About the MSO

The Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (MSO) is Minnesota’s most highly regarded civic orchestral ensemble. MSO concerts have been broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio and featured on public television. The Star Tribune has described the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra as “the very model of a modern major orchestra – community style.”

The mission of the MSO is to perform outstanding symphony concerts for diverse audiences throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Our core values are: to invite new and diverse audiences to share the power and energy of live symphony concerts in convenient neighborhood venues; to perform the full spectrum of symphonic music and encourage artistic growth in our volunteer players; and to work with host organizations to present and promote symphonic performances in their communities.

Previous Commissions and Premieres

The Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra has presented many world and regional premieres of works by living composers. The orchestra, as well as its Music Director and its Board of Directors, is committed to the cause of playing and promoting new music. For instance, the 1998 – 1999 MSO season of six concerts included three world premieres and three regional premieres: a new work on virtually every program.

Over the years, MSO audiences have come to expect the inclusion of new works on MSO programs, and most audience members anticipate and look forward to them. All recent premieres have been preceded by informal talks by the composers, introducing their work, style, and personality to MSO audiences. In some cases, visiting composers have also held symposiums on their music for composition graduate students at the University of Minnesota.

Peter Knell’s Virvatuli, which received a standing ovation at its world premiere with the MSO in October 1998, was awarded first prize in the 1998 Lutoslawski Competition. Christopher Gable, Linda Tutas Haugen (an MSO member), Randy Hellem, Peter Knell, Robert Rodriguez, and Claudio Spies are among the composers whose works have been commissioned and premiered in recent seasons. The orchestra has also presented regional premieres or second performances of works by Argento, Baldwin, Barnett, Dorff, Haugland, Kallman, McCabe, Rozsa, Schickele, Takaro and Tartaglia.