March 5, 2020
Minnesota Orchestra and Creative Partner Jon Kimura Parker Unveil Plans for 2020 “Summer at Orchestra Hall”

Summer season theme celebrates “The Beethoven Influence” and includes projects with Free Black Dirt, BRKFST Dance Company and The Moving Company to create new works around Beethoven’s music

Running from July 17 to August 9, Summer at Orchestra Hall concerts will be led by Akiko Fujimoto, Kerem Hasan, Sarah Hicks, Ken-David Masur, Kristiina Poska and Dima Slobodeniouk

International Day of Music returns and features a free, outdoor performance by the Minnesota Orchestra on Peavey Plaza, culminating in a city-wide bell ringing, in conjunction with City of Bells

Performers include soprano Jessica Rivera; pianists Scott Cuellar, William Eddins, Jon Kimura Parker and Andrew Staupe; In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre; and Off the Score chamber ensemble

“Sounds and Bites” on Peavey Plaza will feature a new look, free music, outdoor dining and a pop-up weekend Night Market

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (March 5, 2020) — Minnesota Orchestra Creative Partner for Summer at Orchestra Hall Jon Kimura Parker and President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns announced plans today for Summer at Orchestra Hall, a new take on the Orchestra’s summer festival that will run from Friday, July 17, through Sunday, August 9, celebrating the Orchestra’s home in the city and its proximity to the revitalized Peavey Plaza.

Offered this summer with the theme “The Beethoven Influence,” the four curated weeks of orchestral and chamber music explore both Beethoven’s influences and the composers, artists and causes he influenced, and feature projects with Minneapolis artist collective Free Black Dirt, BRKST Dance Company—known for a synthesis of breakin’, martial arts and contemporary dance—and The Moving Company to create new works around Beethoven’s music. Summer at Orchestra Hall will also feature the Orchestra’s first free performance outdoors on Peavey Plaza in more than a decade, as part of the third annual International Day of Music; a new collaboration with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre around South Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s Mannequin; the return of the Grand Piano Spectacular featuring four pianists onstage playing four pianos; a movies and music performance of the Disney classic Fantasia; and the Minneapolis debut of Jon Kimura Parker’s chamber ensemble, Off the Score, featuring percussionist Stewart Copeland and other collaborators, in a program including an improvisatory version of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

Peavey Plaza will come alive during the summer season with “Sounds and Bites,” an eclectic assemblage of food vendors and free music offerings before and after all concerts, as well as pre/post-concert programming inside Orchestra Hall, and a Friday and Saturday evening pop-up Night Market that will sell locally-made artisan goods and crafts.

“Summer at Orchestra Hall speaks to the importance of place,” said President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns. “The Minnesota Orchestra is fortunate to make its home in downtown Minneapolis, next to the City’s beautifully-restored Peavey Plaza. Our new festival title embraces our venue as a captivating setting for music during a Minnesota summer—and opens up so many possibilities for new annual themes and a very broad collection of music to celebrate.” When the Orchestra’s summer festival was founded in 1980 it was named Viennese Sommerfest; in 2003 the title was shortened to simply Sommerfest.

“Our vision is to build a summer season that evokes what came before it—and also springs forward in new directions with new partners,” said Creative Partner Jon “Jackie” Kimura Parker, who will serve as soloist or host for many of the summer concerts. “Beethoven’s music was a strong pull this year because it’s the 250th anniversary of his birth. We decided to approach a Beethoven theme in a slightly different way, looking through the lens of ‘influence’ to explore Beethoven’s own inspirations, as well as how he inspired other people, artists and causes. This inevitably has led us into some really exciting partnerships with artists who will riff on Beethoven to create new works this summer.” Each of the four weeks of the summer season will broadly relate to a theme: nature, rebellion, destiny and unity.

Parker was appointed the Orchestra’s first-ever Creative Partner in September 2019, marking a new leadership model for the organization’s summer festival. He’ll serve as a creative force behind Summer at Orchestra Hall through the summer of 2022.

Week One (Nature): MOONLIGHT SONATA, DAY OF MUSIC, AND A CITY OF BELLS

The first week of the summer season explores nature’s profound influence on Beethoven’s creations, with the opening concert on Friday, July 17, featuring Parker as piano soloist in Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, a work he played 27 years ago at Sommerfest. Led by London-born conductor Kerem Hasan, the program also includes Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s one-movement Metacosmos, described by the composer as “a speculative metaphor of falling into a blackhole,” and Beethoven’s evocative Sixth Symphony, the Pastoral. Free Black Dirt, an experimental arts collective in Minneapolis founded by artists Erin Sharkey and Junauda Petrus, will set a film to the first movement of the Pastoral symphony, curated from their “Sweetness of Wild” series and depicting nature in Minneapolis.

Returning on Saturday, July 18, for a third 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. Connecting to the Orchestra’s June 2020 tour to South Korea and Vietnam, the Day will feature many Asian artists and musical genres, and for the second season will showcase programming by the Cedar Cultural Center at the outdoor stage on 11th Street.

New this year, the Minnesota Orchestra will perform a free outdoor evening performance on Peavey Plaza, marking its first concert in this space since 2008. Led by Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto, the Orchestra will perform Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with a resounding finish: at the dramatic conclusion of the piece when cannons typically boom, church bells across Minneapolis will peal in coordination, celebrating bells throughout the Twin Cities, as well as the new bells that will be installed this spring in the Rose Tower at Westminster Presbyterian Church, located directly across 12th Street from Peavey Plaza. Organized in partnership with City of Bells, the Minneapolis nonprofit dedicated to coordinating, restoring and celebrating bells throughout the community, the concert will feature bells ringing all over the metro area including St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Mary, St. Olaf Catholic Church and Central Lutheran Church, as well as Westminster.

All Day of Music performances are free to attend. The complete International Day of Music schedule will be released in late May.

Week Two (Rebellion): BEETHOVEN’S EMPEROR, OFF THE SCORE, FAMILY CONCERT

Beethoven is known for challenging the compositional norms of his day, and the second week of the summer season examines acts of rebellion in his work and that of other composers. On Friday,

July 24, conductor Ken-David Masur conducts Parker and the Orchestra in Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto, the Emperor, a work that famously up-ended audience expectations at its premiere. The program opens with the first movement of pioneering composer Amy Beach’s Gaelic Symphony and contemporary South Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s 2015 creation Mannequin. Based on the fantastical E.T.A. Hoffmann novella The Sandman, Mannequin explores extreme contrasts of color, speed and gesture and in this performance will be dramatized by ten-foot-tall In the Heart of the Beast puppets.

On Saturday, July 25, Jackie Parker will introduce Twin Cities audiences to his break-the-mold quintet Off the Score. Featuring Parker as pianist, Stewart Copeland—American drummer of The Police—on percussion, Yoon Kwon on violin, Marlon Martinez on bass, and Judd Miller on the electronic valve instrument, the ensemble describes their work as exploring music “in the intersection of the notes on the score that are ‘the bible’ in the classical world with the improvisational instincts of the rock and jazz musician.” Stravinsky’s revolutionary ballet The Rite of Spring will serve as their improvisatory starting point in this performance.

Following the Off the Score performance, at 10 p.m. Minnesota Orchestra musicians will offer a 45-minute Candlelight Chamber Music performance in the Target Atrium, exploring small ensemble works influenced by Beethoven.

Akiko Fujimoto concludes the week by leading the Minnesota Orchestra in a Sunday, July 26, afternoon Relaxed Friendly Family Concert designed to introduce audiences of all ages and abilities to “Beethoven the Bold.”

Week Three (Destiny): FIFTH SYMPHONY, GROSSE FUGE AND THE MOVING COMPANY

Estonian-born conductor Kristiina Poska examines the role of destiny in works by Verdi, Richard Strauss and Beethoven in performances on Thursday, July 30, and Friday, July 31. (The July 30 program is offered at 11 a.m. as a Midday Music concert featuring complimentary coffee and ice cream social.) Soprano Jessica Rivera, who debuted with the Orchestra last summer in Osvaldo Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos, returns to sing Strauss’s Four Last Songs, and BRKFST, a six-member collaborative dance ensemble formed in 2014, will create an original work to Beethoven’s Grosse fuge in its signature style that merges elements of breakdance, martial arts and contemporary dance. The program closes with the so-called Symphony of Fate, Beethoven’s Fifth, a statement of perseverance, written as the composer began to go deaf.

On Saturday, August 1, conductor Sarah Hicks, the Orchestra and The Moving Company premiere “The Artist’s Influence.” Directed by Dominique Serrand, this play-with-music casts its imaginative gaze on Beethoven. Actors Nathan Keepers and Steven Epp portray fictional and historical characters who have a few questions for Beethoven, as they grapple with the nature of art, artists and Beethoven’s legacy.

Following “The Artist’s Influence,” Minnesota Orchestra musicians will offer a final Candlelight Chamber Music performance of the summer season at 10 p.m. in the Target Atrium, exploring music from Beethoven’s small ensemble works.

Week Four (Unity): PIANO SPECTACULAR, FANTASIA AND BEETHOVEN’S SEVENTH

In the final week of Summer at Orchestra Hall, the Grand Piano Spectacular—one of the great traditions of Viennese Sommerfest—is reprised as a Midday Music concert. Uniting pianists Parker, Scott Cuellar, William Eddins and Andrew Staupe, each of whom has deep Minnesota roots, the concert is a wild celebration of piano music and storytelling.

Moscow-born conductor Dima Slobodeniouk leads an all-Beethoven finale on Friday, August 7, featuring the Egmont Overture, the mighty Third Piano Concerto with Parker as soloist, and the rhythmically exhilarating Symphony No. 7.

Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks brings the popular movies and music series into the final weekend of the summer season on Saturday, August 8, and Sunday, August 9, with performances of the Disney animated masterpiece, Fantasia—with selections from the 1940 original as well as Fantasia 2000—featuring music from Beethoven, Debussy, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.

SOUNDS AND BITES

Throughout the summer season, the Orchestra will offer Sounds and Bites on Peavey and in the Hall, featuring food vendors and free music offerings available before and after every concert. Sounds and Bites will also include a regular Thursday evening happy hour performance in the Target Atrium from 4 to 6 p.m. and a pop-up Night Market, selling artisan goods and crafts, on Friday and Saturday evenings, beginning at 7 p.m. Throughout Summer at Orchestra Hall, the Hall lobby will include art installations and pre- and post-concert experiences that explore the weekly themes of nature, rebellion, destiny and unity. All outdoor, happy hour and lobby entertainments are open to the public. A ticket is only required for entry to the performances in the auditorium and Candlelight Chamber Music in the Target Atrium.

Tickets are available beginning March 5, 2020. See below for ticketing details.


WEEK ONE: NATURE

Summer at Orchestra Hall
BEETHOVEN’S PASTORAL

Friday, July 17, 2020, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Kerem Hasan, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Free Black Dirt, video design

BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 14, Moonlight
THORVALDSDOTTIR Metacosmos
SMETANA The Moldau, from Má Vlast
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6, Pastoral

London-born conductor Kerem Hasan leads a program examining nature’s profound influence on Beethoven and other composers, including Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir, whose exploration of the cosmos, Metacosmos, was premiered to acclaim in 2018 by the New York Philharmonic. Jon Kimura Parker appears as soloist in Beethoven’s evocative Moonlight Sonata, and Erin Sharkey and Junauda Petrus of the artist collective Free Black Dirt will set a film, curated from their “Sweetness of Wild” series and depicting nature in Minneapolis, to the first movement of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony.

Tickets: $35 - $85, $113 Premium

Summer at Orchestra Hall
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF MUSIC

Saturday, July 18, 2020, 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 Asian music and artists, connecting to the Orchestra’s June tour to South Korea and Vietnam. 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. The complete International Day of Music schedule will be released in late May. Activities on the outdoor 11th Street Stage will be presented with programming partner The Cedar Cultural Center.

Tickets: All Day of Music performances are free.

Summer at Orchestra Hall
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF MUSIC: CITY OF BELLS ON PEAVEY

Saturday, July 18, 2020, 7:30 p.m. / Peavey Plaza, Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Akiko Fujimoto, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, host

TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture (with Church Bells)

As part of the International Day of Music, Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto leads the Minnesota Orchestra in its first free outdoor performance on Peavey Plaza in more than a decade. Organized in partnership with City of Bells, the concert concludes with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and a massive city-wide ringing of bells to celebrate the city’s bells, including a new set of bells that will be installed at Westminster Presbyterian Church this spring. Bells will additionally be rung from St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, the Basilica of St. Mary, St. Olaf Catholic Church and Central Lutheran Church.

Tickets: FREE

WEEK TWO: REBELLION

Summer at Orchestra Hall
BEETHOVEN’S EMPEROR CONCERTO

Friday, July 24, 2020, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Ken-David Masur, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre

BEACH Allegro con fuoco, from Gaelic Symphony
CHIN Mannequin
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor

Ken-David Masur, music director of the Milwaukee Symphony, explores acts of musical rebellion in this program that opens with the first movement from pioneering composer Amy Beach’s Gaelic Symphony and features Parker as soloist in Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto, the Emperor, a work that up-ended audience expectations at its premiere. In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre brings to life South Korean composer Unsuk Chin’s 2015 Mannequin, a dance-inspired work based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s fantastical novella, The Sandman.

Tickets: $35 - $85, $113 Premium

Summer at Orchestra Hall
OFF THE SCORE

With Jon Kimura Parker and Stewart Copeland

Saturday, July 25, 2020, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Stewart Copeland, drums
Yoon Kwon, violin
Marlon Martinez, bass
Judd Miller, electronic valve instrument

STRAVINSKY/arr. Parker The Rite of Spring

Founded by Parker and Stewart Copeland, famed drummer of The Police, the Off the Score quintet is known for its inventive synthesis of classical, jazz and rock traditions. Stravinsky’s revolutionary ballet The Rite of Spring will serve as their improvisatory starting point in this performance. Note: the Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this concert.

Tickets: $24 - $62, $90 Premium

Summer at Orchestra Hall
CANDLELIGHT CHAMBER MUSIC

Saturday, July 25, 2020, 10 p.m. / Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra musicians perform an intimate chamber music concert in the Target Atrium.

Tickets: $20

Summer at Orchestra Hall
RELAXED FAMILY CONCERT: BEETHOVEN THE BOLD

Sunday, July 26, 2020, 2 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Akiko Fujimoto, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre

WAGNER Prelude to Act III from Lohengrin
BEETHOVEN Allegro, from Symphony No. 5
STILL Moderato assai, from Symphony No. 1, Afro-American
BEETHOVEN Allegro from Symphony No. 6
CLYNE Masquerade
BEETHOVEN Rondo-Allegro, from Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Selections from Capriccio espagnol

Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto leads a one-hour family concert that seeks to uncover what makes Beethoven’s music uniquely, boldly, his own. This relaxed concert experience is for audiences of all ages and abilities, including individuals with autism or sensory sensitivities.

Tickets: $12

WEEK THREE: DESTINY

Summer at Orchestra Hall
BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH

Thursday, July 30, 2020, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall [Midday Music concerts include complimentary pre-concert coffee and free post-concert ice cream social]

Friday, July 31, 2020, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Kristiina Poska, conductor
Jessica Rivera, soprano
BRKFST Dance Company

VERDI Overture to La forza del destino
R. STRAUSS Four Last Songs
BEETHOVEN Grosse fuge
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 5

Estonian-born conductor Kristiina Poska examines the role of destiny in works by Verdi, Richard Strauss and Beethoven. Soprano Jessica Rivera, who debuted with the Orchestra last summer in La Pasión según San Marcos, returns to sing Strauss’s poignant Four Last Songs, and BRKFST, a six-member collaborative dance ensemble, will create an original work to Beethoven’s Grosse fuge in its distinctive style that merges elements of breakdance, martial arts and contemporary dance.

Tickets: $30 - $85, $113 Premium

Summer at Orchestra Hall
BEETHOVEN: THE ARTIST’S INFLUENCE

Saturday, August 1, 2020, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks, conductor
Dominique Serrand, stage director
Nathan Keepers, writer and actor
Steven Epp, actor
Sam Bergman, music and creative partner

In this imaginative one-hour play-with-music, Beethoven comes to life in a new way. The Moving Company’s Nathan Keepers and Steven Epp portray fictional and historical characters who pose a few questions to Beethoven: What’s the work of the artist today? Does that change across history? Directed by Dominique Serrand, and featuring live music performed by Sarah Hicks and the Minnesota Orchestra, the work ultimately examines Beethoven’s impact over the generations.

Tickets: $30 - $70, $99 Premium

Summer at Orchestra Hall
CHAMBER MUSIC

Saturday, August 1, 2020, 10 p.m./ Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra musicians perform an intimate chamber music concert in the Target Atrium in a program that features Beethoven’s Sextet for Horns and Strings.

Tickets: $20

WEEK FOUR: UNITY

Summer at Orchestra Hall
GRAND PIANO SPECTACULAR

Thursday, August 6, 2020, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall [Midday Music concerts include complimentary pre-concert coffee and free post-concert ice cream social]

Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Scott Cuellar, piano
William Eddins, piano
Andrew Staupe, piano

In the final week of Summer at Orchestra Hall, the Grand Piano Spectacular—one of the great traditions of Viennese Sommerfest—is reprised. Featuring pianists Jon Kimura Parker, Scott Cuellar, William Eddins and Andrew Staupe, each of whom has deep Minnesota roots, the performance is a wild, one-of-a-kind celebration of piano music and storytelling. Note: the Minnesota Orchestra does not perform on this program.

Tickets: $22- $60

Summer at Orchestra Hall
BEETHOVEN BIRTHDAY BASH

Friday, August 7, 2020, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Dima Slobodeniouk, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano

BEETHOVEN Overture to Egmont
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7

Moscow-born conductor Dima Slobodeniouk, principal conductor of Finland’s Lahti Symphony, leads an all-Beethoven finale, featuring the Egmont Overture, the profound Symphony No. 7, known for its dance-like rhythms, and the mighty Third Piano Concerto, with Parker as soloist.

Tickets: $35 - $85, $113 Premium

Summer at Orchestra Hall
DISNEY’S FANTASIA

Saturday, August 8, 2020, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Sunday, August 9, 2020, 2 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks, conductor

Principal Conductor of Live at Orchestra Hall Sarah Hicks brings the popular movies and music series into the summer season with two performances of Disney’s animated masterpiece Fantasia, featuring music from Beethoven, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and more. The performance will feature both scenes from Disney’s original Fantasia from 1940 and the version released in 2000.

Tickets: $32-$82, $110 Premium


TICKET PURCHASING INFORMATION

Summer at Orchestra Hall tickets are available March 5, 2020, online at minnesotaorchestra.org/summer and by calling 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141.

Packages and tickets can 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 minnesotaorchestra.org. For packages, call 612-371-5642 or visit minnesotaorchestra.org/cyo. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

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

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
ljaehnig@shumanassociates.net | (212) 315-1300

Minnesota Orchestra | Gwen Pappas, Director of Communications
gpappas@mnorch.org | (612) 371-5628

Minnesota Orchestra | Emma Plehal, Communications Manager
eplehal@mnorch.org | (612) 371-5625

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