The Minnesota Orchestra performing in Johannesburg, South Africa for the final concert of the tour. Photo by Leila Davidi • Star Tribune
Minnesota Orchestra South Africa tour
Music is the message
Minnesota Orchestra is taking a first-of-its-kind tour of South Africa, building on the “musical diplomacy” mission it started with its 2015 tour in Cuba. It becomes the first U.S. orchestra to tour South Africa – and, according to the orchestra’s research – the African continent.
Music is the message
Minnesota Orchestra is taking a first-of-its-kind tour of South Africa, building on the “musical diplomacy” mission it started with its 2015 tour in Cuba. It becomes the first U.S. orchestra to tour South Africa – and, according to the orchestra’s research – the African continent.
Trumpet players from the KwaZulu Natal Youth Wind Band listen as Manny Laureano from the Minnesota Orchestra demonstrates technique. ] LEILA NAVIDI �
Leila Navidi, Star Tribune
Video
July 16

Video: Outreach takes center stage for orchestra tour of South Africa

As the first orchestra to travel to South Africa, the Minnesota Orchestra did much more than just play in historic concert venues - they worked side-by-side with young musicians in an equal learning exchange.
Minnesota Orchestra violin player Alexandra Early shows Emanual Raseokaja, 16, how to play her violin as his schoolmate Bosele Seanego, 15, looks on.
Leila Navidi
Feature
August 24, 2018

Embracing the soul of Soweto as Minnesota Orchestra finds music is universal language

A concert at the spiritual home of the struggle against apartheid forged powerful connections.
Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vanska receives a standing ovation at the end of the final Minnesota Orchestra concert at City Hall in Johanne
LEILA NAVIDI • Star Tribune
Concert
August 20, 2018

An extended goodbye in Johannesburg as the trip wraps up with an emotional finale

Powerful lessons learned, the musicians look back and look forward. But next stop: home.
Minnesota Orchestra associate conductor Roderick Cox posed with South African National Youth Orchestra members Boitumelo Mtsatse, Refilwe Moeketsane a
Leila Navidi
Feature
August 23, 2018

A young South African symphony takes its cue from the Minnesota Orchestra

After a 2014 visit, Osmo Vänskä had promised to return. He and his musicians gave the South African National Youth Orchestra a week of intense training — and a lot of confidence-building.
Bass players pack up their instruments into their trunks after the Durban concert in South Africa.
Leila Navidi, Star Tribune
Postcard
August 17, 2018

Touring involves a 1,000-mile, high-stakes truck ride with precious cargo

Soprano Goitsemang Lehobye sings during the South African premiere of “Harmonia Ubuntu” by composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen, during Friday’s Minne
Leila Navidi, Leila Navidi
Concert
August 13, 2018

At a historic concert in Cape Town, music echoes the words of Nelson Mandela

Soprano Goitsemang Lehobye sings "Harmonia Ubuntu" as Osmo Vanska conducts during rehearsal.
Leila Navidi, Star Tribune
Variety
September 11, 2018

Video: Minnesota Orchestra South Africa preview

Tour guide and former political prisoner Derrick Basson leads a tour of the former prison on Robben Island.
Leila Navidi, Star Tribune
Former political prisoner Derrick Basson leads a tour of the former prison on Robben Island.
Postcard
August 17, 2018

Musicians make a grim pilgrimage to Mandela's prison cell: 'I know I don't have that strength'

Lauren Hertzenberg and members of the South African gospel choir 29:11 sang at a private home in Bloomington.
Jerry Holt, Star Tribune
Lauren Hertzenberg left and sponsors Gaylene Adams and her husband Bre...
Feature
August 17, 2018

South African gospel choir brings 'healing' post-apartheid message to Orchestra Hall

Performance details

Cape Town

Friday, Aug. 10
On the program: Sibelius’ “En Saga,” Bernstein’s overture to “Candide,” Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Ndodana-Breen’s “Harmonia Ubuntu.”

Durban

Sunday, Aug. 12
On the program: Sibelius’ “En Saga,” Bernstein’s overture to “Candide,” Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Ndodana-Breen’s “Harmonia Ubuntu.”

Pretoria

Thursday, Aug. 16
On the program: Sibelius’ “En Saga,” Bernstein’s overture to “Candide,” Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and Ndodana-Breen’s “Harmonia Ubuntu.”

Soweto

Friday, Aug. 17
On the program: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Ndodana-Breen’s “Harmonia Ubuntu” and more music by South African composers.

Johannesburg

Saturday, Aug. 18
On the program: Bernstein’s overture to “Candide,” Ndodana-Breen’s “Harmonia Ubuntu” and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.