Osmo Vänskä conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in concerts on May 3, 4 and 5, featuring music by four American composers and showcasing two outstanding musicians as soloists. Virtuoso flutist Sharon Bezaly performs the world premiere of a flute concerto composed for her by Jeff Beal, the Emmy-winning composer of the hit Netflix series House of Cards. Minnesota Orchestra First Associate Concertmaster Susie Park is featured as the soloist in Barber’s Violin Concerto. The concerts open with Copland’s Suite from Billy the Kid and close with Bernstein’s symphonic suite from On the Waterfront.
The Minnesota Orchestra concerts are held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, May 3, at 11 a.m.; Friday, May 4, at 8 p.m.; and Saturday, May 5, at 8 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $25 to $96. More information is available at minnesotaorchestra.org and by phone at 612-371-5656. For further purchasing details, refer to the information section at the conclusion of this press release.
Sharon Bezaly, flute
Sharon Bezaly first appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2006, performing Kalevi Aho’s Flute Concerto, a work written especially for her, under the direction of Osmo Vänskä. Her performances have inspired many other composers such as Sofia Gubaidulina, Haukur Tómasson, Brett Dean and Anders Hillborg to write for her, and to date there are more than two dozen works dedicated to her which she performs worldwide. She has collaborated with major orchestras in London, Leipzig, Salzburg, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Gothenburg, The Hague, Lahti, Seoul, Taiwan, Singapore, São Paulo and Cincinnati, among many others. She was a top prize-winning graduate of the Paris Conservatory, a BBC New Generation Artist and the first wind player to be artist in residence for The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra. More: sharonbezaly.se.
Susie Park, violin
Australian-born Susie Park became the Minnesota Orchestra’s first associate concertmaster in September 2015. Since then she has been featured with the Orchestra in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No. 2 and 4, numerous Young People’s Concerts and three chamber music concerts. She has performed solos around the world with orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Indianapolis and Memphis symphony orchestras, and the major symphony orchestras of Australia and New Zealand, among others. She was the violinist of the Eroica Trio from 2006 to 2012, touring internationally and recording the ensemble’s eighth CD, an all-American disc that was nominated for a Grammy. She will perform Barber’s Violin Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra again in July 2018 at the Minnesota Beethoven Festival in Winona, Minnesota. More: minnesotaorchestra.org.
Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, the Minnesota Orchestra’s tenth music director, is renowned internationally for his compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires. In addition to the Orchestra’s May 2015 tour to Cuba, he has led the Orchestra on five major European tours, the most recent of which took place in August 2016, as well as regular tours to communities across Minnesota. His recording projects with the Minnesota Orchestra have also met with great success, including the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for their recording of Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies on the BIS Records label. In March 2018 the Orchestra released its newest album, featuring Mahler’s Sixth Symphony—part of a Mahler series that began with a Grammy-nominated Fifth Symphony recording. More: minnesotaorchestra.org.
Designed as a one-act ballet, Copland’s Suite follows the adventures of Billy the Kid as he travels across the Wild West. Tender string harmonies set the scene of wide open prairies, while clashing keys and cowboy tunes add excitement along the journey.
In Beal’s brand-new Flute Concerto, the virtuoso solo flute speaks above active but less demanding music from the orchestra. The opening movement’s focus is on the soloist’s dexterity and swift musical gestures, while the Rubato middle movement is gently beautiful and lyrical. The electric bass is prominent in the rapid-fire, jazz-laced finale.
In Barber’s Violin Concerto, the violin sings passionate, lyrical lines in the opening pair of movements, then delivers a whirlwind of triplet rhythms in the fast-paced finale.
Bernstein transformed his only original film score, On the Waterfront, into a single-movement symphonic suite highlighted by a solo horn that guides the orchestra through many of the movie’s main themes.
Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts
AMERICAN VOICES: COPLAND AND BERNSTEIN
Thursday, May 3, 2018, 11 a.m. (Coffee Concert) / Orchestra Hall
Friday, May 4, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, May 5, 2018, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Minnesota Orchestra Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Sharon Bezaly, flute
Susie Park, violin
COPLAND Suite from Billy the Kid
BEAL Flute Concerto [World Premiere]
BARBER Violin Concerto
BERNSTEIN On the Waterfront
Tickets: $25 to $96
NightCap Performance: Following the main concert on Saturday, May 5, Minnesota Orchestra musicians will perform a NightCap concert in the Target Atrium at 10:30 p.m. A separate ticket is required for this event. More: minnesotaorchestra.org.
TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION
Individual tickets can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Stage Door, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.); at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.); and at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, two hours before all ticketed performances. For more information, call 612-371-5656 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.
All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.
The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2017-18 season.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.