From our Executive Director

A season welcome from our Executive Director, Jon Lewis –

Minnesota Treasures

For our 33rd season, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra celebrates the North Star State. Every concert we perform features a piece by a living Minnesota composer. Every concert. Further, the MSO has invited some friends out to play. Come join sopranos Maria Jette, Linh Kaufmann, and Clara Osowski; storyteller Kevin Kling; Uillean pipes player Tom Klien; Jake Endres; and the MSO’s viola player Daniel Erdmann and organist Kathrine Handford at our concerts this season.

In the early 1980s, the country was obsessed with the Minneapolis Sound, including Prince, The Replacements, and Husker Du. In the Fall of 1982, a different sound came out of the lower level of Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis, as the Central Chamber Orchestra held its first rehearsal, under the baton of St. Olaf College Orchestra Director Steve Amundson. 32 years later, the Metropolitan Symphony continues to bring outstanding classical music performances to audiences throughout the Twin Cities.

This year, our Minneapolis Sound will feature Minnesota composers Dominick Argento, Victor Zupanc, Libby Larsen, and the MSO’s own Daniel Erdmann, as well as a new piece by MSO favorite Polina Nazaykinskaya. Our season gets off to a great start with the World Premiere of Argento’s Ode to the West Wind for soprano and orchestra, featuring the wonderful Maria Jette, as well as Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. We go a bit Celtic and Viennese in November, with Kevin Kling narrating The Burning Damnation of Finn McCool, by Zupanc, and closing with Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, with soprano Linh Kaufmann.  Firebirds and Monsters join the MSO for our annual one hour Family concerts in February, as we play Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra and Larsen’s A Child’s Garden of Monsters: Dracula’s Blues, both with narration by Pamela Hill Nettleton, and close with the suite from Stravinsky’s ballet Firebird. The March concert features another premiere, this one by MSO violist Daniel Erdmann, who will perform his own Viola Concerto, and Barber’s Essay No. 1, as well as Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. We close our season with local premieres of pieces written over 100 years apart: a 19th Century work, Guilmant’s Symphony No. 2 for Organ and Orchestra, and Nazaykinskaya’s Reading the Wind. The other piece on that program allows us to bring the season full circle, with Argento’s beloved Casa Guidi for soprano and orchestra, based on the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, sung by mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski.