Our Minnesota Orchestra is off to Europe!

Enthusiastic flag-waving fans cheered the Minnesota Orchestra last Tuesday night as the musicians played the program they’ll perform in Finland, Scotland, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto will solo with the Minnesota Orchestra on their European tour. Photo by Balasz Mohai

Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto’s original interpretation of Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto combined with an electric performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 brought the house down. Read these rave concert reviews from the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press for further details.

The MOB (Minnesota Orchestra Band) a quartet of Orchestra musicians with CEO Kevin Smith standing in on piano) wowed the fans with a post-concert concert of rock ‘n’ roll classics including Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven.” Click on the photo for the video.

Even after several encores, audience members were reluctant to leave.  Many joined Osmo and CEO Kevin Smith in a champagne toast to the touring ensemble and then stayed to listen to the post-concert MOB (Minnesota Orchestra Band) concert featuring a rock ‘n’ roll quartet of Orchestra musicians (plus CEO Kevin Smith standing in on piano).  The first number?   Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” of course.

Virtually Join the Tour

A poster on the front of the Concertgebouw advertising the Minnesota Orchestra concert.

Thanks to social media, you won’t have to travel to Europe to feel a part of the Orchestra’s tour.  Here are some ways to stay connected:

  • Follow along on the Orchestra’s website and social media channels. Facebook, Instagram,Twitter and the website will be updated daily with photos and reports from musicians.
  • MPR will broadcast the Orchestra’s performance from Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw live at1pm Central on Wednesday, August 24. You can tune in at 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities. (Consider joining the Concertgebouw Listening Party on Facebook to experience the concert with friends.)

The tour opens with two programs in Lahti, Finland, on August 21 and 22, the first is a public performance at Sibelius Hall (below) and the second is a Side by Side rehearsal with Finnish music students.

Then in quick succession the Orchestra will play at Usher Hall in Edinburgh (Aug 23) as part of the Edinburgh International Festival and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam (Aug 24) as part of Robeco SummerNights (far left).

The final performance will be in Copenhagen (Aug 26), as part of the largest classical music festival in Scandinavia, the Tivoli Festival. This concert will mark the Orchestra’s first performance in Copenhagen.

The Minnesota Orchestra will perform in the Robeco Summer Nights Festival at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.  MPR will broadcast the concert live at 1PM Central on Wed., Aug. 24. Photo by Cy DeCosse.

Download the Minnesota Orchestra Ringtone


Keep the Minnesota Orchestra in mind every time your phone rings!  Three Minnesota Orchestra ringtones were introduced at the tour send-off concert.   If you’d like your phone to ring to a Minnesota Orchestra performance of Beethoven’s Fifth, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/ringtones to download one or several of these free tones. (Note: if you have an Android phone, the download and install is quick and easy. The Apple installation is a bit more complicated, requiring you to install the tone on your computer first and then sync it to your phone.  However, it’s not difficult – we are definitely not tech experts and we did it.)


The ringtone idea was initiated by Orchestrate Excellence; the musicians and Osmo jumped on the idea and selected Beethoven’s Fifth, a recording that has garnered much critical acclaim.  The key question is, to whom will you assign the “ta-ta-ta-TA”  ringtone from the opening of the first movement?  Your significant other?  Your mother-in-law?  Your boss?  We’d love to know :-).

The Orchestra Needs You!  Help the MO keep its MO-mentum!

Our Minnesota Orchestra has generated tremendous momentum over the last two years:

  • Classical concert attendance is strong and growing.
  • Local, national, and international reviews are glowing (including Carnegie and early Sibelius CD reviews).
  • Dynamic new principals have joined the ensemble, including Gabriel Campos Zamora, Principal Clarinet, and Joseph Peters, Principal Oboe.
  • OH+ is bringing in exciting new community partners for before and after concert activities, enriching audience member experiences and attracting new concert-goers.
  • The Orchestra is on track to achieve a record number of donors by fiscal year-end. 29% of community donors are new and 58% of Minnesota Orchestra musicians have made their own personal contributions this year!
  • The organization achieved a balanced budget in fiscal ’15 for the first time in a number of years, and is very close to being able to deliver a balanced budget in fiscal ’16.


However, (ta-ta-ta-TA!), the MO needs your help!  While the Minnesota Orchestra is laser-focused on achieving a balanced budget by the end of its fiscal year, August 31, it needs your help to make it happen!  Just as we rely on the Orchestra to deliver phenomenal music, they rely on us, community donors, to help keep the budget balanced.  And what better time to invest in this amazing organization than now, when it’s got its MO-jo back and its MO-mentum is strong and growing.

If you haven’t made a contribution yet this year, there’s no time like today!   If you’ve already contributed, thank you so much, and please consider an additional donation, if you are able.  Gifts of any amount are much appreciated.   It’s easy to give online or call Amanda Schroder at 612-371-7110.  We hope Orchestrate Excellence members can contribute to achieving the $50,000 Community Giving goal.  Together, we can help the MO keep its MO-mentum!

We’ll be following the tour all next week and cheering our Minnesota Orchestra from back home – hope you will too!   Our musicians will be fantastic ambassadors for Minnesota and we look forward to hearing all about their impressions and performances.  Please help spread the word about the live MPR broadcast next Wednesday!


MO on the Move – Keep MO-mentum Mounting