Outreach Performances in our Community

The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra began performances at the Simpson House Overnight Services in South Minneapolis as a part of our mission to bring great music to all in our community. On April 23, a string quartet of Joanne Opgenorth, Helen Chang Haertzen, Sifei Cheng, Katja Linfield, and flutist Wendy Williams played selections of Mozart, Gershwin, and assorted tangos for a post-dinner concert.

On June 19, our mighty Minnesota Orchestra bassoon section, John Miller, Mark Kelley, Christopher Marshall, Norbert Nielubowski, delighted the audience with selections both serious and silly. It is an honor to connect with these audiences and we look forward to more performances being planned at Simpson House in the fall.

Two of our musicians, Pam Arnstein and Kate Nettleman, the Hi-Lo String Duo, participated in Minnesota’s very first Sensory Friendly Concert, in partnership with the Musical Autist and Toneworks. The concert was geared towards and showcased young adults on the autism spectrum, with features including low volume and soft lighting. For more information about further concerts like this, please visit http://www.themusicalautist.org/

Starry, Starry Night: Season Opening Gala

Friday, September 5, 6 pm

Join us and star soprano Renée Fleming for a spectacular gala concert, a one-night-only performance benefiting the Minnesota Orchestra!

RENÉE FLEMING © Decca/Andrew Accles

RENÉE FLEMING © Decca/Andrew Accles

Sponsor tickets of $1,000 and $500, which include a private reception with Ms. Fleming and Osmo Vänskä, are on sale now! Tickets at the $250, $100, and $75 level are on sale to subscribers now and are available to the public starting July 25 at 5 pm. All tickets include a champagne toast, starry desserts and musical delights.

Ticket buyers at the $250, $500 and $1,000 level will be invited to a private chamber concert given by the members of the Minnesota Orchestra with Music Director Osmo Vänskä at Orchestra Hall on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm. For more information and tickets, see www.minnesotaorchestra.org/stars

Chamber Program Details:
Mozart: Quartet in F for Oboe and String, KV 370
John Snow, oboe
Rebecca Corruccini, violin
Gareth Zehngut, viola
Beth Rapier, cello

Brahms: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano, opus 114
Osmo Vänskä, clarinet
Tony Ross, cello
Tim Lovelace, piano

Celebrate in style a season of grand new beginnings and join us for a heavenly evening to remember!

For more information and tickets, see www.minnesotaorchestra.org/stars

Northrop Retrospective

10339692_623448517747374_5177033588591601710_nWe were honored to be a part of the celebration of the newly renovated Northrop with a historic program recreating the 1929 Minneapolis Symphony concert in the same space. What a delight it was to be joined by William Wolfram, piano, and the combined forces of the University of Minnesota Choirs and Marching Band. Conducted by our newly-reinstated Music Director, Osmo Vänskä, these concerts were a joyous start to a new era!

Photo Gallery on Facebook

Rob Hubbard’s Review in the Pioneer Press

Post your thoughts on the Northrop Post Performance Reflection site

Review of Northrop’s Acoustics on Minnpost

Osmo Vänskä returns as Music Director!

Statement of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra on the return of Osmo Vänskä as Music Director

Photo by Courtney Perry

Photo by Courtney Perry

Minneapolis - “The musicians are truly excited by the board’s decision to bring back Osmo as Music Director. This is a major step in rebuilding the trust and collaborative spirit within our organization as well as with our community. We very much look forward to further collaboration with Osmo, our Board, and our community to continue to build upon the Minnesota Orchestra’s 110-year legacy of artistic excellence.”

Joshua Bell and Osmo Vänskä

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

 

Symphonic Adventures Concerts Continue

Manny Laureano

Manny Laureano

The lockout may be over, but the mission of the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians to deepen connections between ourselves and the community continues! We are thrilled to announce two upcoming Symphonic Adventures concerts for students at area high schools:

Friday March 21st | Wayzata High School
Manny Laureano conducts Brahms’ 2nd Symphony

Osmo Vänskä

Osmo Vänskä

Wednesday, April 16th | Minneapolis South High School
Osmo Vänskä conducts Pictures at an Exhibition

These hour-long concerts offer students involved in music programs at their high schools an opportunity to hear the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians perform live and up close in their own school. Great music is interspersed with informative and inspiring dialogue from the conductor on the podium. We thank our generous supporters and donors who make it possible for the Musicians to be able to provide these educational programs to deserving students.

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.

 

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.