Grammy-Award winning US Orchestra’s brass ensemble to perform FREE concert

This Women’s Day, the five members of the multiple Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra’s Brass Ensemble will perform a free 30-minute concert at the V&A Waterfront’s Amphitheatre from 4.30pm.


Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Kevin Smith, in partnership with Classical Movements, announced today that Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra will embark on a five-city tour to South Africa – the first visit by a professional U.S. orchestra to the country – and offer a specially-themed Sommerfest in 2018, all in connection with a worldwide celebration of the late Nobel Peace Prize-winning South African leader and human rights advocate Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birth.

The “Music for Mandela” project will explore musical expressions of peace, freedom and reconciliation in ten concerts at Orchestra Hall from July 13 through August 1, 2018, including an International Day of Music.

Vänskä and the Orchestra will subsequently depart for a five-city tour of South Africa (August 8–19), featuring performances in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Soweto and Johannesburg. The tour will bring together South African and American artists performing large-scale concerts in colleges, city halls and churches, as well as offering musical exchanges, residencies and side- by-side rehearsals with student groups.

“This is our chance to musically honor a great leader and to share music and goodwill across international borders and right here in Minnesota,” said Smith. “It is a unique opportunity to bring cultures together through music, and we are honored to play a role in the Nelson Mandela centenary celebration.”

The tour will showcase music that derives from South African, American and European musical traditions, ranging from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to a world premiere by South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen, commissioned by Classical Movements and written in tribute to Mandela. In Soweto, the Orchestra will perform the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the historic Regina Mundi Roman Catholic Church, joined by South African soloists, members of the Minnesota Chorale and the South Africa-based Gauteng Choristers. Classical Minnesota Public Radio will present a broadcast of this program.

The centenary of Mandela, who was born on July 18, 1918, will be celebrated across South Africa and around the globe in 2018. The Johannesburg-based Nelson Mandela Foundation, which was founded by Mandela to preserve and perpetuate his vision of freedom and equality for all, has planned nearly 50 projects during the centennial year that are designed to commemorate the Mandela legacy.

Sello Hatang, Chief Executive of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said “Madiba’s centenary is about helping build a values based society. Music has over the years played a key role in helping deliver democracy in South Africa. We hope that this initiative will play a role in highlighting the plight of the poor and the marginalized, and thereby build a more equal society.”

The tour is funded by generous contributions from an anonymous couple. Additional funding for the Music for Mandela project is provided by a consortium of corporations based in Minnesota that to-date includes Ecolab, Land O’Lakes, Medtronic, Pentair, 3M, Target, TCF, Thor Construction and U.S. Bank.

Minnesota Orchestra Board Chair Marilyn Carlson Nelson said, “We are immensely grateful to our individual and corporate donors for making this project possible. We live in an interconnected world and the ‘Music for Mandela’ project underscores this idea, bringing together business support, community members, cultural interests and international performers to harness the power of music by commemorating an iconic visionary of our era.”

The tour will kick off with a free 30-minute concert at the V&A Waterfront’s Amphitheatre from 4.30pm on the 9 August.


Sources: Music for Mandela
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