The Minnesota Orchestra will pump up the Brahms, bring back three popular pianists and feature soprano Deborah Voigt in a final season at Orchestra Hall, beginning next September. The downtown Minneapolis landmark will close in June 2012 for a $43 million renovation, when the orchestra will move to the Minneapolis Convention Center. It will reopen in September 2013.
The classical season begins with the premiere of Stephen Paulus' Concerto for Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra (Sept. 29-Oct. 1). That program, conducted by music director Osmo Vänskä, also features Ravel's "Boléro." Pianist Simone Dinnerstein comes in the following week for Ravel's Piano Concerto in G.
Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg returns for three concerts (Oct. 20-22) with a program that includes Piazzolla's "The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires" and Copland's Symphony No. 3.
Pianist Stephen Hough returns for one night (Nov. 1) to perform Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. Hough recorded the piece with the orchestra in September 2009, and that CD was released this year. Hough and the orchestra will play the same program on Oct. 27 at Carnegie Hall.
Celebrated violinist Midori does four concerts (Nov. 2-5) with Vänskä at the podium. The program includes works by Britten, Sibelius and Debussy.
After holiday fare that includes a restaging of "Hansel and Gretel" and the "Messiah," the orchestra will fete Brahms with two weeks of concerts in January 2012. Violinist James Ehnes will be featured Jan. 12 and 14, with the Violin Concerto, Variations on a Theme by Haydn and the Symphony No. 3. Pianist Peter Serkin is here Jan. 13 for the Piano Concerto No. 1 and then again on Jan. 19 and 21 for the Piano Concerto No. 2 and Symphony No. 1. The Minnesota Chorale sings Brahms with the orchestra Jan. 20.
Also scheduled for January-June, 2012:
In February: James Gaffigan guest conducts a program of Russian composers and violinist Vadim Gluzman is here for Prokofiev and Shostakovich. Concertgoers will get a glimpse of what the 2012-13 season will be like when Courtney Lewis conducts two concerts at the Minneapolis Convention Center Auditorium.
In March: The orchestra tours Florida with Midori and returns to Orchestra Hall for a Sibelius program with violinist Christian Tetzlaff. Also, Gilbert Varga conducts symphonies by Haydn (No. 52) and Schumann (No. 3).
In April: Vänskä conducts Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 in a program that includes violinist Jennifer Frautschi performing the world premiere of a violin concerto by James Stephenson. Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski will conduct Bruckner's Eighth Symphony.
In May: Kristjan Järvi comes in to lead a Russian program featuring cellist Alisa Weilerstein (Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1) and Yevgeny Sudbin returns to perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24. That program, conducted by Vänskä, includes Sibelius' Symphony No. 1, which is being recorded.
Voigt, the celebrated opera star, will sing "Salome" with the orchestra in June 2012.
Graydon Royce • 612-673-7299