The Minnesota Orchestra is about to get bigger onstage and off — with summer concerts of large-scale works and expanded audiences.

After months of performing with smaller ensembles, the orchestra on Monday announced a series of concerts in July and August for the full-size orchestra, including Antonín Dvořák's "New World Symphony."

Audiences will expand to 50% capacity in July and August, reflecting the loosening of state guidelines. But June will remain at 20% capacity, as previously announced. The orchestra will require masks for concerts June 11-12 and 25-26, but may ease that rule for concerts later in the summer.

"We are so pleased that progress in the pandemic and the revised state safety guidelines are making it possible for the orchestra to connect with a significantly larger in-person audience this summer than we had previously thought would be possible," said Michelle Miller Burns, president and CEO, in a news release.

The summer concerts will feature pianist Jon Kimura Parker as soloist, as well as guest conductors Dima Slobodeniouk, Ken-David Masur, Karina Canellakis and Nathalie Stutzmann. The orchestra is hunting for its next maestro as music director Osmo Vänskä plans to step down next year.

For months, the Minnesota Orchestra has been playing to an empty hall for television, radio and online audiences. Next weekend, it will welcome back in-person audiences to Orchestra Hall for the first time since March 2020.

With this shift, the orchestra will livestream just one of its concerts this summer, Burns said in a news release. The nonprofit will continue broadcasting concerts on TPT and online but hasn't announced a fixed number of broadcasts for its fall season.

"We'll use this breathing room in the livestream schedule to build out plans and infrastructure for the fall," she said.

Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168