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
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.
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
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
March 11, 2023
Concert first performed on November 5, 2022.
Saturday, November 5, 2022 – 7:30pm
Fanfares, marches, and jubilant melodies open our 30th anniversary season in the Festive Overture of iconic American composer William Grant Still. Nino Rota, composer of film music for The Godfather parts I and II, brings his dramatic gifts to the concert stage with the playful and lyrical Concerto for Bassoon, featuring MPO’s own Brian Hadley. And the pastoral open spaces of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 are host to dances, storms and songs of gratitude.
William Grant Still – Festive Overture
Nino Rota – Bassoon Concerto, with Brian Hadley, bassoon
Nino Rota, Bassoon Concerto with soloist Brian Hadley
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 6 “Pastorale” with soloist Brian Hadley
November 5, 2022
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
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
June 4, 2022
Concert first performed on April 30, 2022.
Saturday, March 19, 2022 – 7:30pm
Ludwig van Beethoven: Overture to “Egmont”
Franz Liszt: “Orpheus”
William Grant Still: Symphony No. 5 “The Western Hemisphere”
Through the symphony, tone poem, and music for the theater, Beethoven, Liszt, and Still fully embrace the drama of music. Ludwig van Beethoven’s Overture to the 1787 play Egmont inspired the programmatic music of Franz Liszt, including his tone poem about the legendary Greek musician Orpheus who journeyed to the underworld. William Grant Still’s fifth symphony presents a kind of musical creation story, wherein “the lands of the Western Hemisphere are raised from the bosom of the Atlantic.”
Conducted by Brian Dowdy
Ludwig van Beethoven, Overture to “Egmont”
Franz Liszt, “Orpheus”
William Grant Still, Symphony No. 5 “The Western Hemisphere”
March 19, 2022
Concert first performed on .
Saturday, November 13, 2021 – 7:30pm
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Petite Suite de Concert
Edward Elgar: Serenade for Strings
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”
Luminous and lyrical melodies flow one upon another in the works of three turn of the century contemporaries. Circling around these melodies are the lush colors of Elgar’s serenade, the unfettered playfulness of Coleridge-Taylor’s suite, and the drama of Dvořák’s monumental symphony “From the New World.”
Conducted by Brian Dowdy
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Petite Suite de Concert
Edward Elgar, Serenade for Strings
Antonín Dvořák, Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”
November 13, 2021
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.