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Minnesota Orchestra Survives Historic 15-Month Lockout, Announces Shortened 2014 Concert Season (Feat. Osmo Vänskä)

By Louise Burton l.burton@classicalite.com on Jan 26, 2014 04:45 PM EST

A new era in the history of the Minnesota Orchestra will begin next month, when the reunited orchestra will present its first performances in Orchestra Hall after a long and often bitter contract dispute that dragged on for 15 months.

The orchestra recently announced its 2014 classical subscription season, which will begin on February 20 and run through July. Highlights include several Sibelius concerts led by former music director Osmo Vänskä

, as well as performances by violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Stephen Hough.

The season's official launch is preceded by two weeks of special homecoming concerts, February 7 through 15, led by the orchestra's conductor laureate Stanisław Skrowaczewski and longtime guest conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier.

The orchestra will officially launch their 2014 season on February 20 with a program of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, Ravel's Boléro and Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto. Conductor Michael Christie, music director of the Minnesota Opera, will lead the program.

Vänskä makes his return to Orchestra Hall in March with an all-Sibelius program. He will conduct the Finnish composer's Symphonies No. 1 & 4 in celebration of the Orchestra's 2014 Grammy nomination for its recording of the same Sibelius works on the BIS label.

Vänskä will also conduct a one-night-only engagement in April that features violinist Joshua Bell performing édouard Lalo's Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra. These concerts were originally programmed as part of the musicians' self-produced concert series and will now be folded into the organization's classical subscription series.

Additional season highlights include the subscription concert solo debut of concertmaster Erin Keefe, who will perform Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto; and the Minnesota Orchestra debut of composer-conductor Eric Whitacre, leading a choral-orchestral spectacular that includes several of his own works performed by the orchestra and its principal chorus, the Minnesota Chorale.

The orchestra will also present the world premiere of Minnesota composer Steve Heitzeg's Now We Start the Great Round, a newly revised version of the final work heard at the orchestra's season finale concerts in June 2012, immediately before the renovation of Orchestra Hall.

More information about the orchestra's 39-concert classical season is available at minnesotaorchestra.org.

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TagsMinnesota Orchestra, Orchestra Hall, contract dispute, Osmo Vänskä, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Joshua Bell, Stephen Hough, Eric Whitacre, Steve Heitzeg

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