Summer is here! Add sparkle to these balmy summer nights with Minnesota Orchestra concerts – at Orchestra Hall or outdoors at venues around the Twin Cities.

Symphony for the Cities

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Over 5,000 people are expected at the popular Lake Harriet concert on June 29.

Bring your picnic blanket and invite your friends and neighbors to join you at this summer’s free Minnesota Orchestra concert at the Lake Harriet Band Shell at 7:30 pm on June 29.   Over 5,000 people are expected to attend the popular annual event and this year some generous donors have stepped up to offer a $10,000 matching grant to help fund the concert.   The orchestra is within $2,000 of making the goal for that match; if you’d like to help, click here for more details. Donors who give $500 or more will be invited to a festive pre-concert cocktail party with musicians from the Lake Harriet neighborhood.

If you can’t make the concert on the 29th, there are more outdoor concerts to follow: July 1 in Plymouth, July 2 in Winona (presented by the Minnesota Beethoven Festival) and July 6 in Hudson, WI. Please alert family and friends in these locations. The outdoor concerts are a great opportunity to introduce our “world’s orchestra” to new local fans and invite them to hear further concerts at Orchestra Hall. All the concerts will be conducted by the Orchestra’s newly appointed assistant conductor, Roderick Cox.

Call for Volunteers: get a free Minnesota Orchestra t-shirt

Orchestrate Excellence will be looking for volunteers to hand out vouchers and season brochures at Lake Harriet and the other Symphony for the Cities concerts. If you would like to be on our email list to be notified about these and other volunteer opportunities with the orchestra, drop us a line at orchestrateexcellence@gmail.com. Volunteers for the outdoor concerts who sign up by June 22 will receive free blue Minnesota Orchestra t-shirts. There’s an immediate need for volunteers to distribute posters in the Lake Harriet neighborhood. If you can help with this, please contact Emma Smith, esmith@mnorch.org, by the end of this week (June 19) – these volunteers will also get t-shirts.

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Sommerfest 2015

The Orchestra’s annual summer festival starts with a bang on July 5 with Coro Entrevoces, an amazingly versatile Cuban choir. Here’s your chance to be a part of the exciting musical exchange launched in May with the historic concerts in Havana.

Minnesotans listening to the Coro Entrevoces concert in Havana in May.
Minnesotans listening to the Coro Entrevoces concert in Havana in May.

This year’s Sommerfest celebration includes concerts for a variety of musical tastes, from Rachmaninoff to Viennese waltzes and from a nostalgic classic film score (Singin’ in the Rain) to Igudesman and Joo, a violin and piano duo whose hilarious musical antics have made them a current internet sensation. The grand finale on August 1 is Madame Butterfly, a complete opera in concert. Use the code EXCELLENCE16 to purchase a Create Your Own series of 3 or more Sommerfest concerts (or a combination of Sommerfest and 2015/16 season concerts), and you’ll save 25% off regular prices (not available in VIP section; Season Opening and New Year’s Eve concerts excluded).

Come early or stay after the Sommerfest concerts to enjoy free entertainment in the Target Atrium with food and drinks available for purchase.

Recording Sessions – Sibelius # 3, #6 and #7

BIS producer Rob Suff shares an inside perspective on recording with the Orchestra.
BIS producer Rob Suff shares an inside perspective on recording with the Orchestra.

If you heard Osmo Vänskä conducting the Sibelius Symphonies #3, #6 and #7 at recent concerts, you know the precision and passion the orchestra brings to these works, which the musicians and Osmo have just finished recording. Find out what these recording sessions were like from this interview with Producer Rob Suff of BIS Records and watch for the new Minnesota Orchestra CD – perhaps a candidate for another Grammy?

Osmo and Rob Suff applauding Minnesota Orchestra musicians as they finish the recording session. Photo courtesy Michael Pelton
Osmo and Rob Suff applauding Minnesota Orchestra musicians as they finish the recording session.
Photo courtesy Michael Pelton

2015-16 Season Renewals

Don’t forget to renew your subscription for next season! You can renew your Create Your Own series from now till July 10 and get priority seating for 2015-16. If you didn’t have a Create Your Own series last year, you can purchase a new one now. Both new and renewing subscribers can save 25% off individual ticket prices with the code EXCELLENCE16 (not available in VIP section; Season Opening and New Year’s Eve concerts excluded).

New Series: Saturdays at 6

If you’ve wished that orchestra concerts could be earlier so you could go out to eat dinner afterwards – or take children or grandchildren to a concert, try Saturdays at 6. This new three-concert series includes a variety of concerts, including Osmo Vänskä conducting Strauss and Mahler, Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto and A Scandinavian Christmas. Tickets for young listeners (ages 6-17) are available for only $12 with the purchase of an adult subscription.

Enjoy the warm weather – we hope to see you at a concert soon!

Free Outdoor Concerts, Sommerfest and More…