MINNEAPOLIS— The Minnesota Orchestra’s Summer at Orchestra Hall festival returns from July 14 to August 5 with the theme “Music in Motion,” featuring four weeks of exhilarating concerts and programming at Orchestra Hall and the adjacent Peavey Plaza.
Summer at Orchestra Hall 2023 will build on the success of the 2022 festival, which drew more than 25,000 concertgoers to downtown Minneapolis.
Internationally renowned pianist and Creative Partner Jon Kimura Parker again serves as the festival’s curator, as well as a frequent host and soloist. “I am thrilled to return to Minneapolis this summer for another unforgettable festival that celebrates all the ways music moves us,” said Parker. “We decided on the theme of ‘motion’ to guide this year’s offerings. From hands flying on keys during the Grand Piano Spectacular to the dance performances in Orchestra Hall and on Peavey Plaza, this festival is going to be incredibly dynamic in all senses of that word.”
The pioneering breaking collective BRKFST Dance Company made their Minnesota Orchestra debut in last year’s festival. This summer, the Twin Cities-based ensemble will serve as artist in residence, bringing the “Music in Motion” theme to life. During the July 15 Day of Music, the group will organize a series of dance performances for the Peavey Plaza stage and a hip-hop showcase inside Orchestra Hall’s lobby. BRKFST will also perform alongside the Minnesota Orchestra on July 21 and 22, adding choreography to Daniel Bernard Roumain’s “Dancers, Dreamers and Presidents.” And, in connection with the July 25 Music and Healing program, BRKFST will re-mount a work the group performed at Orchestra Hall last summer, “Potential Utility,” with violinists Rebecca Corruccini and Milana Elise Reiche performing an original score composed by Yaz Lancaster.
Repertoire choices further propel the idea of “Music in Motion.” During the festival’s first program on July 14, conductor Lee Mills will lead the ensemble in two lively works by contemporary Brazilian composers: Clarice Assad’s “Brazilian Fanfare” and Rodrigo Cicchelli Velloso’s “Esboço de Psyché;” Elias Grandy then leads concerts on July 21 and 22 that feature, among other dance-oriented works, a suite from Igor Stravinsky’s famed ballet score The Firebird.
In the spirit of setting music in motion, the festival features a number of new commissions and premieres. As part of an expansive Music & Healing program on July 25, the Orchestra will debut “Serenity,” a new work by Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute alumnus Molly Joyce that weaves together community voices to broaden perspectives on anxiety. On July 28 and 29, accompanied by pipa player Gao Hong and Principal Cello Anthony Ross, the Orchestra will deliver the North American premiere of the live-in-concert version of Ang Lee’s 2000 martial arts film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which features 2023 Academy Award-winner Michelle Yeoh. The festival comes to an unforgettable conclusion from August 3 to 5 with the return of Dessa, the singer, rapper and writer known for her sensational, multidisciplinary live shows.
Audiences are invited to come early to Summer at Orchestra Hall concerts to enjoy Sounds + Bites on Peavey Plaza, including free outdoor entertainment by local performers. A variety of dining options will be available; for those who wish to plan ahead, Bubbles + Bites packages can be pre-ordered with ticket purchase or at minnesotaorchestra.org/bites.