Calendar

Thursday Morning Coffee Prelude Series

7 Concerts
 

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Season Opening: Vänskä and Thibaudet

Program

MONTGOMERY
Strum / 7 min

ROSSINI
Overture to William Tell  / 12 min

MACMILLAN
Piano Concerto No. 3, The Mysteries of Light / 25 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

BERLIOZ
Symphonie fantastique  / 49 min

At a Glance

We begin the season with an inventive and celebratory work by Jessie Montgomery. Then we welcome the world’s most vibrant piano soloist, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who plays a showpiece by Scotland’s James MacMillan that he says holds “true spiritual power.” To close, Osmo Vänskä conducts the bold musical painting of Hector Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Did You Know?

  • Berlioz’s early Romantic masterpiece, Symphonie fantastique, tells the tale of a love-sick artist whose unrequited love for another drove him to an opium-fueled fever dream. This led Leonard Bernstein to describe the work as the “first psychedelic symphony.”
  • Legendary pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet has a strong personal relationship with composer James MacMillan. Thibaudet says, “When you listen to his music, you can immediately know it’s MacMillan's music. Not because it all sounds the same, far from it. It’s a very unique language.”
  • This concert marks the penultimate season opening celebration of Osmo Vänskä’s tenure as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra.
  • Rossini’s Overture to William Tell was catapulted into mainstream success as the opening theme for the television show The Lone Ranger during its run from 1949-1957.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Thu Sep 24 11am

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Valčuha Conducts Beethoven’s Ninth

Program

SCHRECKER
Chamber Symphony  / 25 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 9, Choral  / 68 min

At a Glance

Beethoven’s cry for universal community in his Ninth Symphony is so needed today. It’s a special joy then, in his 250th anniversary year, to present this masterpiece. We’ll set the table for it with Schreker’s shimmeringly beautiful Chamber Symphony.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Juraj Valčuha, conductor
  • Melody Moore, soprano
  • Kelley O'Connor, mezzo
  • Siyabonga Maqungo, tenor
  • Mark S. Doss, bass-baritone
  • Minnesota Chorale

Did You Know?

  • Beethoven was almost completely deaf while he composed his Ninth Symphony which went on to become one of the most performed symphonies in the entire world.
  • Austrian composer Franz Schrecker spent the first quarter of the 20th century as one of Europe’s most famous composers. World War I and an intense wave of antisemitism unfortunately all but extinguished his influence in the musical world.
  • Slovak conductor Juraj Valčuha is quickly becoming a fan favorite here in Minnesota. Terry Blain of the Star Tribune described Valčuha’s November 2019 performance with the Minnesota Orchestra as “one of the most musically rewarding concerts of the past few seasons.”

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Thu Nov 5 11am

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A New Year’s Celebration: Ross Plays the Dvořák Cello Concerto

Program

DVOŘÁK
Carnival Overture  / 9 min

DVOŘÁK
Cello Concerto / 40 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

DVOŘÁK
Symphony No. 8  / 36 min

At a Glance

A Dvořak festival to launch 2021 on just the right note! Osmo Vänskä is a master of Dvořak’s Czech colors and mood, and in this concert he pairs the exciting Carnival Overture with the beloved Eighth Symphony. Our Principal Cello Anthony Ross solos in the centerpiece of this New Year’s concert: Dvořak’s emotional Cello Concerto, one of the greatest concertos for any instrument by any composer.

Artists

Did You Know?

  • As a newcomer to the United States in 1892, Antonin Dvořák supported the notion that African American and Native American music was the path to the future of American music.
  • Dvořák’s Cello Concerto was his last solo concerto and was written for his friend (and fellow Czech), Hanuš Wihan.
  • Dvořák’s Eight Symphony was originally published as Symphony No. 4.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Fri Jan 1 2pm

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Sounds of Spring: Delius, Debussy and Mendelssohn

Program

MENDELSSOHN
Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra / 36 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

L. BOULANGER
D’un matin de printemps  (On a Spring Morning) / 5 min

DELIUS
Idylle de printemps (Spring Idyll) / 8 min

DEBUSSY
Printemps (Spring) / 15 min

At a Glance

The spirit of springtime bursts from nearly every bar of this program, from the quicksilver glint in Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto, to Lili Boulanger’s buoyant depiction of a morning in May and Debussy’s seductive Spring. These are all specialties of one of the esteemed Orchestra Hall guest conductors of recent seasons, Juanjo Mena.

Artists

Did You Know?

  • Child prodigy: Lili Boulanger accompanied her older sister, Nadia, to classes at the Paris Conservatory before she was even 5 years old.
  • What could have been: The first version of Debussy’s Printemps was actually lost in a fire. The version we know today was rewritten in 1908.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Thu Feb 4 11am

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Mahler’s Third Symphony

Program

MAHLER
Symphony No. 3 / 92 min

At a Glance

Applause is coming from all over the world for the Orchestra’s Mahler symphony cycle. Here is Mahler’s Third, voted one of the 10 greatest symphonies of all time in BBC Music Magazine. Sasha Cooke was breathtaking in performances of the Second, and in the Third she sings one of Mahler’s most hauntingly beautiful moments: “Man, take heed. Deep is the world’s pain, but deeper still is joy.”

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Sasha Cooke, mezzo
  • Women of the Minnesota Chorale
  • Minnesota Boychoir

Did You Know?

  • You know you’ve made it when: A reference to Mahler’s Third Symphony appears in Prince’s song, Good Love.
  • The Minnesota Boychoir is celebrating its 59th season and has performed with ensembles from the Minnesota Orchestra to the Baltimore Symphony to the Prague Philharmonic.
  • Mahler’s epic Third is almost two symphonies in one. Six total movements in two different groups (plus a host of voices) makes this a monumental piece of music.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Thu Mar 18 11am

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Manze, Gomyo and Tchaikovsky

Program

BACEWICZ
Concerto for String Orchestra

TCHAIKOVSKY
Violin Concerto

INTERMISSION / 20 min

SHOSTAKOVICH
Symphony No. 5

At a Glance

A celebration of strings, beginning with the buoyant Concerto for String Orchestra by Grażyna Bacewicz. It holds an echo of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and its 1948 premiere made her a leading composer of post-war Poland. Star violinist Karen Gomyo graces the party with the most beloved of all the great 19th-century concertos, by Tchaikovsky. And violinist-turned-conductor Andrew Manze concludes with Shostakovich’s triumphant Fifth Symphony.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Andrew Manze, conductor
  • Karen Gomyo, violin

Did You Know?

  • Fit for a feast: Tchaikovsky’s superlative Violin Concerto was featured in the soundtrack to Jiro Dreams of Sushi, the transfixing documentary about an 85-year-old man who owns one of the best sushi restaurants in the entire world.
  • In addition to stunning interpretations in the classical world, violinist Karen Gomyo also has a passion (and an immense talent) for Nuevo Tango music.
  • Grażyna Bacewicz is one of Poland’s cultural treasures and even appeared on a stamp from the Poczta Polska (the Polish Post) on what would have been her 100th birthday.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Thu May 27 11am

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Season Finale: Beethoven Missa Solemnis

Program

FRANK 
Pachamama Meets an Ode  / 10 min

BEETHOVEN
Missa Solemnis  / 81 min

At a Glance

Though Beethoven called this his Solemn Mass, it bursts with moments of ecstatic joy. It comes from the same time as his Ninth Symphony when his powers were visionary. As a prelude and pairing to it, one of today’s most acclaimed contemporary composers Gabriela Lena Frank has created Pachamama Meets an Ode, co-commissioned by Classical Movements as part of a consortium that includes the Minnesota Orchestra.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Carolyn Sampson, soprano
  • Carolyn Sproule, mezzo
  • Barry Banks, tenor
  • James Rutherford, bass-baritone
  • Minnesota Chorale

Did You Know?

  • While Beethoven isn’t typically known for large-scale liturgical works, the mass Missa Solemnis is considered one of the greats for the genre, up there with the likes of Bach.
  • Join the Minnesota Orchestra for an on stage reception immediately following the concert.
  • Gabriela Lena Frank composes for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble and contributed a work for their 2009 Grammy-nominated record, Off the Map.

Accessibility at Orchestra Hall

Assisted listening devices available Large print program available Wheelchair seating availableService dogs welcomePlease refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes

Thu Jun 17 11am