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Minnesota Orchestra

Led by Music Director Thomas Søndergård, the Minnesota Orchestra is a Grammy Award-winning ensemble known for acclaimed performances in their home state and around the world, a storied history of recordings and radio broadcasts, innovative educational engagement programs, and a commitment to new orchestral music. They perform a wide variety of music, including nearly 175 concerts in a typical year, primarily at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis, their home since 1974. They also tour regularly throughout Minnesota, nationally, and abroad.

About the Minnesota Orchestra

The Minnesota Orchestra has a long history of performances in their home state, across the country, and around the world, a century’s worth of recordings and radio broadcasts, a strong commitment to educational engagement activities, and a tradition of performing new music. They perform about 175 concerts in a typical year, mostly at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.

When the Orchestra performed its first concert as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra on November 5, 1903, baseball’s first World Series had just been played, and the Wright brothers were preparing for their first flight. Known since 1968 as the Minnesota Orchestra, they have been led by eleven music directors, with Thomas Søndergård beginning his new role as music director at the start of the 2023-24 season. High points of recent years have included their first Grammy Award and tours to Cuba, South Africa, and Europe.

In addition to their core Classical concerts, each year they present Live at Orchestra Hall concerts conducted by Sarah Hicks, as well as Summer at Orchestra Hall curated by Creative Partner Jon Kimura Parker.

Their state
Although the Orchestra is based in downtown Minneapolis, they take pride in being the Minnesota Orchestra, and their commitment to the entire state shows in their regular touring across Minnesota, including the Common Chords residency. In a typical year, residents from every Minnesota county attend at least one concert.

Young People’s Concerts, a Minnesota Orchestra tradition since 1911, have fostered a love of classical music in more than a million young people across Minnesota and beyond.

Their recordings and tours
The Minnesota Orchestra has been recording music since the 1920s, with recent projects including cycles of the complete Beethoven and Sibelius symphonies, as well as an in-progress initiative to record all of Mahler’s symphonies.

They have visited more than 600 cities in more than 20 countries, including six trips to Europe in the past 20 years and visits to Cuba in 2015 and South Africa in 2018.

Looking to the future
They are committed to new music and have commissioned and/or premiered more than 300 works. Their Composer Institute has boosted the careers of more than 150 emerging composers.

In 2017 the Orchestra launched the Minnesota Orchestra Fellowship, an ongoing program of two-year residencies intended to encourage greater diversity in the orchestral field by supporting the career development of outstanding young musicians of African American, Latin American, and Native American descent as they embark on professional orchestral careers. To date, six musicians have served as Minnesota Orchestra Fellows. The Minnesota Orchestra Fellowship is generously supported by Rosemary and David Good, and Margee and Will Bracken.

They are intentionally building concert programs to feature more works by AMELIA (African, Middle Eastern, Latin, Indigenous, and Asian) composers and performances by AMELIA artists, exploring music both contemporary and historic. They acknowledge the abundance of musical voices that have been overlooked, and they are committed to learning, programming, and centering these voices as they move forward.

Thomas Søndergård

Thomas Søndergård
Music Director

Standing against racial injustice
The Orchestra is committed to using music to communicate and bridge cultures. They seek to create, develop, and nurture connections that allow them to authentically contribute to making the Twin Cities a more equitable community, and they are currently focused with great priority on working to disrupt their own role in systemic racism. Their current work includes a programming focus, a fellowship program, and a series of Anti-Racist Learning Projects. They are committed to recognizing inequities in their organization, industry, and community, and to advancing the change that must happen.

Go to the Minnesota Orchestra website

Go to the Minnesota Orchestra calendar

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Dominic Seldis

Dominic Seldis

Host at Symphony

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