‘Opera Afuera’

Minnesota Opera originally planned to open its season at the St. Paul Saints’ ballpark, but moved its presentation of Latin American vocal music and operatic excerpts to Minnesota United’s soccer pitch. Fort Worth Symphony leader Miguel Harth-Bedoya conducts. Scarves optional. (7 p.m. Sept. 22, Allianz Field, St. Paul, $20-$100, mnopera.org)

Joshua Bell & Minnesota Orchestra

Osmo Vänskä’s final season opens with one of classical music’s biggest stars. Bell will be the soloist for Max Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy” on a program with works by Kalevi Aho and Jessie Montgomery. And a fall full of Beethoven begins with that quintessential journey from darkness to light, his Fifth Symphony. (Sept. 23-24, Orchestra Hall, Mpls., $55-$135, minnesotaorchestra.org)


Kathleen Kelly, of the Vienna State Opera’s leadership team, teamed with Jennifer Cresswell to create a libretto inspired by the correspondence between two friends who shared a traumatic childhood, one serving time for murder. Composer Kamala Sankaram wrote the score, and Cresswell and Kelly will perform this two-character opera for the small screen. (Oct. 9-23, free, mnopera.org)

‘Hope Lives Here’

VocalEssence returns to live concerts with choreography by Minnesota Dance Theatre, including tango to accompany an Astor Piazzolla work. The concert includes Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” plus premieres of pieces by Gabriel Kahane and Kyle Pederson. (Oct. 16, Orchestra Hall, $10-$40, vocalessence.org)

Jeremy Denk with the SPCO

The always insightful pianist will solo on Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 14 and also take part in a Mozart quintet. Also on the program: buzzed-about Waseca-born composer Sky Macklay. Saturday night is livestreamed, too. (Oct. 29-31, Ordway Concert Hall, St. Paul, $12-$50, students and children free, thespco.org)

Emanuel Ax

What an illustrious career it’s been for this warm, accessible concert pianist. Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto will be the centerpiece of a Minnesota Orchestra program that concludes with Dmitri Shostakovich’s 10th Symphony. German conductor David Afkham makes his local debut. (Oct. 29-30, Orchestra Hall, $30-$99, minnesotaorchestra.org)

Augustin Hadelich & Orion Weiss

Hadelich, the classical world’s most-talked-about violinist, launches the Schubert Club International Artist Series’ return to live concerts. Pianist Weiss joins him for sonatas by Maurice Ravel and Beethoven (the “Kreutzer”) and a piece by Stephen Hartke. (Nov. 2-3, Ordway Concert Hall, $5-$56, schubert.org)

Danish String Quartet

The season’s main event for serious classical music lovers. This renowned group was slated to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday in May 2020 by performing all 16 of the composer’s string quartets. The pandemic intervened, but the foursome will finally make good on that vow. (Nov. 5 & 9-11, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ; Nov. 6-7, Ordway Concert Hall; $5-$45 per concert, schubert.org)


“ZOFO” is short for “20-finger orchestra” (and has nothing to do with Led Zeppelin, whose fourth album is sometimes called “ZOSO”). The wonderfully entertaining Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi are devoted to the repertoire for piano, four hands — i.e., two pianists sharing a keyboard. The theatrical pair will perform at Park Square Theatre, accompanied by visual projections of modern art. (Nov. 17, $5-$25, schubert.org)

Beethoven’s Ninth

What better way to complete your Beethoven autumn than with his thrilling magnum opus, conducted by Juraj Valčuha, with the Minnesota Chorale and an impressive quartet of vocal soloists. (Nov. 18-20, Orchestra Hall, $30-$99, minnesotaorchestra.org)