|Photo: Greg Helgeson|
When I need a live symphony orchestra concert, I travel to Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis for a Minnesota Orchestra fix. Under current Music Director Osmo Vanska (2 dots over the a's please), this orchestra has become one of the best in the world. The acoustics in Orchestra Hall give the audience the best experience of listening to live classical music played by outstanding musicians and their conductor. They've just ended the 2011-12 season but they have a summer season that will please. During the Orchestra Hall renovation, the orchestra will perform at the Minneapolis Convention Center primarily for the next year. And what about those tickets? It depends on where you want to sit in Orchestra Hall, but it's possible to buy tickets under $30. And, during the regular season, there's a rush line. Now that I've got those logistics out of the way....
|Thanks to the MN Orchestra Musicians for this photo!|
They have recorded all of Beethoven's symphonies under Osmo Vanska's baton, Bruckner's Fourth Symphony, the Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos with pianist Stephen Hough, and are working on Beethoven's Piano Concertos with pianist Yevgeny Sudbin. I recently acquired their new recording of two Sibelius symphonies, Nos. 2 and 5, that takes me straight to Finland, the forests, and looking out at the Baltic Sea from Helsinki harbor.
In this uncertain economy, sports somehow never suffer. It's always the arts. And yet, where do we turn for comfort, joy, and fun. Of course. We didn't go to a baseball game to memorialize 9/11. Orchestras all over the country gave concerts and the New York Philharmonic's was televised. We don't attend a football game for the joy of a wedding. Silly? Maybe, but you get the point. Music is far more important to human beings than it gets credit for. Musicians' work doesn't end with the last note of a concert. Their work continues through daily practice, teaching students of their instruments, and rehearsals. The Minnesota Orchestra has been truly fortunate, also, to have a Music Director like Osmo Vanska.
The best part? They are all people, just like you and me, with families, pet peeves, loves, problems, aching muscles, and a job. Their job, unlike yours and mine, brings beauty into the world and pleasure into lives. I love to listen to them.....