#135: Seasons

Concert first performed on May 20, 2023.

Saturday, May 20, 2023 – 7:30pm

The finale of our 30th anniversary season begins with the pulsating energy of Libby Laren’s Overture for the End of a Century. At the heart of the program is a world premier by extraordinary cellist and composer Andrew Yee, “Briefly Gorgeous.” Finally, our season comes full circle with the work of another singular voice in American music, Duke Ellington. Ellington’s The River follows the journey of water from spring to brook, lake to falls, river to sea, and earthly element to a symbol of transformation and rebirth.

  • Libby Larsen – Overture for the End of a Century
  • Augusta Holmès – La Nuit et l’Amour
  • Andrew Yee – World Premier
  • Duke Ellington – The River

About Andrew Yee

Andrew Yee in a barely-visible brightly colored shirt against a dark background, long hair surrounding their face.
Andrew Yee

GRAMMY Award winning cellist and composer Andrew Yee has been praised by Michael Kennedy of the London Telegraph as “spellbindingly virtuosic”. Trained at the Juilliard School, they are a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Attacca Quartet who have released several albums to Critical acclaim including Andrew’s arrangement of Haydn’s “Seven Last Words” which Thewholenote.com praised as “ . . .easily the most satisfying string version of the work that I’ve heard.” They were the quartet-in-residence at the Met Museum in 2014, and have won the Osaka and Coleman international string quartet competitions. They co-composed a score to Wu Tsang’s film adaptation for Moby Dick; or, The Whale that was premiered with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and then in New York at the Shed by the New York Philharmonic. Their recording of the string quartets of Caroline Shaw won a GRAMMY for best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble performance.

As a soloist last season Andrew performed John Taverner’s The Protecting Veil and Strauss Don Quixote. In 2019 they won the first prize at Oklahoma University’s National Arts Incubation Lab for their pitch of a wearable garment that translates sound into vibrations for the hard of hearing. They like to make stop-motion videos of food, draw apples, cook like an Italian Grandma and have developed coffee and cocktail programs for award-winning restaurants (Lilia, Risbobk, Atla) in New York City.

Their solo project “Halfie” draws on their experience as a bi-racial and non-binary person in having access to multiple communities at once, while not feeling at home in any of them. The works commissioned and on the concerts will feature a wide range of composers all for solo cello. 

They play on an 1884 Eugenio Degani cello on loan from the Five Partners Foundation. 


Conducted by Brian Dowdy

Works Performed

  • Libby Larsen, Overture for the End of a Century
  • Augusta Holmès, La Nuit et l’Amour
  • Andrew Yee, Briefly Gorgeous
  • Duke Ellington, The River

Dates Performed

  • May 20, 2023

#134: Passions

Concert first performed on March 11, 2023.

Nathan Hill against a blue and white floral background
Composer Nathan Hall

Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 7:30pm

Fanfares, chorals, Beethovenian heroism and a panoply of percussion instruments make Tan Dun’s Internet Symphony: Eroica an absolute romp. The MPO then joins forces with One Voice Mixed Chorus for the premier of a new work by Nathan Hall.

Finally, Tchaikovsky’s passionate Symphony No. 6, which the composer called “the most sincere of all my creations,” is an emotional epic, pouring forth with wonder, joy, fury, and lament – passionate in every sense of the word.

  • Tan Dun – Internet Symphony: Eroica
  • Nathan Hall – “Love, Death, What Else?!” – World Premiere, with One Voice Mixed Chorus
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 6 in B Minor “Pathetique

Conducted by Brian Dowdy

Works Performed

  • Tan Dun, Internet Symphony: Eroica
  • Nathan Hall, “Love, Death, What Else?!” with soloist One Voice Mixed Chorus
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor “Pathetique“ with soloist One Voice Mixed Chorus

Dates Performed

  • March 11, 2023

#132 Prisms

Concert first performed on June 10, 2022.

A stunning panoply of musical traditions and compositional voices closes the 2021-22 season. Abels’ Global Warming paints a vast futuristic desert next to a joyful dance of interwoven musical traditions. Price’s fourth symphony sings echoes of spirituals, antebellum dances and organ hymns together with lush harmonies and orchestral colors that only she can achieve. And our world premier of a new bass clarinet concerto by Mary Kouyoumdjian, featuring soloist Jeff Anderle, brings one of the 21st century’s most distinctive compositional voices to Minnesota.

  • Michael Abels: Global Warming
  • Mary Kouyoumdjian: “Walking with Ghosts” – Bass Clarinet Concerto
    • Jeff Anderle, clarinet
  • Florence Price: Symphony No. 4 in D Minor

Conducted by Brian Dowdy

Works Performed

  • Abels, Michael, Global Warming
  • Kouyoumdjian, Mary, “Walking with Ghosts” with soloist Jeff Anderle, Clarinet
  • Price, Florence, Symphony No. 4 in D Minor with soloist Jeff Anderle, Clarinet

Dates Performed

  • June 4, 2022

#129 Transformations

Concert first performed on June 19, 2021.

Saturday, June 19 at 7:00 pm

  • William Grant Still (arr. Lesnick): “I Ride an Old Paint” from Miniatures
  • Paul Bonneau: Caprice en Forme de Valse
    • Brian Hadley, Bassoon
  • Amy Beach: Pastorale for Wind Quintet
  • Missy Mazzoli: Kinski Paganini
    • Catherine Himmerich, Violin
  • Jonathan Russell: In the Fir Trees: Fireflies
  • Sahba Aminikia: House of Circus

Our season finale is the “second spring” of the 2020-21 season. The music of William Grant Still, Amy Beach, Jonathan Russell and others calls us back to nature. With new music by Iranian-American composer Sahba Aminikia, the world premier of House of Circus features the “Circus Heroes” of the Sirkhane Social Circus School and explores the transformational power of play.

Download the program for ‘Transformations’


Brian Dowdy

Danielle Boor
Steve Cronk

Diane Benjamin

Misen Luu

Brian Hadley
French Horn
Teresa Manzella
Tim Dwight

Buffy Larson
Gordon Meyers

Brian McCullough

Dean Shea
Catherine Himmerich
Joe Dolson
Isabel Arenivar
Rebecca Eilers

Lucas Moen
Blake Scheib

Kristin Snow
Marinos Glitsos

Jason Anderson

Sarah Johnson

Conducted by Brian Dowdy

Works Performed

  • William Grant Still (arr. Lesnick), I Ride an Old Paint with soloist )
  • Paul Bonneau, Caprice en Forme de Valse with soloist )
  • Amy Beach, Pastorale for Wind Quintet with soloist )
  • Missy Mazzoli, Kinski Paganini with soloist )
  • Jonathan Russell, In the Fir Trees: Fireflies with soloist )
  • Sahba Aminikia, House of Circus with soloist )

Dates Performed

  • June 19, 2021

#61 Almostly Mozart

Concert first performed on November 11, 2006.

Conducted by Joseph Schlefke

Works Performed

  • Mozart, Leopold, Sinfonia di Caccia in G Major (Jagdsinfonie) (c. 1750)
  • Mozart, Wolfgang A, Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra arr for Viola (1791) with soloist Nils Bultmann, viola
  • Bultmann, Nils, Spirit (2006) World Premiere with soloist Nils Bultmann, viola
  • Dove, Jonathan, Figures in the Garden
  • Salieri, Antonio, Overture to La Scuola di Gelosi
  • Tchaikovsky, Peter, Suite No. 4 in G Major Op 61 (“Mozartiana”) (1887)

Dates Performed

  • November 11, 2006