notified of changes to the concert season with their originally-scheduled concerts cancelled or shifted into the 2021-22 season. Concerts currently slated for dates beyond March 2021 are still being considered and will be addressed in a future announcement.
TV, Radio and Streaming
Minnesota Orchestra concerts are currently presented through a unique three-way partnership between TPT, Classical MPR and the Orchestra. The TV broadcast and online livestream, hosted by conductor Sarah Hicks, introduces audiences to the music, musicians and venue of the Minnesota Orchestra, while featuring Classical MPR’s high-quality audio mix. Hicks has served as the Orchestra’s Principal Conductor for Live at Orchestra Hall since the series was founded in 2014.