Summer is here and the Minnesota Orchestra is sizzling!

Check out what’s on tap for June and July:

Season Finale: stunning final concerts of the season, Osmo’s final appearance with the MO until mid-August and a chance to get an Osmo autograph.  Get your tickets now — no “slow mo” if you want to see Osmo!
Symphony Ball: the Rhapsody in Blue dinner is sold out but After Party tickets are available tillTuesday June 14.  Join us for the speakeasy, Roaring 20’s drinks and dancing – and also for a Minnesota Orchestra concert and live auction!
Symphony in the Cities: beloved series of outdoor concerts highlighted this year by “Red, White and Boom” concert on July 4th! Beach Blanket Beethoven anyone?!
Sommerfest: a true OH+ festival surrounding every concert including free pre- and post-concert music, Happy Hour beverages, a smorgasbord of culinary options, interactive Experience Cafe activities on various lobby levels, and on Saturday nights, a chance to win tickets to an “after-party” with musicians.  “Sommer” at its best!

European Send-Off:  get your tickets now!  Osmo will conduct the tour celebration concert Tues Aug 16 7:30 pm and tickets are almost sold out.

Osmo will conduct Season Finale concerts featuring Mahler’s Fifth on June 9, 10 and 11 – the last chance to experience his dynamic partnership with the Orchestra till they leave for Europe at the summer’s end.

Concerts conducted by Osmo Vänskä Thu Jun 9 at 11 am; Fri Jun 10 and Sat Jun 11 at 8 pm feature Mahler’s Symphony #5 and Christian Tetzlaff playing Berg ‘s Violin Concerto.  The concert onThursday, June 9 is almost sold out; you’ll have better luck with tickets for Friday, June 10 orSaturday, June 11.  Osmo will be signing CD’s and memorabilia immediately following each of the concerts.

Rhapsody in Blue Symphony Ball – June 18

After Party tickets are still available; order now – recently extended deadline is June 14.

Tickets are $125 (of which $75 is a tax deductible contribution to the Orchestra) and include music, dancing, savory appetizers, cheeses and desserts, as well as Prohibition-Era craft cocktails produced by local celebrity bartenders and abundant Champagne.  Come early at 7:30 and you can also enjoy a Minnesota Orchestra Concert and live auction – or arrive at 9:30 for drinks and swing dancing with the Wolverines Big Band.  More details and complete schedule here.

Don’t miss the gala After Party at the 2016 Symphony Ball – deadline for ordering tickets is June 14.

Symphony for the Cities – June 27-30

Continuing a 40-year tradition of free summer concerts, the Minnesota Orchestra will perform at Lake Harriet on June 28and play other Symphony for the Cities concerts in Hudson, Plymouth and Winona.
For more than 40 years, the Minnesota Orchestra has delighted the community with a series of free outdoor concerts.  This year Assistant Conductor Roderick Cox will conduct the Orchestra at the following locations; for more information and concert programs click the links:
  • Hudson on Monday, June 27 at 7:30 pm
  • Lake Harriet on Tuesday, June 28 at 7:30 pm
  • Plymouth on Wednesday, June 29 at 8:30 pm
  • Winona on Thursday, June 30 at 8 pm

“Red, White and Boom” Fireworks Concert – July 4th

Come to the Minnesota Orchestra concert at 8:30 pm on Boom Island and stay for the fireworks afterwards.
For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Minnesota Orchestra will be part of the annual Independence Day celebration in Minneapolis, performing a free outdoor concert at 8:30 pm on July 4th at Boom Island Park on the banks of the Mississippi River prior to the annual 10 pm fireworks display.Assistant Conductor Roderick Cox will lead the Orchestra in a program featuring Sousa marches, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and other high-energy pieces by composers from John Williams to Richard Wagner.    Invite your family and friends to hear the Orchestra on this special holiday.  After the concert, stay on Boom Island to see most of the fireworks display (while avoiding big crowds) or bike/drive closer to Hennepin Avenue to see the fireworks up close and personal.

Volunteers Needed: Symphony for the Cities, July 4th and Sommerfest

The Orchestra needs volunteer help for the local outdoor concerts and also for Sommerfest.  It’s fun and you’ll get a free Minnesota Orchestra t-shirt to wear during your concert shift – also free concert tickets if you help out at Sommerfest.
  • Symphony for the Cities and July 4th:  help distribute posters for the Lake Harriet concert now.    Or pass out promotional materials at the concerts on June 28, 29 and July 4th. For more information contact Kärsten Jensen,
  • Sommerfest:  help distribute flyers, greet patrons, answer questions before or afterconcerts July 8-23 as a member of a Street Team walking up and down Nicollet Mall or as an OH+ Activity Attendant.  Training will be provided.  For more information including specific duties, dates, shift schedules and time commitment required, contact Kärsten Jensen,

Orchestrate Excellence keeps a list of people who are interested in Minnesota Orchestra volunteer opportunities.  If you would like to add your name to the list, write to us at

Will You or Won’t You?

In the past six weeks we’ve mourned the tragic death of Prince, probably Minnesota’s most famous musician.  We’ve also heard the surprising news that this legendary artist, so careful about his musical legacy, may not have had a will.  This news, amplified in the media with all kinds of information on estate planning, has many of us thinking about our own wills and planned giving.  If you are engaged in this process and are considering including the Minnesota Orchestra in your plans (and thereby joining the Laureate Society) there are many options available.  Gifts of all amounts are gratefully accepted and help ensure that the music you love will continue for future generations to enjoy.

Providing a gift in your will or estate plan helps ensure that the Minnesota Orchestra will be able to continue to introduce young people to great music far into the future.

A wealth of information is available online or by contacting Emily Boigenzahn, Director of Planned Giving, or 612-371-7138.  Emily can send you a copy of the Planned Giving Guidebook, answer questions, and tell you about benefits of Laureate Society membership (including Green Room access during Classical Concert Series intermissions, backstage tours, special events and recognition in Showcase Magazine) available to those who include the Minnesota Orchestra in their estate plans.

Osmo Wants to Know:  What Was Your Favorite Concert of the 2015-16 Season?

Osmo Vänskä posed this question at the annual Laureate Society luncheon.  Did you especially enjoy:
  • the Beethoven marathon?
  • the all- Sibelius program played at Carnegie Hall (Symphonies No. 1 and 3 and the violin concerto with Hilary Hahn)?
  • new pieces from aspiring young composers who attended the Composer Institute?
  • Helmuth Rilling conducting and talking about Brahms’ German Requiem?
  • the darkly beautiful Shostakovich Symphony No. 8 and pianist Inon Barnaton’s thrilling performance of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1?
  • Erin Keefe’s performance of the Brahms violin concerto and the witty but rarely heard Nielsen Symphony No. 6?  Read the Star Tribune review and MPR interview with Erin.
  • Or another particularly memorable concert?

Send an email highlighting your favorite 2015-16 concert and rationale to us at We will compile a list of favorite concerts to send to Osmo.  While there are a wealth of considerations that go into programming decisions, including crucial input from Artistic Committee musicians and staff, Osmo is genuinely interested in hearing from audience members.

Enjoy these long summer days and warm nights!  We look forward to seeing you at Orchestra Hall, at Lake Harriet – or at Boom Island for a rousing and inspiring July 4th celebration.
Sizzlin’ Summer, Volunteer Opp’s and Osmo Wants to Know!
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