Kiitos! Thank You!

Thank you to all who attended the sold-out Bloomington Symphony Orchestra and Suomi Finland 100 Chorus concert at the Masonic Heritage Center on October 8!

If you are planning to attend future Bloomington Symphony Orchestra concerts, we urge you to order your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment on the day of the concert!

For the November concert, call the Artistry Box Office at 962-563-8575 or click here.

For the February and April concerts, call the Masonic Heritage Center Box Office at 952-948-6506 or click here.

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Suomi… How We Love You! :: Concert Preview No. 2

Before each concert, we share “Manny’s Musings,” thoughts from our Music Director and Conductor, Manny Laureano. This is the second edition of the “Musings” for the “Suomi… How We Love You!” concert that will be performed on Sunday, October 8, 2017.

Jean Sibelius, composer

The motivations and births of great works are as varied as the number of great composers writing them. The lovely ode to his homeland, Oma Maa, was an opportunity to do what he seemed to do best: inspire. Imagine watching your country come to the danger of having its soul torn apart to the point where you have to go into seclusion for your own protection and you’ll understand a bit of what Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) was experiencing during the time when he wrote Oma Maa. The title roughly translates to “My Homeland.” It was the time directly aft er the Russian revolution and Finns had become divided about the direction of their country and separated into the Red and White Guards. Understanding that he was living under threat by the Russian-influenced Red Guard, he stayed with his brother, a professor at a mental hospital in Lappviken. It was here that he penned the lovely, flowing, and quietly sentimental cantata to the country which he wished to see once again unified, buoyed by the fact that the days of the Red Guard seemed numbered.

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “Suomi… How We Love You! featuring the Suomi Finland 100 Chorus, Eeva Savolainen, director, and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. The concert takes place on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Gideon S. Ives Auditorium at the Masonic Heritage Center (11411 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington)

To learn more about the concert, click here. You can order tickets online through the Masonic Heritage Center Box Office, or by calling 800.514.ETIX.

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Suomi… How We Love You! :: Concert Preview No. 1

Before each concert, we share “Manny’s Musings,” thoughts from our Music Director and Conductor, Manny Laureano. This is the first edition of the “Musings” for the “Suomi… How We Love You!” concert that will be performed on Sunday, October 8, 2017.

Cantus Arcticus

If, while listening to the Cantus Arcticus by the late Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016), you find yourself conjuring the rich bass voice of beloved actor Morgan Freeman to act as de facto narrator, do not feel self-conscious. It would be a natural occurrence, given the way you are embraced by the sounds of the work delivered both through live musicians and recorded sound. This concerto for birds and orchestra operates much in the way of a standard concerto for a solo instrument with orchestral accompaniment. It is conversational as well, with the occasional display of rarely heard bird calls. Vivaldi and Beethoven called us to understand that nature could be sensed through musical sounds in the Seasons and the Pastorale Symphony respectively. Respighi would go further by being the first to use the recorded sound of a nightingale in his Pines of Rome. Rautavaara sought to engulf us in the sounds of Arctic avians in order to assure that we would use our imaginations fully. The sounds incorporated in this work go from simple cooing sounds to rude squawks! The orchestra both accompanies and also imitates, just as one would when out in a field or forest encountering an interesting call from a hidden winged companion. Perhaps we do it to compete or merely communicate. This work will make you smile at the sounds of the birds and competing orchestral forces or even, perhaps, make you laugh. Either way, this piece will engage your ear as a zoological aviary would your eye.

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “Suomi… How We Love You! featuring the Suomi Finland 100 Chorus, Eeva Savolainen, director, and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. The concert takes place on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Gideon S. Ives Auditorium at the Masonic Heritage Center (11411 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington)

To learn more about the concert, click here. You can order tickets online through the Masonic Heritage Center Box Office, or by calling 800.514.ETIX.

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“Music in 3D: #4” Concert Preview No. 4

Before each concert, we share “Manny’s Musings,” thoughts from our Music Director and Conductor, Manny Laureano. This is the final edition of the “Musings” for the “Music in 3D: #4” concert that will be performed on Sunday, April 2, 2017.

Berlioz and his Dream Girl(s) {part 2 of 2}

Read the first part of this Musings here.

It takes him five separate movements, each one so well-written that it could stand alone, to describe a story of passion, tenderness, anger, and chilling terror.

Estelle, the object of Berlioz’s affections

The work opens with a self-reflective raising of the curtain and a theme in the violins that actually dates back to his first love Estelle, and eventually gives way to a joyous theme of love that makes its appearance in every movement in some mutated form. This is known as the idée fixe. The theme develops and Berlioz takes us on a wild ride of passion that seeks religious redemption at the end of the movement. The waltz that follows is a first date of sorts. and we know he’s with his Dream Girl as soon as we here the idée fixe. The walk in the country that serves as he third movement is a beautiful nod to Beethoven replete with dueling double reeds, each on their own hillsides, one near, one far. Dark thoughts invade the artists mind as he rages jealously. One of the shepherds returns, only to have his song mocked by looming thunderclouds.

Those thunderclouds tell us the honeymoon’s over as the artist has been sentenced to death for killing his Dream Girl while under the influence of a controlled substance. Don’t do drugs, kids. The artist is not just marched to the scaffold, rather he is pushed to it, as the gathered public wants blood—lots of it. Just before his head goes for a bouncing jaunt down the steps in 4/4 time, he thinks of his Dream Girl one last time.

As in a bad Hollywood horror movie, our artist comes back to find that his Dream Girl is now a witch and she’s come back with a coven of friends. Berlioz goes all out with cackling sounds, bells of doom, a Dies Irae theme that shows God is NOT happy, and the wood part of bows striking strings in order to paint a frightening picture of love gone wrong.

But what of that first sweetheart, Estelle? It turns out that she and Berlioz were reunited as friends and companions very late in their lives. This welcome relationship came after all three of Berlioz’s wives died prematurely as did Estelle’s husband. A happier ending than the Symphonie!

Nygel Witherspoon, Cello

Nygel Witherspoon, Cello

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “Music in 3D: #4” featuring cellist Nygel Witherspoon, winner of MNSOTA’s Mary West Solo Competition. The concert takes place on Sunday, April 2, 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Jefferson High School Auditorium (4001 West 102nd Street, Bloomington)

To learn more about the concert, click here. You can order tickets online through the Bloomington Box Office or by calling 952-563-8575.

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Winter/Spring Postcard

If you are not on the BSO’s snail mail list, but would like to see the Winter/Spring 2017 postcard, please click on the images below!

 

We hope to see you at the BSO’s Youthful Celebration concert on February 19 and the Music in 3D: #4 concert on April 2!

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BLOOMINGTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PERFORMS “EXPERIENCE THE RING” ON OCTOBER 9

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:
Sara Kleinsasser Tan, General Manager
Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
Phone: 952-563-8573
E-mail: info@bloomingtonsymphony.org
Website: http://www.bloomingtonsymphony.org

BLOOMINGTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PERFORMS “EXPERIENCE THE RING” ON OCTOBER 9

Bloomington, Minnesota – September 21, 2016 — The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will present the first concert of the 2016-17 season, called “Experience the Ring,” on Sunday, October 9 at 3 p.m. at the Kennedy High School Auditorium (9701 Nicollet Ave S.) in Bloomington.

The program includes pieces from each of Richard Wagner’s four Ring Cycle operas, performed by orchestra alone and featuring a cast of ten singers and a narrator. Featured pieces include Entry of the Gods into Valhalla from Das Rheingold, Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre, Forest Murmurs and The Forging of the Sword, both from Siegfried, and Brünnhilde’s Immolation Scene from Götterdämmerung.

The cast includes local singers Sofia Ardalan, Lisa Drew, Debra Gilroy, Mary Laymon, Colleen Meier, Megan Wagner, Lola Watson, Karen Wilkerson, and Amy Wolf as the Valkyries. Chicago-based tenor Jerrad Fenske will perform as Siegfried. Former Metropolitan Opera soprano Audrey Stottler will narrate the concert, tying all of the pieces of the Ring Cycle together for the audience.

Music Director and Conductor Manny Laureano says of the program, “Set your imagination to work as the BSO, a cast of singers, and former Metropolitan Opera soprano Audrey Stottler reveal the beauty and power of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle through a set of excerpts and spoken narrative. Giants, mythical gods, heroes and heroines, villains, dragons, a magical sword, and a lump of coveted gold provide the story where deceit is overcome by an ultimate act of love and redemption, all set to some of the greatest music of the 19th century.”

Manny Laureano was named Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra in April 2013. Laureano is a gifted conductor, having served as Assistant Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra in 2005-06 and conducting the Minnesota All-State Orchestra in 2008-09. In recent years he has appeared regularly as a guest conductor at Indiana University, as well as at the Eastern Music Festival, St. Olaf College and Bethel University. He is in demand as a guest conductor of community orchestras all over the Twin Cities. In addition to this work, Laureano and his wife Claudette have served as Co-Artistic Directors of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies since 1988.

Season and single tickets for the BSO’s concerts are available in advance online, by phone or in person. Phone: 952-563-8575. Online: http://www.bloomingtonsymphony.org. In person: Bloomington Box Office – 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. Season tickets are $48 for adults, $40 for seniors, advance purchase required. Single tickets are available in advance or at the door: $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and free for students with an ID.

For information or to request high-resolution photographs of Manny Laureano, the cast of singers or the BSO, contact: info@bloomingtonsymphony.org

Website: http://www.bloomingtonsymphony.org
Phone: 952-563-8573

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1963. Today the BSO is made up of talented professional, semi-professional and amateur musicians who are selected through a highly competitive audition process. The BSO performs major symphony works at accessible church, school and park locations in the south and southwest Twin Cities metropolitan area.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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2016-17 Brochure

Take a minute to view our 2016-17 season brochure! We are looking ahead to a great season and hope you will join us at one of the four outstanding concerts that Maestro Manny Laureano has planned for the Bloomington Symphony. Please share this page with your friends and fellow music lovers, too!

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Arts in the Park 2016

The Bloomington Symphony enjoyed playing to an audience of over 400 on Thursday, August 11th’s Arts in the Parks concert at Lake Normandale Bandshell. Thank you to all who attended! Please be sure to join us at our next concert: Experience the Ring, on Sunday, October 9.

 

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“Music in 3D: Part Three” Concert Preview No. 3

Before each concert, we share “Manny’s Musings,” thoughts from our Music Director and Conductor, Manny Laureano. This is the first of three “Musings” for the “Music in 3D: Part Three” concert that will be performed on April 17, 2016.

Symphony #3 in C minor, Op. 78 “The Organ” by Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

“I have given everything to it I was able to give. What I have here accomplished, I will never achieve again.” – Camille Saint-Saëns

CSaint-SaensWhile those words are mildly prophetic, one has to smile when his concerti, opera, and various other works are considered. Nonetheless, the scope of this piece with its requisite organ soloist and four-handed piano duo in the second part are noted is all at once as delicate as a fleur de lis and as imposing as the Eiffel Tower. While the piece is not religious in intent, there is a self-conscious humility that pervades the opening and its subsequent offbeat staccatos that give way to a truly “French” second theme of joy.

The sincere beauty and simplicity of the slow section makes for a lovely duet between organ and orchestra. The Second part continues with a scherzo that is reminiscent of the Spanish Fandango challenging the woodwinds and strings to virtuosic exchanges as we settle into a fugato that previews thematic material from the Finale. This finale is blazing as it reintroduces the organ with all its majesty in conversation with the orchestra’s brass until the end. If the theme seems familiar to you, you may recall that this music from this Finale figured prominently in the 1995 film, Babe.

 

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “Music in 3D: Part Three” featuring violinist Louisa Woodfull-Harris and Jane Horn, Organ. The concert takes place on Sunday, April 17 at 3 p.m. at the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington.

To learn more about the concert, click here. You can order tickets online through the Bloomington Box Office or by calling 952-563-8575.

 

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“Music in 3D: Part Three” Concert Preview No. 2

Before each concert, we share “Manny’s Musings,” thoughts from our Music Director and Conductor, Manny Laureano. This is the first of three “Musings” for the “Music in 3D: Part Three” concert that will be performed on April 17, 2016.

Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Minor Op. 47, by Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius, composer

Jean Sibelius, composer

My first encounter with this concerto of Sibelius (1865-1957) was as a student at the Juilliard School. It was completely unfamiliar to me yet it gripped me from the start. This piece, which took about three years (1902-1905) to write and revise, speaks poetically and passionately from beginning to end. From its indistinct and humble opening that speaks sensuously, scales and arpeggios and octaves that seem to mock hard-working students, and a brusque theme that is evocative of a masculine bar song sung by Nordic fishermen, Sibelius claims a rightful title as not only the greatest of all Finnish composers but as one of the most thoughtful composers in history.

Louisa Woodfull-Harris, Violin

Louisa Woodfull-Harris, Violin

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “Music in 3D: Part Three” featuring violinist Louisa Woodfull-Harris, winner of the Mary West Solo Competition sponsored by the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teachers Association. The concert takes place on Sunday, April 17 at 3 p.m. at the St. Michael’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington.

To learn more about the concert, click here. You can order tickets online through the Bloomington Box Office or by calling 952-563-8575.

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