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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

South Africa Tour

Music for Mandela

Bringing The World Together Through Music

Osmo Vänskä leads the music of Beethoven and Bongani Ndodana-Breen.

CAPE TOWN • DURBAN • PRETORIA • SOWETO • JOHANNESBURG

The Minnesota Orchestra is on a five-city tour of South Africa, marking the first visit to the country by a professional U.S. orchestra. Offered as part of the worldwide celebration of Nelson Mandela's Centenary, the tour will draw together South African and American performers and music, offering musical exchanges with student groups and large-scale performances in colleges, city halls and churches. The concerts will showcase music that derives from South African, American and European musical traditions, ranging from Beethoven’s Fifth and Ninth Symphonies to a world premiere by South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen, commissioned by Classical Movements and written in tribute to Mandela.

Follow along throughout the tour with updates here and on Facebook, and read all concert reviews and media coverage from the tour on our Press Room page

Pretoria

Johannesburg

On Saturday morning, August 18, the Minnesota Orchestra crew completed their final load-in of the tour at Johannesburg’s City Hall and the musicians boarded the buses for a short trek to the venue. Even the chilly winter morning couldn’t erase the afterglow of Friday night’s concert in Soweto!

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Soweto

Four musicians jumped on a bus in Johannesburg on Friday morning, August 17, headed to Soweto to attend a special Books for Africa event. Their day began with solo and chamber music performances for hundreds of students at Missourilaan Secondary School and ended with a grand Orchestra concert at one of South Africa's most historic venues.

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Soweto

Pretoria Part 2

Pretoria: Part 2

On Thursday, August 16, the Orchestra performed their third concert of the South Africa tour, in the Aula Centre at the University of Pretoria. Before the performance, musicians fanned out around the campus to work with students from the University and the South African National Youth Orchestra.

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Pretoria: Part 1

The Orchestra headed to the University of Pretoria on Wednesday, August 15, for an afternoon side-by-side rehearsal with the South African National Youth Orchestra and an evening rehearsal with the Minnesota Chorale and Gauteng Choristers.

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Pretoria

MN Chorale rehearses with the Gauteng Choristers

MN Chorale in Johannesburg

In Johannesburg, 50-some members of the Minnesota Chorale—who arrived in this capital city on Sunday—met their choral counterparts from South Africa’s Gauteng Choristers for the first time.

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Durban

The Orchestra landed in Durban on Saturday, August 11, immediately feeling the more temperate weather of this busy port city. A cheerful band of Orchestra wind players headed out Sunday morning to join the young musicians of the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Wind Band in rehearsal. Learn more about this collaboration and the full orchestra performance at the Durban City Hall.

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Durban

Cape Town

Cape Town: Part 2

The spirit of Nelson Mandela was alive as the Minnesota Orchestra kicked off its South Africa Tour with a performance at Cape Town City Hall on Friday evening, August 10. Learn more about this performance and engagement activities with the Cape Town Youth Philharmonic and Eurecon Primary School.

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Cape Town: Part 1

Minnesota Orchestra musicians arrived in bright and breezy Cape Town on Wednesday morning. The first two days were filled with a musical welcome, collaborations with students from the Cape Music Institute, and a humbling tour of Robben Island.

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Cape Town

The Proms

London’s BBC Proms

The Minnesota Orchestra made a triumphant return to the BBC Proms, the world’s largest classical music festival, with an all-American program.

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Music That Inspires Us 
Music awakens our strength and courage. It spreads hope and peace. Help us ensure that the magnificent music of the Minnesota Orchestra can continue to unite and uplift all of us for seasons to come. Support your Orchestra with a tax-deductible donation by August 31. Give today »


The Minnesota Orchestra’s tour is funded by generous contributions from an anonymous couple.

The Minnesota Orchestra recognizes the Douglas and Louise Leatherdale Fund for Music supporting the work of Osmo Vänskä.


Tour Partners


Music for Mandela Corporate Consortium Sponsors