News and Announcements from the MPO

Mozart, Symphony No. 38 in D Major

This performance was recorded on March 14th, 2010 by Twin Cities Public Television for their MN Original television program!

The segment MN Original produced about the Minnesota Philharmonic is available on their web site. Thank you, MN Original!

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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on June 5, 2010

Appearance on TPT’s arts program “MN Original”

We’re being televised!

If you attended our winter concert this year, you may have noticed the television cameras around the house. That performance (and some rehearsals earlier) were taped for use in a segment on Twin Cities Public Television’s weekly arts program MN Original.

Our story will be aired on several dates, so you may have to work hard to miss it!

  • Thursday, June 3rd at 7:30 pm on TPT2
  • Saturday, June 5th at 6:30 pm on the statewide MN Channel
  • Sunday, June 6th at 6pm on tptLIFE

In addition, the full episode will be posted on MN Original’s web site, along with additional content, web exclusive videos, and background information!

Check out the MN Original program, featuring the Minnesota Philharmonic!

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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on May 27, 2010

MPO featured with Sarah Miller in MN Women’s Press

The Minnesota Philharmonic and composer Sarah Miller were highlighted in the Minnesota Women’s Press for our concert in November of 2009. The article talks about our collaboration with the composer to put together the orchestrated version of ‘She Just Wants.’

She Just Wants — Minnesota Women’s Press.

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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on November 13, 2009

Philharmonic’s Spring 2009 Concert in Lavender

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), the first GLBT orchestra in America, will be spoiling us with a blissful spring concert, Hit Parade, on May 30, 7:30 PM, at Hamline University’s Sundin Hall.
For the May performance, MPO will welcome violinist Andrew Sords, who will perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Also included in the concert are Franz Schubert’s Overture in C Major (D. 591) and Ludwig von Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major.

During Sords’s first visit to the state, he will reprise his performance with MPO at the Queer Music Consortium’s annual free concert on June 1, 7 PM, at Como Park Pavilion. In addition, he will give demonstrations for elementary students in select St. Paul and Minneapolis schools.

Carisa Sibbet, Lavender Magazine

Read the full article! Sords To Perform with Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra

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Filed under Guest Artists,In the news by Joseph Dolson on May 22, 2009

Violinist Andrew Sords to perform with MPO in “Hit Parade”

The Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), Minnesota’s GLBT symphony orchestra and the first GLBT orchestra in America, will welcome violinist Andrew Sords to Minnesota in a concert on Saturday, May 30, 2009, 7:30 p.m., at Sundin Hall, Hamline University. Sords will be the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto in D Major. The concert will also include Franz Schubert’s Overture in C Major, D. 591, and Symphony No. 7 in A Major by Ludwig van Beethoven.

During his visit, Sords will reprise the final movement of the Tchaikovsky concerto with the MPO as part of the Queer Music Consortium’s annual free concert at the Como Park Pavilion on Monday, June 1, 2009, 7:00 p.m. He will also be giving a demonstration for students in St. Paul and Minneapolis elementary schools.

At the age of 23, violinist Andrew Sords is already a veteran of the concert stage. He is the winner of the 2005 National Shirley Valentin Violin Award, the 2004 and 2005 National Federation of Music Clubs Competition, the Fortnightly Music Club of Cleveland and the Festival de la Orquesta Sinfonica de las Americas Competition of the Casals Festival among others. Sords has recently toured with the Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky violin concerti to critical acclaim, and has quickly emerged as one of the foremost violinists of his generation.

The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, which Sords will perform, was written during a very turbulent time for the composer–his marriage had just dissolved, and he fell into a deep depression. However, he escaped to a retreat on the shores of Lake Geneva and threw himself into the work, completing the concerto in about a month. Tchaikovsky dedicated the violin concerto to a prominent violinist at the time, Leopold Auer. But Auer was highly critical of the work and refused to perform its premiere. (Some scholars state that Auer declared the concerto “unplayable”–a charge Auer later refuted.) Crushed by this rejection, Tchaikovsky had to search for a different violinist, Adolph Brodsky, to prepare and perform the concerto, which was finally premiered on December 14, 1881 in Vienna. Today, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto is a staple of the violin repertoire, delighting audiences of all generations.

Andrew Sords completed his undergraduate education at the Cleveland Institute of Music with violin pedagogues Linda Cerone and David Russell, and performed for the legendary Midori in master classes in New York and at the University of Southern California. He continues to meet the demands of a burgeoning solo career which has taken him from American concert halls to venues in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Most recently, Sords studied under internationally acclaimed violinist Chee-Yun at the Southern Methodist University of Dallas, Texas.

The MPO was founded in 1993 by 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. Although Kevin succumbed to complications from HIV-AIDS in 1995, the organization he created continues to grow and diversify sixteen years later. Today, the MPO includes players from a wide variety of backgrounds and orientations who share a commitment to inclusiveness, nondiscrimination, and to the performance of works by underrepresented composers. MPO seeks to provide diverse arts entertainment of the highest quality, resulting in increased visibility for the musical talents of the GLBT community.

For further information about this concert or this performer, please visit the MPO’s website at, call 612-656-5676, or email

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Filed under Guest Artists,Press Releases by Joseph Dolson on April 20, 2009

MPO performs for ILGCN World Cultural Conference

The 11th annual World Cultural Conference of the International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network will be happening September 19th and 20th, 2009. The Minnesota Philharmonic’s performance at Ted Mann hall on September 20th is a key part of Minnesota’s presence at this international conference.

The International Lesbian & Gay Cultural Network was created at the ILGA world conference in Paris in 1992 to promote international rainbow culture and exchange across borders.

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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on September 4, 2008

Queer Music Consortium in “Lavender”

The Queer Music Consortium was highlighted in a recent Lavender Magazine article spotlighting Twin Cities organizations which “have gone above and beyond in supporting our community.”

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director Joseph Schlefke remarks, “Through the establishment of the QMC Como Park Concert in early June, we have all expanded our audiences. Choral music lovers are exposed to great music from instrumental groups, and vice versa. Last year, we began sharing a large booth at the Pride Festival at Loring Park, which further helped all of us ‘cross-pollinate,’ if you will, our prospective audience members and other interested music lovers.” Ed Huyck for Lavender Magazine

Read the full article at Lavender Magazine’s web site!

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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on August 2, 2008

Lullaby Commission Project

Deadline: July 1, 2002 (postmark)

The Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, the nation’s first and only GLBT community orchestra, announces a commission opportunity for composers regardless of age or nationality.

The commission is in honor of the MPO’s 10th anniversary, and will be premiered on its spring concert of 2003. (Travel expenses to the performance in the Twin Cities are not provided.)

Read more: Lullaby Commission Project

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Filed under Press Releases by Joseph Dolson on June 1, 2002

Sounds of the GLBT Twin Cities: Part Three

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra
By Michael Davis (Originally published in Lavender Magazine)

The conductor search committee of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) must have felt a little like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. After an exhaustive four-month search that included highly qualified candidates from all over the world, the committee learned that what it was looking for was right in its own backyard all along.

Read more: Sounds of the GLBT Twin Cities: Part Three

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Filed under In the news by Joseph Dolson on January 25, 2002