Pianist and Creative Partner Jon Kimura Parker curates the month of inventive programming, which includes special performances with him as soloist

Celebrating “Music in Motion,” the programming centers on movement in many forms, with breaking collective BRKFST Dance Company serving
as the festival’s artist in residence 

Running from July 14 to August 5, Summer at Orchestra Hall concerts
will be led by conductors Lee Mills, Chia-Hsuan Lin, Elias Grandy and Sarah Hicks,
with guest performers to include Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann,
Chelsea de Souza, Chastity Brown, Gao Hong and Dessa

International Day of Music returns for a full day of free performances in and around
Orchestra Hall, programmed in partnership with
he Cedar Cultural Center and City of Bells

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (March 31, 2023) — 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 & 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.

Summer at Orchestra Hall

Friday, July 14, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Lee Mills
, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano

ASSAD                                    Brazilian Fanfare
MENDELSSOHN                    Piano Concerto No. 1
BEETHOVEN                          Symphony No. 8
CICCHELLI VELLOSO           Esboço de Psyché (Sketch of a Butterfly)

Lee Mills, the former associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony who last appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra in February 2022, makes his return in this inaugural concert of Summer at Orchestra Hall. At the heart of the program is Jon Kimura Parker’s performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s momentous First Piano Concerto. Bookending the concert are two works by contemporary Brazilian composers: Clarice Assad’s Brazilian Fanfare portrays rhythms and dance styles from several regions of the country, while Rodrigo Cicchelli Velloso’s Esboço de Psyché offers an inventive re-telling of the classic myth of Cupid and Psyche concerning love. Picking up where last summer’s “Beethoven Influence” festival left off, the composer’s lighthearted Eighth Symphony also features on the program.

Tickets: $35 to $90

Saturday, July 15, 2023, noon to midnight / Orchestra Hall and surrounding outdoor areas

Beginning at noon, the all-day International Day of Music features performances on multiple stages in and around Orchestra Hall, celebrating many genres of music for all ages. Youth orchestras will headline the Hall’s main stage; curated by BRKFST Dance Company, the Peavey Plaza “Music in Motion” Stage will feature dance groups throughout the day before the Minnesota Orchestra takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.; and activities on the outdoor stage on 11th Street will be presented in partnership with The Cedar Cultural Center. The complete International Day of Music schedule will be announced in June.

Tickets: FREE

Saturday, July 15, 2023, 8:30 p.m. / Peavey Plaza

Minnesota Orchestra
Chia-Hsuan Lin
, conductor

A free, public performance on Peavey Plaza by the Minnesota Orchestra will conclude the International Day of Music. The concert will be hosted by Jon Kimura Parker, and guest conductor Chia-Hsuan Lin will return to lead the ensemble; as with last year, the concert will be presented in partnership with City of Bells, with a finale that includes the peeling of bells at five local churches, including Central Lutheran Church, Westminster Presbyterian Church, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Basilica of St. Mary and St. Olaf Catholic Church. Specific repertoire will be announced in June.

Tickets: FREE

Thursday, July 20, 2023, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall

Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Elizabeth Bergmann, piano
Marcel Bergmann, piano
Chelsea de Souza, piano

From the early years of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest—the predecessor of the Summer at Orchestra Hall festival that dates to 1980—the Grand Piano Spectacular was reprised by Jon Kimura Parker during last year’s summer festival, which brought together four virtuoso pianists for a special concert. This mid-July performance will feature a new lineup of three pianists accompanying Parker: Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann, the husband-and-wife team behind the internationally recognized Bergmann Duo, will take the stage along with Chelsea de Souza, a Steinway Young Artist and a rising star in concert halls of the United States, Europe and India. Specific repertoire will be announced at a later date.

[Please note: The Minnesota Orchestra does not appear on this program.]

Tickets: $35 to $69

Friday, July 21, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, July 22, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Elias Grandy
, conductor
Jon Kimura Parker, piano
BRKFST Dance Company

RAVEL                                    La Valse
RACHMANINOFF                  Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
ROUMAIN                              Dancers, Dreamers and Presidents
STRAVINSKY                        Suite from The Firebird

Regarded for his lively interpretations of both operatic and orchestral repertoire, Elias Grandy will lead this rhythmic program centered around a suite from Igor Stravinsky’s famed ballet score, The Firebird. American composer Daniel Bernard Roumain wrote his Dancers, Dreamers and Presidents in honor of a dance between Barack Obama and Ellen DeGeneres in 2007; during this staging, BRKFST Dance Company will present the world premiere of the complete choreography they have set to the powerful piece. The program opens with Maurice Ravel’s La Valse, a tribute to the waltz, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, featuring Jon Kimura Parker as soloist.

Tickets: $35 to $90

Sunday, July 23, 2023, 4 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Douglas C. Carlsen, trumpet
Rui Du, violin
Roma Duncan, flute and piccolo
James Garlick, violin
Sarah Grimes, violin
Katja Linfield, cello
Sonia Mantell, cello
Jude Park, viola
James Romain, alto saxophone
Alan Snow, violin
Kevin Watkins, percussion
Erik Wheeler, cello
David Williamson, bass
Timothy Zavadil, clarinet and bass clarinet

TURINA                                  Piano Trio No. 1
WALTON                                Suite from Façade
COLERIDGE-TAYLOR           Piano Quintet
GARSON                                Jazz Variation on a Theme by Paganini

Pianist Jon Kimura Parker will join small ensembles of Minnesota Orchestra musicians for this intimate program of chamber music centered around Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Piano Quintet.

Tickets: $40

Tuesday, July 25, 2023, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks
, conductor
Chastity Brown, singer-songwriter
Mariann Johnson, guided meditation

SHOSTAKOVICH                   Selections from Symphony No. 10
HARTMAN                             Depression/Anxiety, from Music of Mental Health
JOYCE                                   Serenity [World Premiere]
SATIE                                     Gymnopédie No 1
PÄRT                                      Selection from Lamentate
YOSHIMATSU                        And Birds are Still
CHAMBIER                            España
[Plus: New music from Chastity Brown]

Curated and conducted by Sarah Hicks, this imaginative summer program explores wellness and anxiety, and considers the healing potential of music. The concert features the world premiere of a work by Molly Joyce, a participant in the 2022 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, who The Washington Post recently hailed as one of the “most versatile, prolific and intriguing composers working under the vast new-music dome.” Joyce’s composition process has included sourcing responses from Minnesota Orchestra audiences, who responded to prompts related to their own relationships to anxiety. The program also includes new music from local singer-songwriter Chastity Brown, who, through music, has offered perspective on her own mental health journey. Mariann Johnson of the University of Minnesota’s Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing will engage audiences in guided meditation.

Tickets: $25 to $63

Friday, July 28, 2023, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, July 29, 2023, 7 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks
, conductor
Gao Hong, pipa
Anthony Ross, cello

The Minnesota Orchestra will present the North American premiere of the live-in-concert version of the 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in association with Film Concerts Live! and Sony Pictures Classics. At its release, Ang Lee’s cinematic masterpiece was nominated for 10 Academy Awards®, including for Best Original Score in recognition of Tan Dun’s inventive compositions. Concertgoers will recognize Michelle Yeoh, who won an Academy Award® for her role as Evelyn Wang in the 2022 film Everything Everywhere All at Once. And, following her celebrated performances during the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2022 Lunar New Year program, pipa player Gao Hong will return to the Orchestra Hall stage in these concerts, taking center stage alongside Principal Cello Anthony Ross.

Tickets: $43 to $90

DESSA with the Minnesota Orchestra
Thursday, August 3, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall [Please note: Best ticket availability]
Friday, August 4, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall*
Saturday, August 5, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Sarah Hicks
, conductor
Dessa, singer, rapper and writer

Following up on their groundbreaking collaborations in 2017, 2018 and 2019—the latter of which led to the full-length live-in-concert album Sound the Bells—native Minnesotan singer, rapper and writer Dessa returns for another endeavor with the Minnesota Orchestra that will conclude Summer at Orchestra Hall. In these concerts, Dessa—who has earned a national reputation for crafting ambitious, multi-disciplinary live shows that move, entertain and surprise her audiences—will perform her original music with orchestral arrangements by Andy Thompson under the baton of Sarah Hicks.

Tickets: $35 to $85

* The performance on Friday, August 4, will be broadcast live on Twin Cities PBS (TPT-2) and YourClassical MPR, and streamed live for free through the Orchestra’s website and social media channels. The broadcast will subsequently be released for on-demand viewing with a digital subscription to the Orchestra’s Digital Concert Hall.


Tickets for Summer at Orchestra Hall programs will be available to the general public on April 4, and can be purchased at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656.

For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

The Summer at Orchestra Hall Creative Partner position is supported by Marilyn and Glen Nelson.

With Dessa’s performances the Minnesota Orchestra gratefully recognize Lloyd and Karen Kepple for their generosity.

The This Is Minnesota Orchestra digital concert series is made possible in part by a generous lead gift from Kathryn and Charles Cunningham. Digital subscriptions are available for purchase; the $60 annual household subscription can be purchased at minnesotaorchestra.org/digital-concerts.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Details around COVID safety protocols can be found at minnesotaorchestra.org/safety

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.