Minnesota Orchestra replaces large summer concerts with 24 free, small-scale programs

Posted on: July 8, 2020

The Minnesota Orchestra plans to present free chamber-music programs this summer at Peavey Plaza, adjacent to Orchestra Hall. Photo: Joseph Scheller

“Those big, outdoor summer concerts the Minnesota Orchestra was planning? They’re canceled. So are August and early September performances inside Orchestra Hall,” writes Jenna Ross in Tuesday’s (7/7) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “But … in August, the orchestra will play 24 free, outdoor chamber music shows outside on Peavey Plaza for concertgoers who already purchased tickets to the nixed indoor concerts…. A small number of tickets will be available via a lottery. The canceled concerts, featuring the full orchestra, don’t meet the state’s guidelines for gathering safely during the pandemic…. They include outdoor shows in August and Osmo Vänskä-led performances in early September that had once been slated for April…. The orchestra also made an announcement about the repertoire: Each August concert will feature a piece of music written by a Black composer.” Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns said, “While we aren’t able to offer the full-Orchestra concerts in August that we originally envisioned, we are pleased to focus on what the Orchestra can responsibly and creatively do next month…. We can take advantage of summer weather to offer outdoor chamber music for small audience groups—with physically separated seats, face masks and screening surveys all in place.”