The Minnesota Orchestra was out of town on Monday, performing a concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall. The program, heard locally last week, included Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and the Sibelius Violin Concerto, with Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos as soloist.
Now that New York is out of the way, Music Director Osmo Vanska will take some time off for the next two weeks and turn the podium over to Edo de Waart, who has become a Midwesterner.
It’s hard to believe that 14 years have passed since de Waart ended his nine-year tenure as the orchestra’s music director. But starting next fall, he will be music director of the Milwaukee Symphony and in 2010 he begins an artistic partnership with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
So welcome back, Edo. In Orchestra Hall concerts Friday and Saturday, de Waart will conduct Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, though it’s likely that the sentimental favorite of the performances will be John Miller, Jr., who has been principal bassoonist with the orchestra since 1971.
That’s right, 38 years in the first chair, a record for the Minnesota Orchestra — and for most orchestras, for that matter. Miller will be featured in Mozart’s well-known, well-liked bassoon concerto.
Next week, in another concert series featuring a soloist from the orchestra, de Waart will conduct four performances that feature principal cellist Anthony Ross in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1. The kicker will be Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony.
The two de Waart weeks will also include a lot of activities before and after the concerts, including Q & A sessions, “meet the musician” features and other events. And next week’s four concerts include an 11 a.m. performance on May 14 and a 2 p.m. performance on May 17. For details and tickets, go here.