Kick-off: Minnesota Orchestra opens football season on Sunday

Kick-off: Minnesota Orchestra opens football season on Sunday


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2016

Osmo Vänskä and 70 of his musicians will play eight minutes on Sunday as the halftime entertainment in the Vikings-Packers game.

It will give the orchestra its biggest-ever audience, in the stadium and on live TV, and no-one’s saying yet what they are going to play.

But is this the message they really want to send? Are we mixing too many media?

Your thoughts, please.






  • V.Lind says:

    According to the MO’s press release:

    “Vänskä will conduct the Orchestra in an eight-minute performance on the 50-yard line that will include classical music selections and a tribute to Prince.”

    Won’t be much of either in eight minutes. But I see this as nothing but good for the Orchestra. Connects them to the community. “It will give the orchestra its biggest-ever audience, in the stadium and on live TV”– absent some snobbish notion of exclusivity, which I do not assume to be your point, what’s the problem? Music as entertainment? God forbid! It’s a sampler — lets an audience, part of which may be quite new to the notion, get a taste in an environment comfortable to them, de-starches the orchestra image and may seduce some to try a little more. They are not getting the introduction on schools any more, so orchestras have to go to where people are.

    I’m a little surprised about the Prince tribute — even though he was a Minnesotan, I would be astonished if he were a Vikings fan. I suppose plenty Vikings attendees might be Prince fans…

    Good on the Vikings for inviting them. After all, money will change hands, and if there are no complaints from the punters, they may get asked again. Could be a nice little earner.

  • Ann Nomynous says:

    Doesn’t look like football. Rugby with pads and helmets rather.

  • Chris says:

    As an American who is a fan of the game and watched many of them on TV, I can say pretty assuredly that this halftime show will NOT be broadcast across the US. Typically at halftime, the network broadcasting the game will cut away to some talking heads speaking about what happened on the first half, what should happen on the second half and what’s going on in other games taking place that day. The only halftime shows regularly broadcast are the ones in the Super Bowl.

    Don’t get me wrong, I give major kudos to the Vikings for inviting the orchestra to perform, happy that the MO will be doing it. I truly hope that some of it will be broadcast but based on all the other games I’ve watched, I’m doubtful.

  • MacroV says:

    My guess is it won’t be broadcast, either. Doubt the network (or the Vikings) will want to pay national union tv rates to 70 musicians.

  • Kyle says:

    Missing in the commentary is that Sunday’s game is the first regular season NFL game to be played in the new U.S. Bank Stadium (https://en.wikipedia.orgwiki/U.S._Bank_Stadium). Additionally, any Vikings v. Packers game is a pretty big deal with lots of regional interest. I would go so far as to describe the MN Orch getting this “gig” as a bit of a coup – regardless of lots of potential resentment in regard to spending $1,000,000,000+ on a stadium.

    The orchestra has Joshua Bell next week, so I don’t think anyone needs to worry too much about their overall product.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    Football half time shows are almost never broadcast anymore. I doubt this one will be.

    The networks use the time for commercials and reports of scores for other games