2021 Fall Arts: Classical music has opera outdoors, a Chopin champ and Vanska’s final season
Get your vaccine card and your mask ready as we head to the fall performing arts season. Most of the main performing venues— including concerts at Orchestra Hall and the Ordway require vaccinations and/or a negative test, as well as require visitors to wear a mask. But it will be worth it as things return to some sense of normalcy, and we gather together once again for glorious classical music.
Sept. 12: Minneapolis-born Evren Ozel heads to Poland in October, for the XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition, after winning prizes at the U.S. national level. Before that, the 22-year-old offers his gifts at a concert by the Chopin Society, playing an all-Chopin concert co-sponsored with the Schubert Club. 3 p.m.; Ordway Concert Hall; $31, 651-292-3268 or schubert.org.
Ópera Afuera at Allianz Field
Sept. 22: Minnesota Opera will be taking over Allianz Field for an outdoor celebration of opera that highlights music imbued with influence from Spain and Latin America. From the Spanish Zarzuela tradition to mariachi music from Mexico to Peruvian waltzes called “vals criollo,” the program starts out with forms of song from the Spanish-speaking world. Then, Minnesota Opera offers excerpts from “La bohème,” “Rigoletto” and “Carmen,” before finishing up with opera music from the late 20th and 21st centuries that feature contributions from Latinx culture. 7 p.m.; Allianz Field; $100-$20; 612-333-6669 or mnopera.org.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra: Mozart’s Divertimento No. 11
Oct. 1-2: SPCO streamed Michi Wiancko’s “Island in the Sky” for solo clarinet back in June through its Concert Library. Now the commission gets its premiere at SPCO’s in-person concert, performed by SPCO’s principal clarinet player Sang Yoon Kim. The concert concludes with Mozart’s upbeat Divertimento No. 11, possibly written for the composer’s sister on her name day. The orchestra will also play Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet by Maurice Ravel and Suite dans le style ancien (Old Style Suite) by Vincent d’Indy. 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Oct. 1, 8 p.m. Oct. 2; Ordway Concert Hall, $50-$12; 651-291-1144 or thespco.org.
Vocalessence: Hope Lives Here
Oct. 16: Two premieres are set for VocalEssence’s “Hope Lives Here” concert, including a commission by New York-based composer Gabriel Kahane about life as a choral singer, called “Choral Music.” Also on the bill is a commission by local composer Kyle Pederson, along with high schoolers from the VocalEssence Singers of this Age, called “The Other Side.” Minnesota Dance Theatre joins the performance as well, grooving along to Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester’s Psalms” and Astor Piazzolla’s “Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas” (Four Seasons of Buenos Aires), inspired by Vivald’s Four Seasons. 4 p.m.; Orchestra Hall, $40-$10; 612-371-5642 or vocalessence.org.
Oct. 21-22: Osmo Vänskä’s final season with the Minnesota Orchestra is jam-packed with returning guest artists that have marked the conductor’s sparkling tenure. Among these is violinist Lisa Batiashvili, who was featured as a soloist when the orchestra played at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2011. The concert promises to go to challenging and exciting places, and features among its selections one of the first modern violin concertos: Karol Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35. The evening will also go to an experimental, contemporary place with Donghoon Shin’s “The Hunter’s Funeral” (2017), and conclude with the timpani battle in Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, “The Inextinguishable.” 11 a.m. Oct. 21, 8 p.m. Oct. 22; Orchestra Hall, $63-$25; 612-371-5600 or monorch.org.
More Twin Cities classical concerts
- Accordo (string players from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra) take on Clara Schumann, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Shostakovich. 7:30 p.m. Mon., Oct. 18, Westminster Hall at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 651-292-3268 or schubert.org.
- Minnesota Orchestra Live: Black Panther — The Minnesota Orchestra taps into popular culture with a presentation of Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar-winning score for the 2018 Marvel Studios movie “Black Panther.” 8 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6; Orchestra Hall, $94-$49; 612-371-5600 or monorch.org.
- “All Saints: In Memorium” by National Lutheran Choir, Nov. 5 and 7; 612-722-2301 or nlca.com.