Minnesota Orchestra to tour South Africa in August, marking Mandela’s 100th birthday

Posted on: January 19, 2018

“The Minnesota Orchestra is headed to South Africa,” writes Jenna Ross in Thursday’s (1/18) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “In August, the orchestra will perform in five cities there as part of a celebration of Nelson Mandela on the 100-year anniversary of South Africa’s first black president’s birth…. After the Minnesota Orchestra’s ‘transformative’ tour to Cuba, in 2015, musicians and leaders ‘definitely wanted to explore beyond the usual European and Asian venues,’ [CEO and President Kevin] Smith said. Music Director Osmo Vänskä had been to South Africa in 2014 to conduct the young musicians of the South African National Youth Orchestra and ‘came back raving about the whole experience,’ Smith noted. ‘It speaks very well of the Minnesota Orchestra that it is, for the second time now, using touring as a way to put a stake in the ground, to say we have a special role to play in the wider world,’ said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras…. Along with 50 members of the Minnesota Chorale and the Gauteng Choristers, a South African ensemble, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, as well as African songs in local languages.” The tour is presented in partnership with the concert-tour management company Classical Movements.

Posted January 19, 2018

Pictured: Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra. Photo by Greg Helgeson