News and Announcements from the MPO

Support the MPO During Give to the Max!

The MPO is participating in Minnesota’s great nonprofit giving celebration: Give to the Max! Please give us your support, and help us continue to bring you the diverse and exciting music programming we love to perform!

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Filed under Fundraisers by Joseph Dolson on November 6, 2018

MPO 2018-2019 Season Announcement

The Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra’s (MPO’s) upcoming season resonates with the power of diversity and musical excellence!

Music Director Brian Dowdy has curated for you a season that spans a musical panorama from the Victorian to today; from Milan, London, and Paris to New York and Minnesota; from the peaceful to the thoughtful to the exuberant. We will perform at a range of venues from city to suburb, from concert hall to lake shore.

As we launch our 26th season, we remember Kevin Ford, a gay man who had a vision of a gay and lesbian orchestra that would build community and fellowship through the performance of classical music. Some of our musicians have been with us since the very first performance because the music still means that much to them. Under concertmaster Catherine Himmerich, our hardworking musicians strive from rehearsal to rehearsal to enhance their personal performance on a musical journey that brings you the dynamic, personal feeling of music in our community.

Our concerts prominently feature diverse and overlooked composers — people of color, women, and GLBTQA artists. Inclusivity imbues our programs with a sense of insight and awareness found nowhere else in the country! American innovators are balanced with canonical masters to round out musical experiences full of emotion, precision, and a depth of ensemble interpretation to make you proud of your community.

Join us!

Here’s the year’s calendar:

Uncommon Voices with One Voice Mixed Chorus

Saturday, November 3, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.

One Voice Mixed Chorus joins MPO for a transcontinental program featuring Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1 and operatic works by Verdi and Copland. It’s a celebration of cultural and artistic diversity — of both music and the musicians performing.

Buy tickets now – enter promo code mpo1 to get $2 off adult tickets!

Ted Mann Concert Hall
2128 S. 4th St
Minneapolis, MN 55455
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La Belle Musique

Saturday, March 9, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.

Hidden identities and musical innovations in the music of late 18th and early 19th century French composers Camille Saint-Saëns, Augusta Holmés, Cesar Franck, Camille Saint-Saëns, Gabriel Fauré, and Paul Dukas.

Hopkins High School
2400 Lindberg Dr
Minnetonka, MN 55305
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The Inspirations of Youth

Saturday, May 4, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.

Music by composers who showed genius at a young age—and some who died too young. Libby Larsen co-founded American Composers Forum at 23. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor achieved worldwide fame at 22. A black composer in a time of extreme racism, he took three U.S. tours and was invited to the White House in 1904. Franz Schubert wrote some 1500 works though he died at 31 years old. José Pablo Moncayo draws on the folk music and dance of his native Mexico for a colorful display of musical nationalism. Though he only lived to be 45, Moncayo’s achievements as a pianist, percussionist, composer, conductor, and educator make him a lasting voice in Mexican art music.

Ives Theater
11411 Masonic Home Dr
Bloomington, MN 55437
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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on September 6, 2018

Join us August 18th for a LUSH Beer Bust!

Join the MPO for a fun and raucous time at LUSH! Last year’s Beer Bust was a great time, and we hope you’re all ready to come down to LUSH Bar to raise a glass (or two) as we prepare for our 2018 season to begin!

We’ll be at LUSH from 5-8pm on August 18th – admission is $10 for all-you-can-drink beer and $1 shots. Funds raised will generously go to support the orchestra, so please come and socialize with us!

Lush Bar
990 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
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Filed under Fundraisers by Joseph Dolson on August 9, 2018

Announcing our 2018-2019 Season

The MPO begins its next 25 years of inclusive and innovative music making with celebratory fanfares; under-represented masterworks by women composers, composers of color, and GLBTQ composers; celebrated classics; and bold collaborations.

To begin the next 25 years of MPO history, we join forces with One Voice Mixed Chorus in a transcontinental program featuring Libby Larsen’s Fanfare for Humanity, Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1, and opera choruses by Verdi and Copland.

More about our fall concert

Hammer your anvils and strike up a dance! MPO’s children’s concert features legendary stories and dances made for the stage and tailored for young music-lovers and their families.

More about our kids concert

Hammer your anvils and strike up a dance! MPO’s children’s concert features legendary stories and dances made for the stage and tailored for young music-lovers and their families.

More about our winter concert

During their brief lifetimes, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, José Pablo Moncayo, and Franz Schubert all made lasting impacts on their unique cultural landscapes. While still a student at the University of Minnesota, Libby Larsen co-founded what would become the American Composers Forum. MPO’s Spring concert is a celebration of youthful inspiration, cultural diversity, and musical advocacy.

More about our spring concert

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Filed under Concerts,Press Releases by Joseph Dolson on June 19, 2018

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra Appoints Brian Dowdy as New Conductor and Artistic Director

The Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra is pleased to announce that Dr. Brian Edward Dowdy has been appointed as its sixth artistic director and principal conductor of the ensemble, which is America’s first and oldest gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and allied symphonic orchestra. We are confident that Dr. Dowdy will lead the MPO to another level of artistic and musical excellence. He brings a wealth of knowledge from conducting, building orchestras, growing audiences, and leadership development. He has valuable regional connections in the broader music community, based on his recent work with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra and multiple orchestras at the University of Minnesota, as well as his ongoing relationship with the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra He brings a commitment to collaboration with other ensembles and is dedicated to MPO’s mission of promoting music by women, persons of color, GLBTQA, and other underrepresented composers.

Dowdy stated, “I am incredibly excited about this new artistic partnership with the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra. I look forward to working with these wonderful musicians and building relationships with supporters and audience members. When I moved to the Twin Cities in 2013, I quickly learned of the Philharmonic and was inspired by its commitments to inclusivity, diverse programming and musical excellence. I’m honored to be appointed the new Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, and I can hardly wait to begin rehearsals this Fall!”

In May 2017, Dr. Dowdy completed his doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota, where he was a James Sample Fellow, director of Campus Orchestras and Summer Orchestra conductor. With University of Minnesota Opera Theater and Twin Cities Fringe Opera, Dowdy has led performances of Don Giovanni, Hänsel und Gretel, Susannah, Le tragédie de Carmen and The Rape of Lucretia. Also passionate about choral music, Dowdy recently directed and sang in “Pesher Compline” at the Walker Art Center with members of the renowned vocal ensemble, Cantus, and in 2012 he joined the Sanctuary choir of Richmond, VA in recording Music for Compline, an album of plainchant and renaissance motets. As an advocate for new music, Dowdy has led premier performances for the Switchboard Music Festival and Hot Air Music Festival in San Francisco, and in 2013 he conducted the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble in “Project Beck,” a night of 20 premiers inspired by Beck Hansen’s Song Reader. Dowdy began his musical studies at Oberlin and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and now resides in Minneapolis.

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Filed under Press Releases by Joseph Dolson on June 20, 2017

Join us tonight: Sundin Hall, Hamline, 7:30 pm!!!

Join us for our 2016-17 season premiere concert: Two if by Sea

Tickets still available, box office opens at 6:30 pm!

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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on December 3, 2016

Thank you for your support! #GivingTuesday

Support the Twin Cities’ GLBTQ orchestra as part of your end-of-the-year giving.



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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on November 29, 2016

Our 2016-2017 season premiere!

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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on November 22, 2016

#103 “The Wind and the Water” Children’s Concert 8 November 2015

  • Water Music / Handel

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Filed under In the news by evan-page on November 13, 2015

“Love is…”

A year ago this month, Chan Poling’s song “Love Is The Law” became the de facto anthem of the Marriage Equality movement, which reached its apotheosis with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton uttering that song’s refrain upon his signing of the historic amendment. Tonight the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra debuts Mr. Poling’s Symphonic Celebration: “Love Is…” based on his band’s beloved song – with orchestrations by Mr. Poling and the supremely talented Robert Elhai.

Chan Poling

Chan Poling is a Minnesota based pop songwriter and composer of theatrical and film scores. His alternative rock band, The Suburbs, got their first recording contract in 1977 and became a touchstone of the “Minneapolis Sound”. Many of his songs have made the international pop music charts and have been used in films, television shows and advertising.

He also has written the musical scores for a variety of independent feature films, theater productions, and documentaries (most recently the documentary “Fritz” celebrating his father-in-law, former Vice President Walter Mondale). In 2005 he formed the cabaret trio The New Standards, which regularly performs around the world and whose annual Holiday Show is a perennial favorite. Among many honors for his work, including an Emmy and a Cine Golden Eagle for his scores, the Minnesota Music Awards recognized Chan with their lifetime “POP” (Perpetually Outstanding Performer) Award.

Robert Elhai

ROBERT ELHAI (arr/orchestration) is a Tony and Drama Desk nominee for his orchestrations and arrangements for the Broadway production of The Lion King, he orchestrated the recent Los Angeles Opera and New York’s Lincoln Center Festival production of Elliot Goldenthal and Julie Taymor’s opera Grendel. Among the some 120 feature films he has contributed orchestrations to are the upcoming Iron Man 3, the third and fourth Batman movies, Across The Universe, The Sixth Sense, the first Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Oscar-winning score for Frida,. His arrangements for Metallica’s Grammy Award-winning “S&M” made good use of his doctorate in composition from Yale University.(He also holds degrees from Carleton College and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.) He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons.

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Filed under Guest Artists,Press Releases by Joseph Dolson on April 29, 2014