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.
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.
Cellist Richard Belcher played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” for his 14-month-old son Finn before performing in Saturday’s concert at City Hall
Leila Navidi
Feature
August 20, 2018

It's truly a family affair for some of the touring musicians: 'We've had about 50 babysitters'

For touring musicians who have kids under 2 years old, the orchestra pays for a caregiver to come along.
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'

Michelle Miller Burns will become the second woman to lead Minnesota Orchestra as president and CEO.
AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com
Q&A
August 17, 2018

Meet the orchestra's new CEO: 'The Minnesota model really resonates with me'

Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä is known to British audiences for his Beethoven and Sibelius recordings.
Leila Navidi, Star Tribune
Concert
August 13, 2018

London critics give Vänskä mixed reviews for BBC Proms concert

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

Music director Osmo Vanska visited South Africa in 2014 and “came back raving about the whole experience.”
LEILA NAVIDI, Star Tribune
Preview
August 10, 2018

'It's not just a tour': Orchestra announces another first

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.