Minnesota Orchestra Tours European Festivals in August 2010

Osmo Vänskä leads Orchestra in two performances at London’s BBC Proms, as well as festival concerts in Edinburgh and Amsterdam

Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra will perform at three major European music festivals this summer, including two performances at what is generally considered the world’s most famous classical music festival: the BBC Proms in London. Featuring violinist Lisa Batiashvili and cellist Alisa Weilerstein, the tour also includes performances at the Edinburgh International Festival and in the Great Hall of Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Running from August 24 through 31, the one-week Festival Tour is entirely underwritten by an anonymous donor. Tour repertoire spans the symphonic gamut from string concertos by Berg, Elgar, Mozart and Shostakovich to Bruckner’s Fourth and Beethoven’s Seventh symphonies. In the Orchestra’s final performance at the Proms, it will perform Beethoven’s Ninth, along with the BBC Symphony Chorus and vocal soloists Helena Juntunen, Charlotte Hellekant, Eric Cutler and Neal Davies. “To be invited for two performances at the Proms is a great honor,” says Music Director Osmo Vänskä, who led the Minnesota Orchestra in its BBC Proms debut in 2006. “And to be asked to offer Beethoven’s Ninth, which is so important to the Proms, is particularly meaningful. I am very proud of the Minnesota Orchestra, and I look forward to sharing performances at all three festivals this summer.”

Minnesota Orchestra fans will be invited to follow the Minnesota Orchestra’s travels during the tour via an online “eTour” which will offer the latest photos, video, blogs and reviews at www.minnesotaorchestra.org, and Minnesota Public Radio will present both of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Proms performances on all its Classical MPR stations. These broadcasts will be hosted by the BBC and MPR ’s Brian Newhouse.

The tour is part of an ongoing strategy—along with broadcasting and recording— to share the Minnesota Orchestra sound with broad global audiences. “Earlier this year, we established a regular broadcast presence on BBC Radio 3,” says President and CEO Michael Henson. “Joining up the broadcast series with live performances at the Proms and important festivals in Edinburgh and Amsterdam allows us to maximize the Minnesota Orchestra’s international impact, even in a challenging economic environment.” In December, the Minnesota Orchestra launched a six concert broadcast series on BBC Radio 3.

The tour opens on Friday, August 27, with a BBC Proms performance at Royal Albert Hall featuring Barber’s Music for a Scene from Shelley, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with American cellist Alisa Weilerstein and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4. The Orchestra returns to the Proms the next day, showcasing performances of the Berg Violin Concerto with violinist Lisa Batiashvili, who comes from the Republic of Georgia , and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. On Sunday, August 29, the Orchestra appears at the Edinburgh International Festival, opening its program with Barber’s Music for a Scene from Shelley. Alisa Weilerstein rejoins the ensemble to perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and Vänskä concludes the performance with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. The final tour concert is slated for Monday, August 30, at Amsterdam ’s Concertgebouw with performances of Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with Lisa Batiashvili and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.

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