Arts

Minnesota Orchestra Tour 2006: Helsinki

The Finns have built themselves a modern city and a very modern hall, with white pipes on the organ and black leather seats with legroom any airline would be proud to offer. Osmo is famous stuff here, and the rehearsal is attended by television cameras and reporters swirling about while Viktoria Mullova rehearses the...

Minnesota Orchestra Tour 2006: Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a zoo. The book/writing/music/fringe festival has clogged the streets, shops, and cafes of the Very Scottish town (everything everywhere looks like Hogwarts) with lorries, cars, and people, people, people. This makes it almost impossible for the orchestra-bearing buses to get from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to Usher Hall....

Minnesota Orchestra Tour #7: Tonhalle Düsseldorf

The Tonhalle Düsseldorf is intriguingly if puzzlingly designed. From an outer ring of dressing rooms and backstage spaces, various narrow catwalks lead across yawning spaces to the stage. Adds a little fear of heights to the stage fright. The stage and auditorium are gorgeous: the high, domed ceiling is a vivid midnight blue and sparkles...

Minnesota Orchestra Tour #6: Cologne and Dusseldorf

The Minnesota Orchestra is staying in Cologne and doing a “run out” to Dusseldorf for an evening concert, about an hour each way by bus. In World War II, Cologne was bombed by the Allies in more than 250 air raids. Standing in front of the Kölner Dom, as the Cologne Cathedral is called here,...

Minnesota Orchestra #5: Kölner Philharmonie, Cologne

Rehearsal Pretend you’re Richard Dreyfuss standing underneath the hovering Close Encounters spaceship and you have a sense of what it is like to sit inside the Kölner Philharmonie in Cologne. The interior space is round, with the open stage set low in the middle. Audience seating slopes steeply down to the stage, circling it. As...

Minnesota Orchestra Tour #4: Berlin

European concert halls often include gorgeous, huge lobbies with lots of areas for socializing, noshing, and drinking. European audiences respond by rushing out to the lobby at interval, because half the concert experience is the concert and the other half is to see and be seen in one of the most hip venues in...

Minnesota Orchestra #3: The Barbican

Rehearsal at the Barbican The Minnesota Orchestra has been bused across London town from the tony Kensington neighborhood edging Kensington Gardens and the Palace (yes, that one) through Westminster and past the Cathedral (yes, that one) to the Barbican. For tomorrow’s concert in Berlin, the orchestra won’t have time to rehearse a note. Tonight, there...

Minnesota Orchestra Tour #2: Tea with the Isserli

Cello soloist Steven Isserlis has played with the Minnesota Orchestra a number of times, most recently in November at the St. Paul Cathedral performing John Tavener’s “The Protecting Veil.” Steven’s two sisters, Rachel and Annette, are also accomplished musicians and performed with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at a St. Paul Chamber...

Minnesota Orchestra Tour #1: London

THE MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA has arrived in London for its fourth European tour. Orchestras tour for the same reason star athletes head for the Olympics: it’s the playing field that gets the most international attention. Sure, a tour may boost CD and ticket sales to a degree, but the true benefits are in strengthening the reputation...