Minnesota Orchestra Returns to Carnegie Hall


Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in a program of Romantic-era masterpieces at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. Acclaimed British pianist Stephen Hough joins the orchestra in a performance of one of the most popular piano concertos, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. The concert opens with Tchaikovsky's Overture to The Voyevoda and concludes with Danish composer Nielsen's Third Symphony, "Sinfonia espansiva," featuring soprano Karin Wolverton and baritone Jeffrey Madison as soloists in its second movement.

Tickets range from $15.50 to $91.00 and are available online at www.carnegiehall.org, by phone at (212) 247-7800 and in person at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th Street and Seventh Avenue.

The Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä first appeared at Carnegie Hall together in 2003 and have since earned widespread critical acclaim for their numerous New York performances. Following their concert at Carnegie Hall last season The New York Times stated: "there is no denying that Mr. Vänskä has had enormous success. The orchestra sounded terrific," and following their Carnegie Hall concert in March 2010, Alex Ross of the The New Yorker wrote "the Minnesota Orchestra sounded, to my ears, like the greatest orchestra in the world."

One of today's most acclaimed and accomplished pianists, Stephen Hough has been a frequent guest soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra since 1996. He has collaborated extensively with the Orchestra under Music Director Osmo Vänskä, having completed a live, in-concert project to record Tchaikovsky's three piano concertos and Concert Fantasia for release on the Hyperion Records label. The recording, released in April 2010, was included in The Washington Post's "Best of 2010: Classical Music" article stating: "Hyperion's marvelous ‘Romantic Piano Concerto' series...marked its 50th release with a bang: the biggest romantic concerto in the repertory, paired with its less-known siblings, played by an artist who mines the nuance (yes, nuance) of the scores, supported by one of America's best orchestra-conductor teams." And Jeremy Nicholas of Gramophone wrote, "This is a great recording - no doubt about that - and one which, if there is any justice, will garner any number of awards."

The Minnesota Orchestra, now in its second century, ranks among America's top symphonic ensembles, with a distinguished history of acclaimed performances in its home state and around the world, award-winning recordings, radio broadcasts and educational outreach programs and a visionary commitment to building the orchestral repertoire of tomorrow. The ensemble performs nearly 200 programs each year, primarily at its home venue of Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis and its concerts are heard by live audiences of 400,000 annually.

Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä became the Minnesota Orchestra's tenth music director in 2003. Praised for his intense and dynamic performances, he is recognized for compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires, as well as the close rapport he establishes with the musicians he leads. During his Minnesota tenure he has led the Orchestra on four European tours as well as three tours to communities across Minnesota. His recording projects with the Orchestra have included a Beethoven symphonies cycle; Tchaikovsky's complete piano-and-orchestra works with soloist Stephen Hough; and Bruckner's Fourth Symphony. Currently he is recording Beethoven's complete piano concertos with Yevgeni Sudbin, and starting in June 2011, the complete Sibelius symphonies. For two decades Mr. Vänskä was music director of Finland's Lahti Symphony Orchestra.

British pianist Stephen Hough approaches music with both intellectual rigor and virtuosic technique. He has appeared with most of the top orchestras in North America and Europe and plays recitals in leading venues worldwide. Hough's schedule for 2011-12 includes engagements with the National Symphony, London Philharmonic and Netherlands Philharmonic; recitals throughout the U.S. and Europe; a tour of Australia, performing recitals and concertos; and a residency with the Singapore Symphony. A resident of London, Stephen Hough is a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds the International Chair of Piano Studies at his alma mater, the Royal Northern College in Manchester. Hough has composed several major works, including a cello concerto and a Mass, due for premiere this season in its orchestrated form. He is also a published author and writes a cultural blog for the Telegraph website. In 2001 he received the prestigious MacArthur ("genius grant") Fellowship.

Soprano Karin Wolverton has drawn acclaim for her performances of opera and concert repertoire throughout the U.S. With the Minnesota Orchestra she has sung works ranging from Dvo?ák's Te Deum and Puccini opera arias to the role of Pamina in The Magic Flute. Her next Minnesota Opera performances will be as Anna Sörensen in the world premiere of Kevin Puts' Silent Night. In May 2012 she will sing Mahler's Second, the Resurrection Symphony, with the Chippewa Valley Symphony. In recent seasons she has sung with the Pittsburgh Opera, Pensacola Opera, Utah Opera, Piedmont Opera, Central City Opera, Dayton Philharmonic, Great Falls Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Des Moines Metro Opera and Teatro Nacional de Managua in Nicaragua. She also sang many roles with the Opera Theatre of the University of Minnesota, where she earned a master's degree.

Baritone Jeffrey Madison performs repertoire ranging from grand opera and operetta to musical comedy. He made his Minnesota Orchestra debut in 2009 as Father in Hansel and Gretel, a role he will reprise at performances in November 2011. He has also been heard with the Orchestra in recent summer seasons as Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier and Angelotti in Tosca. This month he sings the title role in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with Lyric Opera of the North. In addition, he has recently performed the roles Germont in La Traviata with Western Plains Opera and Silvio in I Pagliacci with the Fargo-Moorhead Opera. He has also performed with such companies and ensembles as the Minnesota Opera, Seattle Opera Young Artists, West Virginia Symphony, Chautauqua Opera and Skylark Opera. Among his distinctions is being named a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions district winner and a winner of the Schubert Club Competition.


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