Osmo Vänskä and the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra at Minneapolis South High School

59 copyWith Osmo Vänskä on the podium, we were delighted to present Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition at Minneapolis at South High School on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Violist Sam Bergman provided engaging commentary that introduced Mussorgsky’s iconic music to students enrolled in South’s music and art programs. Maestro Vänskä and Musicians greeted the students before and after the concerts, answering questions and even taking a few selfies with students!

As part of our mission to deepen connections between the community and great orchestral music, our Symphonic Adventures concerts are presented in area high schools. In an up-close and familiar setting, students have the opportunity to hear the orchestra, meet musicians and learn about orchestral masterworks. The locations of previous Symphonic Adventures concerts are listed on our here.

Michael Sutton, violinist and alumni of Minneapolis South High School, greets current students.

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Joshua Bell and Osmo Vänskä

An amazing evening with Joshua Bell, Osmo Vänskä and our great audience! Even the Grammy showed up!

 

Glorious Grammy Celebration Concerts!

OsmoGrammyinORCHHALLcroppedThe Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra were thrilled to play three Grammy Celebration Concerts with Maestro Osmo Vänskä on March 27, 28, and 29. Sold out audiences gave Sibelius Symphonies No. 1 and 4 their rapt attention and thunderous ovations while gorgeous flowers from SOSMN adorned the podium. Orchestra Hall was filled with love for this great music and bond we share through it. MarchOsmo_003

We loved visiting with supporters decked in blue and white and sporting Finnish flags before and after the concert. The Musicians are grateful to Osmo for his extraordinary leadership for these passionate performances and to our dear audience members for their spirit and support. We will never forget these concerts!

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Ladies and Gentlemen, We’re Back!

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We are thrilled to be back on stage at Orchestra Hall playing great classical music for you, our beloved audience! It was wonderful to see many of you at the opening concerts on Friday and Saturday, and we hope to see many more of you at exciting upcoming concerts!

Single tickets are now on sale for Classical, Live at Orchestra Hall, and Sommerfest! For more information on programs, tickets and subscriptions, please visit: www.minnesotaorchestra.org

To read more about the return of music and the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra to Orchestra Hall, we share these articles with you:

Minnesota Orchestra returns to Orchestra Hall
Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune Updated: February 8, 2014 – 10:31 AM

Minnesota Orchestra Returns After a 16-Month Lockout
By JAMES R. OESTREICHFEB. 8, 2014

Concert review: Minnesota Orchestra returns to Orchestra Hall
Article by: LARRY FUCHSBERG , Special to the Star Tribune Updated: February 8, 2014 – 10:36 AM

Minnesota Orchestra audience: ‘Bring back Osmo’
Euan Kerr · MPRNews – St. Paul, Minn. · Feb 8, 2014

New logo, website, board officers for MN Orchestra; One Minute Play Festival by Pamela Espeland | 02/04/14

 

Minnesota Orchestra Elects Gordon Sprenger to Serve as Board Chair

The Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors today elected Gordon M. Sprenger to serve as its chair.  Sprenger, who joined the Orchestra Board in 2006, is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Allina Health System.

Since joining the Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors, Sprenger has chaired the organization’s Architect Selection Committee and its Board, Development and Governance Committee, as well as serving on its Executive, Audit and Human Resources committees, and as a Campaign Vice Chair for the Building for the Future Campaign. As President and CEO of Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Allina Health System, Sprenger led the state’s largest not-for-profit health care system and additionally served as board chair for both the American Hospital Association and the Minnesota Hospital Association.  He has served on the boards of corporations such as Medtronic and St. Paul Companies and non-profits including St. Olaf College, Luther Theological Seminary and the Midtown Global Market.

“I am privileged to have been asked to serve as chair during this important moment in the life of the Minnesota Orchestra,” said Sprenger.  ”Our collective work is now to restore trusting, respectful relationships within the organization among musicians, board and administration and to build broad bridges of support to our greater community.  By focusing on collaboration, and our shared passion for world-class performances of the classical music that gives our organization its mission, I’m confident we will launch a positive new era for the Minnesota Orchestra and its audiences and supporters.”

Said clarinetist Tim Zavadil, “The Musicians of the Orchestra are optimistic that the new leadership of the orchestra board has a commitment to world-class music and a deep connection to our community. The Musicians are eager to return to the stage next week and begin sharing music with our audience and classical music lovers in Orchestra Hall.  We look forward to working with the new board chair, Gordon Sprenger.”

Minnesota Orchestra Wins Grammy!

Sibelius1-4We are thrilled to announce that the Minnesota Orchestra and former Music Director Osmo Vänskä have won a Grammy Award in the Best Orchestral Performance category! The album of Jean Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies was produced and recorded by Swedish label BIS Records.

The announcement was made at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. In celebration of the award, the orchestra will perform Grammy Celebration Concerts at Orchestra Hall on March 27 to 29, 2014, featuring the same repertoire with Vänskä conducting.

The Musicians are deeply proud of our work with Osmo, and we congratulate him and our friends at BIS for this honor. We are elated to have been recognized among such incredible world-class orchestras, and we thank all who have supported the Minnesota Orchestra to make this Grammy win possible.

“The winning of a Grammy award for Best Orchestral Performance confirms where the Musicians and our leader Osmo Vänskä were as a symphony orchestra before the lockout.  We were a great orchestra enjoying a special relationship with our music director, Osmo Vänskä, that brought worldwide acclaim to Minnesota. This is also why we need him to return and carry on with the projects and partnership that have brought this orchestra to great heights.  We know this community deserves an orchestra of that level of distinction,” said Tony Ross, Principal Cellist.

We encourage everyone to attend our Homecoming Concerts February 7 / 8 and February 14/15 where attendees will receive a free copy of the Grammy-winning album!

The Musicians wish to congratulate our colleagues and friends in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for their recording collaboration with Maria Schneider and soprano Dawn Upshaw: “Winter Morning Walks” won Grammys for best contemporary classical composition and classical vocal solo.

 

MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA RETURNS WITH TWO WEEKS OF HOMECOMING CONCERTS!

Return to Orchestra Hall with the Musicians and Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski for concerts February 7th and 8th featuring Beethoven’s Third Symphony. The homecoming continues February 14th and 15th as Yan Pascal Tortelier conducts Holst’s Planets and the Elgar Cello Concerto with soloist Steven Isserlis

Tickets on-sale beginning January 22. The official season launches later in February with a complete season announcement to follow later this month. The public is invited to attend a free open house at Orchestra Hall before each homecoming concert.

The Minnesota Orchestra today announced plans for two weeks of homecoming concerts February 7 through 15, offering audiences the first chance to hear the orchestra perform in renovated Orchestra Hall.

The Orchestra’s return begins February 7 and 8 with a pair of historic concerts led by the ensemble’s eminent Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, highlighted by Beethoven’s heroic Third Symphony and Skrowaczewski’s own powerful orchestration of Bach’s D-minor Toccata and Fugue—the work that opened the first concert at Orchestra Hall in 1974.

French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier continues the musical homecoming February 14 and 15 with a set of Valentine’s weekend concerts that includes an all-British program of Holst’s popular The Planets and Elgar’s Cello Concerto, the latter featuring virtuoso soloist Steven Isserlis.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m., and all are preceded by a free public open house at Orchestra Hall, with doors opening at 4 p.m. Members of the community are invited to become acquainted with the renovated facility, while subscribers may survey seat locations and renew series tickets. No tickets or reservations are required to attend the open house.

“We are thrilled to return to Orchestra Hall, our home, and the home for world class symphonic music in this community. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony will be a triumphant moment for the Minnesota Orchestra,” said Tony Ross, principal cellist.

Skrowaczewski’s artistic relationship with the Minnesota Orchestra extends more than five decades, nearly half of the ensemble’s history, and it is fitting for him to lead our homecoming to the Hall he helped build, reopening just as it opened 40 years ago: with his own orchestration of a Bach masterpiece.

The homecoming concerts, held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis, are performed on Friday, February 7; Saturday, February 8; Friday, February 14; and Saturday, February 15, with each concert beginning at 8 p.m. and preceded by a free public open house beginning at 4 p.m.

Tickets to these concerts will be available online at minnesotaorchestra.org starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22.

Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order.

The four homecoming concerts are a prelude to the full 2014 Minnesota Orchestra season. Additional announcements about the season will be forthcoming later this month.


Minnesota Orchestra Homecoming Concerts:

BEETHOVEN’S THIRD SYMPHONY: EROICA

Friday, February 7, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Minnesota Orchestra
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, conductor

BACH/Skrowaczewski     Toccata and Fugue in D minor
STRAUSS                     Don Juan
BEETHOVEN                Symphony No. 3, Eroica

Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director from 1960 to 1979, welcomes the ensemble and the community back to Orchestra Hall with concerts that begin with the first music heard at the Hall’s opening in 1974—his own orchestration of J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor.  Also on the program are the Richard Strauss tone poem Don Juan and Ludwig van Beethoven’s heroic Third Symphony.

Tickets: Available online at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order.

HOLST’S PLANETS AND ELGAR’S CELLO CONCERTO

Friday, February 14, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, February 15, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Minnesota Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor
Steven Isserlis, cello
Women of the Minnesota Chorale

ELGAR                         Cello Concerto
HOLST                         The Planets

French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier continues the Minnesota Orchestra’s homecoming, leading a program of two British masterworks—Edward Elgar’s exquisite Cello Concerto, featuring the composer’s countryman Steven Isserlis as soloist; and Gustav Holst’s The Planets, an astrological sojourn of music ranging from warlike to jovial, with an ethereal close that includes the women of the Minnesota Chorale, the Orchestra’s principal chorus.

Tickets: Available online at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order.


Tickets will be available starting at 5 p.m. on January 22, 2014, at minnesotaorchestra.org. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; offices are closed on January 20 for the Martin Luther King holiday). The Orchestra Hall Box Office will be open beginning at 4 p.m. on days of the homecoming concerts. Prices listed do not include a $5 service charge per transaction for online orders. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office or Orchestra Hall Box Office. A non-discountable $5 facility fee is included in the price of each individual ticket. No refunds. Tickets to homecoming concerts are non-exchangeable. All sales are final.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant.

With thanks, as we move ahead

The lockout has been an emotional and tumultuous journey. Despite the struggle and difficulty of this process, it is remarkable just how often the overwhelming emotion for us has been gratitude. We would like to try to thank the people who have helped to get us to where we are today, though it would be impossible to mention every individual who has contributed to this moment, nor could we fully express how much their efforts have meant to us.

First of all, we thank our families. They endured the uncertainty and hardship with us, often separated from each other for weeks or even months at a time.

We thank our colleagues in other orchestras throughout the world. They hired us and welcomed us into their orchestras as honored guests, time and time again. Their financial generosity was stunning – from the beginning to the end of these 16 months, they never stopped sending us substantial donations. What’s more, the American Federation of Musicians and the International Conference of Symphony Orchestra Musicians (ICSOM) provided a seemingly inexhaustible supply of emphatic advocacy and assistance. We owe particular gratitude to our own Local 30-73 in the Twin Cities for their incredible efforts.

We thank everyone who made our self-produced concerts possible, especially the phenomenal conductors and soloists who shared their musicality and passion so that the voice of this orchestra was never silent and never alone. We are deeply grateful to Osmo Vänskä for a farewell concert in October of 2013 that none of us will ever forget.

We thank our tireless volunteers. So many were eager to help any way they could, whether that meant writing letters, selling those green mugs at intermission, or offering their homes for concerts and fundraisers. There was a daunting amount of work to be done, but there was never a shortage of hands to willingly share the load.

We thank the organizations that formed in response to this situation. Orchestrate Excellence continues to offer thoughtful insight into what the orchestra is and how it can be more. Save Our Symphony Minnesota lit a fire under thousands of supporters looking for a way to make their voices heard and advocate for the Minnesota Orchestra. The Young Musicians of Minnesota hearten and inspire us as no one else can.

We thank those who kept the orchestra present in the media, especially the writers at MinnPost who dug deeply into the many issues at hand. We are so grateful for the bloggers, who exhaustively researched and dissected this process. Their insight and writing is invaluable.

We thank our civic leaders and legislators who used their influence to help bring about a solution. They recognize that the Minnesota Orchestra is important, not only as a treasured element of our cultural identity, but because an orchestra with an international presence serves as Minnesota’s cultural ambassador to the world. Special thanks to Mayor Betsy Hodges for speaking out on many occasions and in many forums.

We thank the board of the orchestra. For months now, we have all been hearing that this was a dispute that might never be resolved, that might actually end the Minnesota Orchestra. Both musician and board member negotiating teams continued talking and looking for creative ways to move forward and compromise. Despite our differences, both sides ultimately collaborated on an agreement that would allow us to move forward. Now we are at the beginning of a new era, and we look forward to continuing our work together with the board that supported us as we reached the height of our achievements in 2012.

Finally and most importantly, we thank you, our audience and our community. Without you, we simply would not be here today. Your generous donations, your kind and encouraging emails, and your love of this orchestra – these are the things that got us through the last 488 days. You were tireless and persistent, and you’ve made it clear to everyone that great orchestral music is valued and cherished in Minnesota. Each concert that we performed during the lockout began the same way: we entered the stage together and our audience responded with a thunderous and sustained standing ovation. You will never know just how much that meant to every single one of us, every single time, and the strength that you gave us through that generous gesture.

You have shared our vision of a world-class orchestra for our community, and we are ready for the hard work of rebuilding trust based on that common vision. As the path of the lockout comes to an end, we embark with hope on a new path of creativity, growth, and collaboration. We couldn’t be in better company than yours as we begin this journey.

A letter to our friends and community:

The Musicians and the Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, effective February 1, that brings the lockout of the Musicians to a conclusion. The Orchestra’s first concert performances back on stage at Orchestra Hall are anticipated in early February and will be announced shortly.

“The Musicians are pleased that we have come to a solution with our board, and we are ready to begin the hard work that lies ahead together. We are eager to perform for our community at home in Orchestra Hall once again. We have seen firsthand the deep love for this orchestra, and we are confident that this community will, in fact, continue to support a world-class symphony orchestra,” said Tim Zavadil, clarinetist and negotiator.

Keeping salaries in the top ten was a critical issue as it allows the orchestra to attract and retain the finest musicians in the country, building on the tradition of excellence that has been cultivated by the community over many generations. The agreement achieves this priority.

With this agreement in place, we look forward to working with new board leadership to rebuild our relationship and the trust within the organization. We take heart that our treasured relationship with our audience will continue at Orchestra Hall.

The Musicians thank each and every individual and organization that has supported maintaining a great orchestra for Minnesota over the past 16 months. We have been strong because of you and we will need your continuing strength and passionate voices as we move forward together.

We are excited to work with you, our engaged community partners, as we re-vitalize the Minnesota Orchestra. Reuniting all who love great music and this orchestra, we can fulfill our mission of preserving this 110-year old institution and taking it to new heights.

We will keep you informed of details as they become available in the coming days.

With our gratitude,

The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra