Calendar

Thursday Morning Coffee Intermezzo Series

7 Concerts
 

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Runnicles Conducts Haydn and Bruckner

Program

HAYDN
Cello Concerto in C major / 25 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

BRUCKNER
Symphony No. 7 / 64 min

At a Glance

Honed over decades by our beloved former music director, the late Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the Minnesota Orchestra has a unique affinity for Bruckner, truly letting the brass and strings sing from within his music. And Donald Runnicles is laying exciting new claims to Bruckner’s epic symphonies today. We set this stage with the sunniest of Haydn’s concertos, performed by one of the world’s finest cellists, Johannes Moser.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Donald Runnicles, conductor
  • Johannes Moser, cello

Did You Know?

  • Like many of us, Anton Bruckner was a constant over-thinker. Now he’s considered a genius who helped usher in a new artistic period of orchestral music. But he was famously self-critical of his own music and would often tirelessly rework his own compositions.
  • Scottish conductor Donald Runnicles is no stranger to this side of the Atlantic. He has served as the principal guest conductor for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for almost 20 years.
  • After making a stunning debut with the Minnesota Orchestra last season, German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser returns to perform Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1.
  • Franz Joseph Haydn’s First Cello Concerto was composed around 1761 but was thought to have been lost completely until almost 200 years later.

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 Oct 29 11am

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Beethoven and Debussy

Program

BEETHOVEN
Symphony No. 6, Pastoral / 40 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

DUTILLEUX
L’Arbre des songes (The Tree of Dreams) / 25 min

DEBUSSY
La mer / 23 min

At a Glance

Spectacular recent debuts in Chicago, Philadelphia and European capitals are spreading the word fast: David Afkham is one of Germany’s most gifted young conductors. In his first Minnesota appearance, he leads a program born outdoors. Come along and take the most famous symphonic walk-in-the-woods ever written, Beethoven’s Sixth, get lost in the reverie of Dutilleux’s violin concerto, Tree of Dreams, and prepare to sail in Debussy’s sumptuous evocation of the sea.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • David Afkham, conductor
  • Ning Feng, violin

Did You Know?

  • Referred to as the Pastoral Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 is featured prominently (if not controversially) in Disney’s 1940 animated film Fantasia.
  • French composer Henri Dutilleux’s violin concerto L’Arbre des songes (The Tree of Dreams), paints a vivid picture of the growth of a tree and the continual renewal and rebirth of nature.
  • Destined for the big screen, several motifs from Debussy’s La mer (The Sea) made their way into the score of the 1975 film Jaws, for which John Williams won the Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score.

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 Dec 3 11am

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Vänskä Conducts Dvořák's New World Symphony

Program

DVOŘÁK
Serenade in D minor for Wind Instruments  / 23 min

DVOŘÁK
Piano Concerto  / 36 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

DVOŘÁK
Symphony No. 9, From the New World  / 43 min

At a Glance

We guarantee you’ll go home humming the African American spiritual-inspired melody, one of the most beloved in the world of classical music, found in the slow movement of Dvořak’s dramatic Ninth. Discoveries are here as well in his wonderfully captivating Wind Serenade and the magnificent Piano Concerto, performed by Sunwook Kim.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Sunwook Kim, piano

Did You Know?

  • Sunwook Kim was just 25 years old when he made his debut at the BBC Proms, one of the largest classical music festivals in the world. Of his performance, Bachtrack said: “Kim placed pianissimos always on the edge of disappearance so that the audience almost had to strain to hear; the effect was spellbinding.”
  • Out of this world: Astronaut Neil Armstrong brought a tape recording of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 along with him during the Apollo 11 moon landing mission in 1969.
  • While not the first noteworthy Czech composer, Dvořák’s was the first to reach international acclaim and did it with a style drenched in Czech folk and dance themes.

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 Jan 14 11am

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Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony

Program

MAZZOLI
Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)  / 12 min

PROKOFIEV
Violin Concerto No. 2  / 26 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

TCHAIKOVSKY
Symphony No. 6, Pathétique  / 45 min

At a Glance

Audiences and musicians are captivated by conductor Nathalie Stutzmann, and for good reason. One of the world’s leading contraltos, she often sings her direction to the musicians in rehearsal, with inspiring results. “Pure connection,” they say. Song—here in the winds, there in the brass, now in the strings—is in nearly every bar of Tchaikovsky’s final symphony.

Artists

Did You Know?

  • A champion for the new: Though most of Missy Mazzoli’s influences are past composers, she says, “I want to reflect the era that I’m living in now and make music that can only be written now.”
  • Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of his Sixth Symphony just nine days before his death.
  • A true collaborator, Nathalie Stutzmann understands the value of a good audience to deliver a powerful performance. “If you come in open, relaxed and abandon yourself to what the performers have to give, then we can connect.”

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 25 11am

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Vänskä Conducts Brahms Symphony No. 3

Program

HILLBORG
Through Lost Landscapes  / 13 min

GINASTERA
Harp Concerto / 21 min

WALKER
Lyric for Strings / 6 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

BRAHMS
Symphony No. 3  / 33 min

At a Glance

Minneapolis’ Grace Roepke is the first harpist ever to win the Grand Prize of the national Young Artist Competition put on by the Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra. Alongside her exciting debut is the U.S. premiere of Through Lost Landscapes, an evocative new work from Sweden’s Anders Hillborg, and George Walker’s tranquil Lyric for Strings. Brahms’ Third Symphony, his most noble and deeply personal work, caps the concert.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Grace Roepke, harp

Did You Know?

  • Swedish composer Anders Hillborg began his musical career in pop music, playing keyboards for a band that played music from artists like Chicago, Elton John, and Blood, Sweat and Tears.
  • Music critic (and Johannes Brahms’ friend) Eduard Hanslick referred to Brahms’ Third Symphony as artistically “nearly perfect.”
  • In an interview with Southwest News Media, Young Artist Competition winner Grace Roepke said, “One of the biggest misconceptions is that [harpists] can’t play loud.” Osmo Vänskä, one of the competition’s judges, said he was impressed by how Roepke’s sound filled Orchestra Hall.

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 Apr 8 11am

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Bartók and Debussy

Program

BARTÓK
Violin Concerto No. 2  / 36 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

DEBUSSY
Suite from Pelléas and Mélisande / 22 min

RAVEL
La Valse / 13 min

At a Glance

Presented for the first time at Orchestra Hall, Debussy’s early 20th-century operatic masterwork Pelléas and Mélisande is rendered in this sensuous concert suite. Beautiful French repertoire like Debussy’s is a specialty of Fabien Gabel, the charismatic leader of the Quebec Symphony. In his Orchestra Hall debut, Gabel also conducts Bartok’s Second Violin Concerto, featuring Isabelle Faust, as well as Ravel’s whirling, swirling La Valse.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Fabien Gabel, conductor
  • Isabelle Faust, violin

Did You Know?

  • Ravel’s La Valse is billed as a choreographic poem, and though most often experienced as a concert piece, it was originally drawn up as a ballet.
  • A happy accident? German violinist Isabelle Faust’s first violin lesson was at five years old when she accompanied her father to his lessons after he decided he wanted to learn to play. After that, she was hooked.
  • Debussy’s opera Pelléas and Mélisande tells the story of a heated love triangle drenched in mystery, passion and tragedy.

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 Apr 29 11am

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Nordic Fire: Osmo Vänskä and Truls Mørk

Program

FAGERLUND
Ignite / 28 min

PROKOFIEV
Sinfonia concertante for Cello and Orchestra  / 37 min

INTERMISSION / 20 min

NIELSEN
Symphony No. 4, The Inextinguishable  / 36 min

At a Glance

What a thrill to welcome Truls Mørk to our stage again! The acclaimed cellist was last here nearly 20 years ago and moved Minnesotans with his white-hot playing. In this much-anticipated return he brings the cellist’s supreme challenge, Prokofiev’s Sinfonia concertante. Speaking of white-hot, musical flames dance throughout Ignite by Finnish composer Sebastian Fagerlund, and in Nielsen’s Fourth, The Inextinguishable.

Artists

  • Minnesota Orchestra
  • Osmo Vänskä, conductor
  • Truls Mørk, cello

Did You Know?

  • Following an 18-month rehab and hiatus after what he thought was a career-ending paralysis, Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk was able to return to the stage and continue an illustrious professional career.
  • Of his creative process, Finnish composer Sebastian Fagerlund says the compositional work “requires me in a way to fade myself out,” and let the music speak for itself.
  • While he wasn’t celebrated during his lifetime, Danish composer Carl Nielsen later became one of the country’s most beloved cultural figures and even appeared on Denmark’s 100-kroner mark from 1999 until it was taken out of circulation in 2010.

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 10 11am