Minnesota Orchestra Announces Plans for 2012-13 Classical Season

Music Director Osmo Vänskä leads his tenth season with the Orchestra, held primarily at the Auditorium of the Minneapolis Convention Center while Orchestra Hall undergoes renovation

Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra today unveiled plans for their tenth season together, running from October 2012 to June 2013 and held primarily at the Auditorium of the Minneapolis Convention Center, while the Orchestra’s home venue, Orchestra Hall, closes temporarily for a major renovation due for completion in summer 2013. Highlights of the season include a two-week Clarinet Festival—the Orchestra’s first ever—featuring an array of classical and jazz clarinetists that includes Mr. Vänskä himself, who trades his conductor’s baton for a clarinet in a Mozart serenade; concerto solos by current Concertmaster Erin Keefe and her predecessor Jorja Fleezanis, the latter in her first solo appearance with the Orchestra since retiring from the ensemble in 2009; a rare complete performance of one of Bach’s crowning achievements, all six Brandenburg Concertos; and season finale concerts featuring three powerful symphonies—Sibelius’ Third and Sixth, and Dvořák’s New World Symphony.

The season will feature solo turns by acclaimed guest soloists including Grammy-winning pianist Garrick Ohlsson, Grammy-nominated violinist Leila Josefowicz, Swedish clarinet virtuoso Martin Fröst, English soprano Susan Bullock and Russian-born Yevgeny Sudbin, who makes his sixth annual piano concerto appearance; a concerto solo by the Orchestra’s Principal Cello Anthony Ross; visits by guest conductors including Gilbert Varga, Mark Wigglesworth, Hannu Lintu and Matthew Halls, who leads two weeks of concerts; and programs led by members of the Orchestra’s artistic conducting roster including Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton, Associate Conductor Courtney Lewis and Principal Conductor of Pops and Presentations Sarah Hicks.

Mr. Vänskä and the Orchestra will launch the ensemble’s 110th season on Thursday, October 18, 2012, with a program that includes Elgar’s Enigma Variations as well as Rachmaninoff’s virtuosic Third Piano Concerto, the latter performed by Garrick Ohlsson, a regular collaborator with the Orchestra since 1971. Mr. Vänskä will lead nine subscription programs, concluding with May and June 2013 performances of Sibelius and Dvořák symphonies.

The Orchestra will continue its innovative Common Chords outreach project with a week-long festival in Bemidji, Minnesota, in April 2013. Common Chords creates partnerships between the Orchestra and participating Minnesota cities, with each relationship culminating in a celebratory festival week that features performances and dozens of activities that reflect the interests, diversity and heritage of each community. Common Chords launched in Grand Rapids in October 2011 and will continue in Willmar in May 2012.

Continuing a longtime partnership with Minnesota Public Radio, the Orchestra’s Friday evening classical concerts will be broadcast regionally on MPR stations. The Orchestra’s concerts are also featured in American Public Media’s national programs, Performance Today and SymphonyCast.

The Orchestra will again offer its popular Young People’s Concert series during 2012-13 with many concerts held at the Convention Center Auditorium.

Although the Orchestra will not hold recording sessions at the Convention Center Auditorium, it will continue recording the complete Sibelius symphonies and Beethoven piano concertos, with recording sessions slated for Orchestra Hall in June 2012 and September 2013.

Besides concerts at the Convention Center—located at 1301 Second Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis, a few blocks from Orchestra Hall and connected to the skyway system—the Orchestra will offer select performances at Minneapolis’ Central Lutheran Church and Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota. The Auditorium of the Convention Center is comparable in size to the Orchestra Hall auditorium, holding about 2,150 in its main seating area. The grand re-opening of the renovated Orchestra Hall is scheduled for summer 2013.

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