Tickets are on sale!

Tickets for the October, November, and February concerts are now on sale.

We we will announce a special 60th Anniversary VIP ticket package for the February and April 2023 concerts. These ticket packages will be limited.

Click each picture to learn more about the concert and purchase tickets now.

October 9, 2022 :: Great Music!
November 20, 2022 :: Soul and Irony
February 26, 2023 :: From the New World
April 16, 2023 :: Music in 3D #9: Beethoven’s 9th
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Save the Dates for 2022-23!

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra performs at the Masonic Heritage Center, under the baton of Manny Laureano
The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra with Manny Laureano, Music Director onstage at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center (Photo by Leslie Plesser)

We are working behind the scenes, preparing the programs for 2022-23. We will be making the full season announcement shortly but until then, we are sharing the dates for our 2022-23 concert season.

Sunday, October 9, 2022
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Sunday, February 26, 2023
Sunday, April 16, 2023

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Music in 3D: #8 :: 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 entry of the “Musings” for the “Music in 3D: #8” concert that will be performed on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

Paul-Abraham Dukas (1865-1935) was one of France’s pre-eminent Jewish composers but his music did not really reflect the folk aspects of that culture, unlike Gustav Mahler, who was alive at the same time. His music was, instead, exemplary of the new traditions that the impending Impressionist would bring. In fact, he would eventually attend the Conservatoire in Paris and find himself studying and honing his skills alongside a young Claude Debussy and the two were friends until Debussy passed into musical immortality in 1918.

In addition to becoming a composer and orchestrator he became a respected music critic (one does have to make money, after all). His musical output was not as massive as so many other composers of note but he did manage to make the most of what he wrote. There are few music-lovers who could not sing the famous bassoon melody from his best-known work, L’Aprenti Sorcier, with a few bup-de-buppity-bups. 

The Fanfare to La Peri is a bit of an afterthought that comes from suggestions that the abrupt, original opening to his short ballet needed something to prepare the palate. So, after preparing the main course, this chef pairs it with a short but brilliant work for an orchestral brass section. In three parts, he accomplishes what he sets out to do with bursts of chords, triple-tonguing, and a shimmering nod to the Impressionist period of 1912. It gives way to a cloudy texture of close harmony that does exactly what Impressionism in France was famous for. That is, suggestion rather than outright clarity. Not to worry, as the opening statement is reprised with an anthem-like ferocity leaving the listener to want to stand and, with a wave of your chapeau, yell “Vive le France!”

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “Music in 3D: #8” featuring soloists Clare Longendyke, piano, and Yu Chia Hsu, violin. The concert takes place on Sunday, May 1, 2022 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 952-948-6506.

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November Program Sneak Peek

We are happy to provide this preview of the Bloomington Symphony’s November 21 concert program. Please read, and then purchase your tickets here and plan to join us for the performance of these two pieces – one brand new to the orchestra and our audience, the other familiar and beloved. Don’t miss your chance to hear these great works performed live, by the 75 volunteer musicians of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra led by Manny Laureano, Music Director and Conductor.

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BSO Announces Changes to Summer/Fall Performances

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to suspend full orchestra rehearsals and performances through October 2020. This includes our biannual appearance at Summer Fete, our annual outdoor concert at Arts in the Park, and the opening concert of the year, traditionally held at the beginning of October. We continue to plan for the rest of our 2020-21 season with the understanding that, as the dates approach, public health recommendations may require further changes to our schedule.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are shifting our focus to smaller ensembles that can allow for safe performance conditions for audiences and musicians. As we learn more about best practices which allow us to safely perform as a full orchestra in front of a live audience, and as the restrictions around social gatherings continue to quickly evolve, we will adjust our plans accordingly.  

We remain dedicated to our mission to enrich the lives of our audiences and musicians with outstanding performances of challenging, educational, and thoughtfully selected orchestral repertoire. While we are sad to lose this portion of our season, we hope to see you in person at live chamber music performances, or virtually, as we are planning some online experiences for our audience.

For now, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page where we will announce our plans. You can also sign up for our email list here or add your name and address to our mailing list to receive hard copy announcements by completing this form.

Viola Flute and Clarinets of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra play
The Musicians of the BSO perform in February 2019 at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center (photo credit: Leslie Plesser)
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CANCELLED: Music in 3D #7: The BSO Plays Mahler’s Fifth

The BSO’s Board of Directors is following the recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health, and cancelling the April 5 concert and related rehearsals. Our Annual Meeting, which was scheduled for Sunday, March 15, is also cancelled.

We are devastated to make this decision since Manny Laureano and our musicians have already put in a great deal of time and effort in preparation. However, the health and safety of our audiences and musicians is at the forefront of our minds, as we make decisions in this unprecedented time.

If you ordered tickets to this concert, please keep an eye on your email. The Masonic Heritage Center will send a message and touch base with patrons to discuss ticket refunds on Tuesday, March 17.

Please address any other questions to our board via our email address: info@bloomingtonsymphony.org.

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Musician’s Musing – March 2020

This month’s musing is written by BSO assistant principal violist, librarian, and personnel coordinator Jon Poupore. We are so happy to have Jon on the BSO’s administrative and musical teams and are thrilled to share his words with you here!

It’s been nearly three years since my husband James and I moved from Maine to Minnesota, and what a wonderful move it’s been. I grew up in Duluth and James spent his teens and early 20’s in the Upper Midwest. I was especially fortunate to be coming back when I did as I was able to spend a quality two years with my mother as she dealt with ovarian cancer. She died a year ago this past January.

James Carlisle (left) & Jon Poupore (right)

I’ve always had a non-traditional relation to music: I’ve sung in choirs my whole life, took up Classical guitar and piano as a young teen, and at age 17 started the viola with a former student of William Primrose. Deciding to attend St. John’s University for pre-medical studies in 1981, I quickly switched over to Viola Performance and haven’t looked back since. It was there that I was roommate for two years with a pianist named Carl, and after losing track of each other for some 35 years, reunited and have since put on a program of Viola and Violin music that we’ve shared over 15 times.

To say I love chamber music does not quite cut it; indeed I get the highest satisfaction when playing quartets. It’s sometimes discouraging that it can be so difficult to pull people together to play, but I currently have several groups and the quality is improving all the time. I’ve started a monthly series called Classical Open Mic at Southdale Center which meets every first Wednesday of the month; join us, bring a piece to share, or sit in the audience. 

I’ve also made a lifelong commitment to understanding the technique of the violin legend Jascha Heifetz, and can say with a high degree of certainty that I have it “figured out.”  I love sharing that knowledge too.  My other music passion is mechanical instruments, particularly something called a Reproducer Piano, which is just a very sophisticated player piano.  I currently have three!

When we moved from Baltimore to Maine in 2007, I slid right into a job as the Librarian for the Portland Symphony Orchestra, an environment with wonderful co-workers, big responsibilities, and enjoyable duties.  I am happy to be bringing some of those skills to my job with the BSO. I also worked Personnel both in Portland and earlier with the Duluth-Superior Symphony in the 1990’s.

Accompanying my move to Minnesota is a commitment to changing my status as musician from professional to amateur, and it’s been a great decision. I also play with the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the world’s few GLBTQA orchestras, and a highly gratifying experience. Eventually I hope to find a local chorus to join.

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Remembering Kristin Brinkmann

By Sara Kleinsasser Tan

Kristin Brinkamn
Kristin Brinkmann, violinist

My first encounter with Kristin was in late August 2014, via a message from the BSO’s website contact form. Her message simply read: “Being on permanent disability from MN Orch and suddenly being relegated to the audience is seriously not agreeing with me. Would you have a spare chair for me here? I miss it too much.”

A short time later, Kristin joined the BSO as a first violinist, where she served as assistant concertmaster, filled in as concertmaster from time to time, led sectionals for the second violin section, and served on the Board of Directors.

If you attended a concert between October 2014 and November 2017, you likely saw a very tall (over six feet!) first violinist who would sit on an unusually tall chair on the outside of the section. She didn’t always stand when the rest of the orchestra rose, and she’d often stay in her chair during the intermission.

In addition to the aforementioned disability, Kristin lived with Parkinsons disease. She was forced to step away from her professional playing with the Minnesota Orchestra, but with the right combination and timing of pain medication, Kristin was able to prepare for and participate in the BSO’s weekly rehearsal. She would embark on the long drive from her home in White Bear Lake, to rehearsals in Bloomington, often arriving early to give her time to move in her heavy chair, and warm up her muscles enough to be able to play.

During her time on the board, Kristin provided me with so much insight that could only come with her extensive musical experience. One example that stands out is the unique perspective she offered on repertoire. One year, Manny had his eye on a certain piece for an upcoming season concert. Kristin knew the piece from her days at the Minnesota Orchestra, and warned against programming it, noting its difficulty for the professional musicians of the MN Orchestra. She was able to suggest alternate ideas that would lead the ensemble to musical success and musicians’ personal satisfaction.

I leaned heavily on Kristin’s editing skills for program notes and grant applications. She vigorously used the Microsoft Word editing feature, enthusiastically placing every comma, correcting many a grammatical error, strictly adhering to her inner style guide, always making sure the BSO was representing itself to the highest standard.

Over the years, Kristin started experiencing more and more pain. Following the November 2017 concert, she stepped away from playing and unfortunately never returned. We have missed Kristin’s playing and presence, but have always been planning on her return to playing and board service. We were heartbroken when we received the news that Kristin died of pneumonia on January 24, 2020, at the too young age of 52.

We humbly offer this tribute, along with the rose on the empty chair, as a memorial to a musician who has left her indelible mark on our organization. We are grateful for her time and service to our musicians and board.

We encourage you to read Kristin’s “Musicians Musings” posted on our website where you can read more of her story in her own words.

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The Colorful Music of Russia :: Concert Preview No. 2

Before each concert, we share “Manny’s Musings,” thoughts from our Music Director and Conductor, Manny Laureano. This is the final entry of the “Musings” for the “The Colorful Music of Russia” concert that will be performed on Sunday, February 16, 2020.

Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

Piotr Ilych Tchaikovsky

Pretend for a moment that you are Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F minor and you’ve won a Grammy for “Most Dramatic Symphony Ever”… or something.

Look, just work with me for a moment.

Your award acceptance speech might go something like this:

“I’d like to thank Rudolph Kündinger for the early private musical lessons that my composer took even, though he never really believed Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) would amount to anything. I’d like to thank the Russian Musical Society and the St. Petersburg Conservatory for not only providing him with an opportunity to further his musical studies but saving him from a life as a civil servant. Next, I’d like to thank his fellow Russian composers for recognizing his talent and even allowing their own works to be influenced by his new style of writing music like me. This group includes that august cadre of nationalist composers known as “The Five.” You know who you are.

(At this point the you wink at composers Balakirev, Cui, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, and also Mussorgsky who—once again—has shown up drunk to the event.)

“Next, I’d like to thank my composer’s dear friend and confidant, Nadezhda von Meck, who stood by him through the tough times, especially that rather unfortunate marriage to that sweet girl, Antonina Miliukova. I recall she was a fine singer but really didn’t understand what she was getting into with him. It was a mess and didn’t last long at all, even by celebrity marriage standards. Anyway, thanks Madame von Meck, for inspiring my composer to work and financially supporting him so he could forge on. I’ll never forget that time you pestered him for an explanation of ‘our’ symphony even though he really didn’t have a specific program. Remember what he wrote to you?:

‘Fate, the decisive force which prevents our hopes of happiness from being realized, which watches jealously to see that our bliss and peace are not complete and unclouded, and which, like the sword of Damocles, is suspended over our heads and perpetually poisons our souls.’

“Dude… a bit much, no?

“Finally, I’d like to thank Almighty Beethoven for the influence that helped fashion that fate theme you all hear at the beginning of the first movement and keep bringing back, much the same way Beethoven used his famous four-note motif. I think it’s the most important part of my compositional structure as a symphony. I do have to mention the oboe solo that sets off my second movement and the unprecedented use of pizzicato in the Scherzo were pretty clever (by the way, the piccolo player would like a little more time playing instead of having to wait two-and-a-half movements before she plays a note—just sayin’). Even though my composer will likely go on to write some great music after me, I would wager that there will be no more exciting ending to a symphony than what he has me do in the Finale. Wow… talk about throwing in the kitchen sink…. good times, good times.”

At this point you make some rambling statements about the Tsar of Russia before you get hustled off the stage by the show’s producers.

A black and white photograph of Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composer

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “The Colorful Music of Russia” featuring BSO Concertmaster Michael Sutton as soloist. The concert takes place on Sunday, February 16, 2020, 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 952-948-6506.

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The Colorful Music of Russia :: 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 entry of the “Musings” for the “The Colorful Music of Russia” concert that will be performed on Sunday, February 16, 2020.

Two Works by Dmitri Kabalevsky

This concert by the BSO partially features a look into two well-known works by Soviet composer Dmitri Kabalevsky (1904-1987). He, like several other Russian composers, can truly be considered a child of two revolutions, as he began his formal studies in music at the Scriabin School at the age of 15 and later, at the Moscow School.

A black and white photograph of Dmitri Kabalevsky, with his autograph written in blue ink over his chest.
Dmitri Kabalevsky, composer

Upon listening, you can hear that his music is different from that of Shostakovich or Prokofiev even though they were contemporaries. He doesn’t challenge the listener to intensely private moments portrayed in his music or stir the queries of whether there are hidden meanings within it. His music is lyrical, yet never filled with the angst we associate with so many other Soviet composers of the time and hints more at trips to the circus in his youth. There is an enjoyable predictability when compared to other composers that grew up and developed at the same time in the same place as Kabalevsky. It is important to note that Kabalevsky was and still is, recognized for the piano music he composed for children, helping to hone their skills through fingerings and melodic lines that suited young hands with an emphasis on flowing melody lines and harmonies.

The Overture to Colas Breugnon (1938) is a pre-war romp based on the writings of French author Romain Rolland that became Kabalevsky’s first operatic venture. You could say that the boundless optimism of the protagonist suited Kabalevsky’s personality quite well and his music captures Colas’ personality perfectly. It is an early work that required the revisions it received in 1968 but the Overture has remained a concertgoer favorite ever since.

The Violin Concerto in C Major (1948) is a post-war, three-movement work that grabs you by the collar at its opening, releases you only briefly for one poignant slow movement, and then lifts you onto horseback for a wild ride, scimitar and all. Originally written for Igor Bezrodny, a budding Soviet violinist, the work immediately drew praise for the youthful optimism it displays from the start with its Spanish-style rhythms. It is a conversational work that features solo instruments within the orchestra to chatter back and forth with the primary violin solo part. The B? major second movement seems to not be able to contain its penchant for joy (even though it tries to be serious at first!) but remembers its role as a contrasting movement and settles down into peaceful beauty. For the finale, one is advised to buckle up for aforementioned ride, as Kabalevsky alternates from major to minor themes and larger-than-life characters culminating in a cadenza that invite “parental” admonishments from the orchestra. Like a clever child, however, the violin melts the heart and helps us end in youthful triumph, smiles abounding.

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “The Colorful Music of Russia” featuring BSO Concertmaster Michael Sutton as soloist. The concert takes place on Sunday, February 16, 2020, 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 952-948-6506.

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