March 22, 2019
Minnesota Orchestra Announces Plans for Sommerfest 2019: Música Juntos (Music Together)


 July festival will feature music of Latin America, culminating in performances of Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos, conducted by María Guinand, stage directed by Marcela Lorca and featuring vocalists, instrumentalists, dancers and choirs from the Twin Cities and abroad

Running from July 6 to August 3, Sommerfest will feature concerts led by Osmo Vänskä, Sarah Hicks, Akiko Fujimoto, Roderick Cox, and Andrew Grams

Festival will include an International Day of Music; works by Piazzolla, Ginastera, Jimmy López and José White; world premiere of the live orchestra version of the film Coco; and the return of A Musical Feast, a concert mixing music and culinary arts

Featured artists will include soprano Goitsemang Lehobye; violinists Karen Gomyo and Elena Urioste; Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora; and dance ensemble Los Alegres Bailadores

The Moving Company collaborates with the Orchestra to present The Prodigious Life of Clara S., featuring Jennifer Baldwin Peden, Steven Epp, and Nathan Keepers

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (March 22, 2019)—The Minnesota Orchestra announced plans for Sommerfest 2019 today, unveiling a four-week July festival, presented under the banner Música Juntos (Music Together), that spotlights Latin American music and culminates in performances of Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos, a much-celebrated, genre-blurring retelling of the biblical passion of St. Mark, described by critics as “a work of genius” and “the first indisputably great composition of the 21st century.” Sommerfest, which runs from July 6 to August 3, will also feature an International Day of Music; soprano Goitesmang Lehobye singing Golijov’sThree Songs for Soprano and Orchestraviolinist Elena Urioste performing Afro-Cuban composer José White’s Violin Concerto; A Musical Feast program entwining musical and culinary arts; a new musical-theatrical creation in collaboration with The Moving Company spotlighting 19th century composer-pianist Clara Schumann; and a film and live orchestra screening of the Disney-Pixar film Coco, among other programs.

These concerts extend our season-long focus on American music, broadening the scope to explore the compelling repertoire of Latin American classical music,” said Music Director Osmo Vänskä. “I am happy we can share Osvaldo Golijov’s landmark La Pasión según San Marcos with our audiences and that we are able to bring many of the artists who are experts in the work, and steeped in its traditions, to Minnesota.”

La Pasión según San Marcos (The Passion according to St. Mark) created a sensation at its premiere in 2000, taking the music world by storm. The International Bach Academy had commissioned the 90-minute work as one of four passions—similar in spirit to what Bach himself wrote—to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death. Composer Osvaldo Golijov’s assignment was to set the story of Jesus’ final days on earth from the Gospel according to St. Mark—and he did so by melding classical music with bossa nova, tango, rumba, mambo, Afro-Cuban music, and other Latin American styles. “It has a revolutionary air,” wrote The New Yorker’s Alex Ross at the premiere, “as if musical history were starting over, with new, sensuous materials and in a new, affirmative tone.”

The exuberant, pan-American work brings together vocalists, an orchestra featuring wide-ranging percussion instruments, dancers, and chorus fora “powerfully theatrical and shockingly original carnival of South American singing and dancing and drumming,” according to The Los Angeles Times. The Chicago Tribune described the ritualized performance as seeming “to gather all of humanity in a riveting embrace of song, dance and pounding percussion—an exultant fresco of faith.”

La Pasión has been performed around the world since its premiere. The Minnesota Orchestra’s staged performances on Friday, August 2, and Saturday, August 3—which mark the first Minnesota performances of the work—will be conducted by Venezuela-born María Guinand, who led its premiere, and stage directed by Marcela Lorca, artistic director of Ten Thousand Things Theater. The cast features vocalists Jessica Rivera, Luciana Souza, Reynaldo González-Fernández, and choir Schola Cantorum de Venezuela, joined by singers from the Minnesota Chorale and Border CrosSing. Like Ms. Guinand, mezzo-soprano Ms. Souza, singer/dancer Mr. González-Fernández, and the acclaimed Schola Cantorum also performed in the work’s world premiere in Stuttgart. Please see the calendar listing on page eight for a complete list of performers. 

The majority of Sommerfest concerts are led by the Orchestra’s titled conductors. Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducts Ginastera’s Variaciones concertantes and contemporary Peruvian composer Jimmy López’s Perú Negro (July 12), as well as South African soprano Goitsemang Lehobye in Golijov’s exquisite Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra (July 13). Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks leads three programs: the world premiere of the film and live orchestra version of Coco (July 6-7);in addition to A Musical Feast, a one-of-a-kind concert experience in which Twin Cities chefs cook onstage while the Orchestra performs (July 26); and the premiere of a new theatrical work by The Moving Company (July 27), exploring the relationship between Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms, featuring Jennifer Baldwin Peden, Steven Epp, and Nathan Keepers. Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto conducts both a Joyful Rhythms, Joyful Sounds! family concert (July 28) and a “Celebrating the Americas” program featuring Folkórico dance ensemble Los Alegres Bailadores (August 1).

Former Associate Conductor Roderick Cox returns to lead Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, Eroica, and the José White Violin Concerto, performed with Elena Urioste, a former BBC New Generation Artist (July 20). American conductor Andrew Grams will lead Golijov’s Last Round, a modern-day homage to Astor Piazzolla,and violinist Karen Gomyo in Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons in Buenos Aires (July 19).

“Summer is a special time of year in the Twin Cities, and we are excited to heat things up with our focus on Latin American music,” said Ellen Dinwiddie Smith, an Orchestra horn player and chair of the musicians’ Artistic Advisory Committee. “From the International Day of Music to Disney-Pixar’s Coco, this summer’s offerings are sure to please everyone. Come join us at Orchestra Hall, venture out onto the plaza and enjoy some live music.”

Returning on Saturday, July 13, for a second consecutive summer, the 12-hour International Day of Music showcases performances on multiple stages in and around Orchestra Hall, celebrating many genres of music for all ages, with featured performers including Salsa del Soul, Axis Mundi, and Malamanya. New this year, the Cedar Cultural Center will collaborate as a programming partner at the outdoor stage on 11th Street. Vendors will set up a marketplace around Orchestra Hall and the City’s newly-refurbished Peavey Plaza, selling food, beverages, and handicrafts, and adults and children will be able to participate in a variety of music and art activities. All Day of Music performances are free of cost, with the exception of the 8 p.m. Minnesota Orchestra concert. The complete International Day of Music schedule will be released in May.

The Orchestra also revives it’s A Musical Feast concert on Friday, July 26, pairing chefs from top Twin Cities restaurants, including Travail Kitchen and Amusements, Grand Café, and The Lexington, with the Orchestra. As Sarah Hicks leads the Orchestra in curated musical selections, the chefs will cook onstage creations aligned to the music; in the 2015 debut of Musical Feast the Travail Kitchen chefs memorably made an exploding salad set to composer Mason Bates’ mystical Desert Transport. Youth participants in the North Minneapolis-based Appetite for Change will also be featured in the performance. A complete list of participating chefs and restaurants will be released in June.

Held biennially, the Minnesota Orchestra Fantasy Camp returns this July. A multi-day orchestral immersion experience, the Fantasy Camp offers talented amateur musicians an opportunity to rehearse and perform side-by-side with the Minnesota Orchestra. The 2019 Fantasy Camp—which includes sectional rehearsals with musicians; seminars with conductor Sarah Hicks, Orchestra staff, and librarians; and a rehearsal with the full Orchestra—culminates in a performance on Thursday, July 11, under the baton of Music Director Osmo Vänskä. Interested musicians (18+) can learn more about the camp and apply online at

At all summer concerts from July 6 to August 3, audiences are invited to enjoy an array of food and beverage options—including a $5 happy hour—in the lobby, outside of Orchestra Hall, and on the City of Minneapolis’ newly-renovated Peavey Plaza, while listening to free live music by local artists. All Sommerfest outdoor and lobby entertainment pre- and post-concert is open to the public. A ticket is only required for entry to the full-Orchestra performances in the auditorium.

Sommerfest tickets are available beginning Friday, April 12. (Tickets are available to renewing subscribers beginning March 29.) See the conclusion of this release for ticketing details.


Música Juntos: Celebrating the Music of Latin America

Sommerfest: Música Juntos
Disney in Concert: COCO
Complete film with the Minnesota Orchestra

Saturday, July 6, 2019, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Sunday, July 7, 2019, 2 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks
, conductor

Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks leads the world premiere of the live orchestra version of Disney-Pixar’s Coco, the story of a young boy who travels to the Land of the Dead and returns the gift of music to his family. The film, which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature and Best Song, features a score by Michael Giacchino. Presentation is licensed by Disney Concerts.

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Friday, July 12, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Goitsemang Lehobye, soprano

ENESCU: Romanian Rhapsody No. 1
VILLA-LOBOS: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
GINASTERA: Variaciones concertantes 
MÁRQUEZ: Danzón No. 2
LÓPEZ: Perú Negro

Music Director Osmo Vänskä takes the podium to explore repertoire from Braziliean, Argentine, Mexican and Peruvian composers, among others. Soprano Goitsemang Lehobye, who joined the Orchestra at Sommerfest 2018 and on its South Africa tour, returns to perform Heitor Villa-Lobos’ exquisite Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, the best-known of the nine Bachianas suites, which requires the soloist to sing both text and a word-less vocalise. The concert concludes with the Minnesota Orchestra’s first performance of Jimmy López’s Perú Negro. López, who serves as composer-in-residence with the Houston Symphony, describes the piece as “an homage to our Afro-Peruvian heritage but it also stems from a personal desire to assimilate Peruvian folk music . . . with my own language.”

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 12 noon – 12 midnight / Orchestra Hall and surrounding areas

Launching at 12 noon, the International Day of Music features performances on multiple stages in and around Orchestra Hall, celebrating many genres of music for all ages, with a special focus on Latin America. Vendors will set up a marketplace around Orchestra Hall—selling food, beverages and handicrafts—and adults and children will be able to participate in a variety of music and art activities. All Day of Music performances are free of cost, with the exception of the 8 p.m. Minnesota Orchestra concert that evening at Orchestra Hall. The complete International Day of Music schedule will be released in May.

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Saturday, July 13, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
Goitsemang Lehobye, soprano
Minnesota Chorale and community choirs

Program to include:
TRADITIONAL (arr. Sorenson/Buckner): We Shall Overcome
GOLIJOV: Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra
ABELS: Dance for Martin’s Dream
TRADITIONAL (arr. Kuusisto): Shosholoza
MAVI (arr. Mxadana/Kuusisto): Usilethela Uxolo (Nelson Mandela)

Osmo Vänskä leads a program that draws on musical inspirations from across the globe and revisits seminal works from the Orchestra’s Common Chords North Minneapolis residency and South Africa Tour, including a bucket drum, brass and percussion version of We Shall Overcome; Michael Abels’ “Dance for Martin’s Dream” featuring a dancer from Asian Media Access; and the South African classic Shosholoza, showcasing the Minnesota Chorale and community choirs. A centerpiece of the program is Goitsemang Lehoybe interpreting Osvaldo Golijov’s mesmerizing Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, first performed at Orchestra Hall in 2002. 

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Friday, July 19, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Andrew Grams
, conductor
Karen Gomyo, violin

Program to include:
PIAZZOLLA: The Four Seasons in Buenos Aires 
GOLIJOV: Last Round
BENZECRY: Obertura Tanguera
GINASTERA: Ballet Suite from Estancia  

American conductor Andrew Grams leads a tango-inspired concert that features Golijov’s homage to ‘King of Tango’ Astor Piazzolla called Last Round, and Piazzolla’s tango take on the Vivaldi classic in The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, performed by violinist Karen Gomyo.

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Saturday, July 20, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Roderick Cox
, conductor
Elena Urioste, violin

FALLA: Suite No. 2 from The Three Cornered Hat
WHITE: Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3, Eroica

Former Minnesota Orchestra Associate Conductor Roderick Cox, who is fresh from debuts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Houston Grand Opera this season, returns to Minneapolis to lead Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. The program also features Elena Urioste, a first prize laureate at the Sphinx Competition who served as a BBC New Generation Artist in 2012-14. She joins the Minnesota Orchestra for its first performances of Afro-Cuban composer José White’s Violin Concerto, a virtuosic work composed in 1864.

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Friday, July 26, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks
, conductor

Chefs from Travail Kitchen and Amusements, Grand Café and the Lexington (among other restaurants) join Sarah Hicks and the Minnesota Orchestra onstage for a concert showcasing the intersection point of culinary and musical arts. As the chefs cook live onstage to curated musical selections performed by Hicks and the Orchestra, all action will be projected on a large screen for easy viewing. Youth partners from the North Minneapolis-based Appetite for Change will also be involved. A complete list of participating chefs and restaurants will be shared in June.

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Saturday, July 27, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks
, conductor
The Moving Company
Dominique Serrand
, director

The Moving Company premieres a new work about 19th century musician Clara Schumann that centers around her partnership with husband Robert Schumann and friendship with composer Johannes Brahms. Directed by Dominique Serrand, the musical-and-theatrical piece will feature Jennifer Baldwin Peden, Steven Epp and Nathan Keepers. It was created in collaboration with the Orchestra and violist Sam Bergman.

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Sunday, July 28, 2019, 2 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Akiko Fujimoto
, conductor
James Sewell Ballet, dance ensemble
Natsuki Kumagai, host

James Sewell Ballet joins this Relaxed Family Concert exploring connections between music and dance that features Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker, as well as the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn riff on the original, Waltz of the Floreadores. Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto also leads Copland’s setting of Simple Gifts, a movement from William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1, and Arturo Márquez’s brilliantly-energetic Conga del Fuego Nuevo. Relaxed Family Concerts are inclusive experiences designed for audiences of all ages and abilities.

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Thursday, August 1, 2019, 7:30 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Akiko Fujimoto, 
Gabriel Campos Zamora, clarinet
Los Alegres Bailadores, Folklórico dance ensemble

GERSHWIN: Cuban Overture
ORBÓN: Conga (Xylofono), from Tres Versiones Sinfónicas
A. SHAW: Clarinet Concerto
PONCE: Estrellita (Little Star)
LECUONA: Malagueña
MÁRQUEZ: Conga del Fuego Nuevo (Conga of New Fire)
PIAZZOLLA (arr. Maturet): Oblivion, from Henry IV 
MONCAYO: Huapango
GERSHWIN: An American in Paris 

Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto leads a program sampling music of the Americas. Bookended by Gershwin works, the concert features Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora interpreting the Artie Shaw Clarinet Concerto and Folklórico dance ensemble Los Alegres Bailadores performing on José Pablo Moncayo’s Huapango, a work premiered in 1941 by the Mexico Symphony Orchestra that has become known as a second Mexican national anthem.

Sommerfest: Música Juntos

Friday, August 2, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, August 3, 2019, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
María Guinand
, conductor
Marcela Lorca, stage director
Jessica Rivera, soprano
Luciana Souza, mezzo
Reynaldo González-Fernández, vocalist and dancer
Gonzalo Grau, piano
Mikael Ringquist, percussion
Marcus Santos, percussion
Michael Ward-Bergeman, accordion
Aquiles Báez, guitar
Jeff Bailey, bass

Guerreiro, capoeira and berimbau
Schola Cantorum de Venezuela
Border CrosSing
Minnesota Chorale

GOLIJOV: La Pasión según San Marcos (The Passion according to St. Mark)

Blending classical, Latin American folk and dance genres with Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, South American and European styles, Argentinian composer Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos (The Passion according to St. Mark) tells the story of the final days of Jesus Christ’s life on earth. The Minnesota Orchestra’s first performance of this remarkable work features many of the soloists and choristers from its 2000 world premiere, as well as Twin Cities performers from Border CrosSing and the Minnesota Chorale. Venezuelan conductor María Guinand, whose conducting has been described as “a combination of Pierre Boulez-like precision and the authority of a dancing Gustavo Dudamel” (Los Angeles Times), will conduct, and the Twin Cities-based artistic director of Ten Thousand Things Theater Marcela Lorca will provide stage direction.



Sommerfest tickets are available in advance for current Minnesota Orchestra subscribers starting on Friday, March 29, 2019. Individual tickets go on sale beginning on Friday, April 12, 2019, online at
and by calling 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141.

Packages and ticketscan be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and beginning two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit For packages, call 612-371-5642 or visit For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2018-19 season.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

The Music & Movies series is sponsored by U.S. Bank.

# # #

Press contacts:

Shuman Associates | Lisa Jaehnig | (212) 315-1300

Minnesota Orchestra | Gwen Pappas, Director of Communications | (612) 371-5628

Minnesota Orchestra | Emma Plehal, Writer and Communications Coordinator | (612) 371-5625

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