Have you heard the exciting news?  The Minnesota Orchestra catapulted back into the national and international spotlight with its February 12 announcement that the Orchestra would play two concerts at a music festival in Havana in May. Who better to help thaw relations between the two countries than a world-class orchestra from Minnesota?

Cuba Tour

The Minnesota Orchestra will be the first major American orchestra to play in Cuba since President Obama moved to normalize relations between the two countries.  Orchestra members are looking forward to connecting with the people of Cuba, as well as with their artistic counterparts.  At the moment, the Orchestra staff is working hard on all the arrangements, made even more complicated by a delicate diplomatic situation and a very short timeline.   We hope to share more details later.  If you missed the original announcement, you’ll find more information in articles in the Star Tribune and New York Times.

Mosaic Revealed

If you didn’t get to see the unveiling of the giant All Together Now! mosaic on February 20, be sure to look for it in the lobby next time you’re at Orchestra Hall.   We’re thrilled that the mosaic, which symbolizes the connection of all parts of the Minnesota Orchestra family — Music Director Musicians, Board, Staff, Donors, Audience and Community — will be displayed at the hall.  It clearly represents what the Orchestra and community can accomplish All Together Now and in the future.

In his comments at the post-concert celebration, Osmo Vänskä expressed his deep appreciation that “we all are together now” and his hopes that audiences would continue to grow until we sell out every concert:

“For all of you, thanks for coming to listen to us. Thanks for coming to listen to us again! And thanks for coming to listen to us again and again, because we need you!  … The orchestra has prepared things in rehearsals and all of us, every player, we have done our homework….  And then you come and then we can be there together and we can enjoy what great music and great playing, great art!  And that is why we are here.  So I would be happy if we can fill the Hall evening after evening so that it is constantly sold-out. … thank you very much for all you have done and let’s continue together.”

See photos and a video of the mosaic unveiling on the Orchestrate Excellence Facebook page and if you are on Facebook please share with friends and ask them to “like” the page.

To find out how the 12-foot-square mosaic was created from over 1,600 separate “thumbnail” sized photos, including those of 1,300 audience members, read an interview with Cy DeCosse, the artist who designed and produced the piece.

Cy DeCosse and Osmo Vänskä

Take home your own Mosaic poster, available for $10 at the box office.  Note:  if you found your photo in the large mosaic and are looking for it in the poster image, it may appear in a different place. See interview with Cy to find out why.

Successful Launch of Symphony, Suds and Cider


A Brass Quintet from the Minnesota Orchestra has been connecting with enthusiastic crowds at Sociable Cider Werks.

On February 19 and 26, musicians chatted with patrons who were also offered exclusive concert discounts and invitations to behind-the-scenes Minnesota Orchestra concert experiences at Orchestra Hall.

Check out photos on our Facebook page and watch for details of more brewery performances planned for this spring and summer – and please alert young friends.  We’re trying to attract the next generation of classical music fans to Orchestra Hall.

Great for New Connections:  Casual Pass and Inside the Classics

March 13 marks the kick-off of this year’s popular Inside the Classics series, with a concert intriguingly titled Beethoven’s 10th.  It’s a perfect way to introduce and connect friends young or old to the Minnesota Orchestra and you can do it economically with a $99 Casual Pass, a flexible voucher for 6 concerts at a 40% savings.  If you hurry, you can be one of 100 Casual Pass purchasers invited to an after-concert party on March 13 with conductor Sarah Hicks and violist-host Sam Berman.  For details, click here.

Interesting Articles

  • In a wide-ranging MinnPost interview Osmo Vänskä tells why playing softly – almost to the point of inaudibility — is important, as well as discussing Sibelius, the Cuba tour and the Minnesota Orchestra today.
  • Is classical music dead?  This satirical and thought-provoking article by Alan Fletcher, keynote speaker at our 2013 Community Forum, explores current proclamations about arts and culture and whether they are true.

We hope to see you soon at a concert by our very own headline-making Minnesota Orchestra!

Minnesota Orchestra: Creating Connections Internationally and Locally