Minnesota flips its season into August

Minnesota flips its season into August


norman lebrecht

April 14, 2020

This is more constructive than some other US orchestras:

The Minnesota Orchestra announced today the restructuring of its 2019-2020 concert season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Designed to delay all concerts until August 2020, the revised concert calendar reschedules numerous performances and cancels all others through June 15, 2020; postpones all Summer at Orchestra Hall 2020 concerts and activities until summer 2021; and includes five newly-added weeks of August and early September 2020 performances at Orchestra Hall to accommodate the rescheduled concerts, played during the period that is typically the break time between Minnesota Orchestra seasons. Featuring the full Minnesota Orchestra and four Orchestra musicians as soloists, the August and early September performances will be led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä and Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto. The Orchestra had previously announced concert cancellations through April 28. All ticketholders are being notified directly of these changes and offered a variety of options around their tickets.

“We miss sharing live music with our audiences very much, and we have weighed many options around when the Orchestra can resume performances again,” said Music Director Osmo Vänskä. “Based on the latest information, we have adapted our calendar to shift performances into August, when we are hopeful we’ll be able to gather at Orchestra Hall. The Orchestra will always follow all the recommended health guidelines and if we need to make changes to this revised calendar as August draws closer, we will do so. For the performances that cannot happen this spring, we hope audiences will enjoy instead the at-home concerts we are sharing on the Orchestra’s website. Mostly, I hope everyone can find inspiration in the music itself. So many great works of classical music are rooted in hope and renewal, and I believe this music can help sustain us now, until we are able to share it together at Orchestra Hall again. I thank you for the warm wishes you have been sending to the Orchestra, and we send those same good thoughts back to you.”


  • Stan says:

    Except that concerts won’t happen for another 18 months, so this is pointless.

    • V.Lind says:

      I agree. I am reading similar things in the sport world, and they are equally delusional. (And I am talking about the US, not Europe). The delusional President, whose only public issue is to get profit-making entities back making profits, is informing the thinking of groups who naturally would like to believe.

      You can’t blame organisations for planning ahead, but they should be doing it quietly, not getting people’s hopes up only to have them dashed. Though I am not sure that even the great American public, including the masses who voted for That, are buying it.

      I seriously doubt any of these events would have much attendance in “August and September.” For one thing, a lot of people won’t have any spare money. But, more seriously, there are far too many unknowns as to whether getting and surviving Covid-19 provides sufficient antibodies to avoid further infection, let alone whether the outbreaks are plateauing yet.

    • Hal Hobbs says:

      Minnesota is not in Germany. FYI.

      • Stan says:

        No, it’s even worse in USA.
        Seriously, you think this is all going to be over by August? What planet are you living on?

        • Cubs Fan says:

          Where do you get your news? This is not the apocalypse in the USA. For the vast majority of us, life goes on as usual. In the US, as of today, there have been about 26,000 deaths. Out of a population of 328,000,000 that means your chances of dying are 0.008%. Much less than dying from heart attacks, diabetes, drug over doses. It’s not worse, and thanks to quick intervention like banning flights from China and Europe, social distancing, and other measures the death rate is a fraction of what the experts and their terribly wrong mathematical models said. Maybe in the big, filthy cities back east things are horrible, but in the American southwest, cowboy country, things are not scary at all.

        • Pamela Brown says:

          Or, what planet is Mr. Vanska living on?

        • Saxon Broken says:

          Places with a “worse hit” can return to normal more quickly since enough people will have had it to produce “herd immunity”.

      • Bruce says:

        How dare you try to predict the future, Hal. Only Stan can predict the future. 😉

    • Tamino says:

      Why are people such whiny pessimists?
      The Spanish Flu was much worse, and concert halls closed for weeks rather than months.

    • Larry W says:

      Your comment is pointless. The announcement says: “If we need to make changes to this revised calendar as August draws closer, we will do so.” Maybe you couldn’t see that through your jaded colored glasses.

    • MacroV says:

      They have made it clear that they will adjust as appropriate.

  • annnon says:

    Sure…if August works for your local population.

    In Europe, everyone is on vacation in August.

  • Añon y mous says:

    My orchestra is planning on doing this as well. What we are currently missing will supposedly be done in July and August.

    I really really don’t want to be pessimistic here, but… yeah…

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Depending on where you are, July is likely to be a little early for public concerts. But September would likely be a reasonable time for concerts to restart. However, we will have to wait and see how things are nearer the date.

  • Vaquero357 says:

    Got the Minnesota Orchestra tweet earlier today. Seems the smart move. Things are not going back to “normal” in May or June. Even August maybe be a bit risky. But it seems better to call it now and plan accordingly than to rely on hope alone. The 2019-2020 season is pretty much toast anyway.

    The concerts I have tickets for have been bumped to June of 2021, so a good chance of those going off.

  • drummerman says:

    Do they actually own the hall? I can’t remember. If yes, that certainly gives them a certain degree of flexibility in re-scheduling concerts. I remember very fondly performing there twice — January 1975 & July 1975 — right after it had opened.

  • Mark London says:

    It will happen if your king Trump has his way ! He would rather a few hundred thousand die and the economy working ! Suits his agenda ! What a republic you have become

  • Dragonetti says:

    Great to see some optimism here. Even if it all goes pear-shaped yet again they will have tried. After all it’s not just the money, although that must feature highly, it’s about the goodwill of their audiences. You can’t put a price on that.

  • David says:

    As a regular audience member of the Minnesota Orchestra I just want to say that Osmo rocks! His performances are always a treat, he seems very human and kind. These concerts might not happen, then again they might. This announcement gives me a little bit of hope as I watch spring snow fall in Minnesota. So those of you out there being party-poopers – keep it to yourself.