Classical & Choral

Minnesota Orchestra Al Fresco, Bakken Trio, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and more.

A Place For Us, Cantus

The celebrated vocal ensemble’s fall show features two world premieres: “Psalm of the Soil,” a commission composed by Sarah Kirkland Snyder, and “Let America Be America Again,” by Cantus tenor and composer Paul John Rudoi. The concert’s title song comes from West Side Story.

Oct. 17–27. Various locations, 612-435-0055,

The Cold Pane, SPCO

Soprano Dawn Upshaw returns to the SPCO for the world premiere of “The Cold Pane,” a new song cycle by Shawn Jaeger inspired by the writing of environmentalist Wendell Berry and informed by Jaeger’s Kentucky roots. “I love to incorporate the literature and music of Kentucky,” says Jaeger—by which he means bluegrass. Listen for clarinet, violin, mandolin, and double bass, in honor of those musical traditions.

Oct. 24–27. Various locations, 651-291-1144,

Portraits of Peru, 1785: Exotic Folksongs and Dancers from Trujillo, The Rose Ensemble

Rose Ensemble artistic director Jordan Sramek’s commitment to South American early music continues with a program from Peru and Bolivia. The title is based on a manuscript, Trujillo del Peru Codex, compiled in the 18th century to explain to King Carlos IV from Spain what Peru had to offer in the way of music. “The melodies are simple but evocative,” says Sramek.

Nov. 15–16. Hoversten Chapel, Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Ave., Mpls., 651-225-4340,

Erin Keefe (violin) and Anna Polonsky (piano)

This Music in the Park concert is a rare opportunity to hear Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster Erin Keefe in a solo recital. Given the orchestra’s ongoing lockout situation, it may also be the only opportunity to see her play.

Oct. 27. Saint Anthony Park United Church of Christ, 2129 Commonwealth Ave., St. Paul, 651-645-5699,

Minnesota Orchestra Al Fresco

In all likelihood, the Minnesota Orchestra won’t be christening a newly refurbished Orchestra Hall this fall. The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will, however, be performing an outdoor “thank you” concert for the community at Lake Harriet.

Sept. 15. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 Lake Harriet Pkwy. W., Mpls.,

Arabella, Minnesota Opera

When Minnesota Opera appointed Michael Christie as music director, he was charged with “enhancing the company’s artistic product through his work with the Minnesota Opera Orchestra.” Audiences have a chance to assess his progress with this production of Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s lyrical opera, a romantic love story expressed in Strauss’s lush post-Romantic orchestrations.

Nov. 9–17. Ordway, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 612-333-6669,

There was a Child, VocalEssence

“[Composer] Jonathan Dove has a special gift for making text singable,” says VocalEssence artistic director Philip Brunelle. The chorus presents the U.S. premiere of Dove’s “There Was a Child,” commissioned by a woman in memory of her 20-year old son who drowned. Using texts by Langston Hughes, Wordsworth, Keats, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman, it “tells the story of a young life, from birth to childhood to romance.”

Oct. 27. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-371-5656,

Laughter Through Tears, Bakken Trio

Bakken Trio’s fall program is based on Jewish myths and folk tunes, and it features a guest appearance by renowned klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer. The rest of the concert repertoire includes Shostakovich’s Fourth String Quartet, banned until after his death because of its Jewish tunes, and Copland’s Vitebsk Piano Trio.

Oct. 13. MacPhail Center for Music, 501 S. 2nd St., Mpls., 612-374-3175,

Beethoven Mini-Festival, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

The SPCO launches its season with a four-week survey of mid-career Beethoven, also known as the great composer’s “heroic” period. For the first three weekends, artistic partner Edo de Waart leads the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourth Symphonies, followed by artistic partner Christian Zacharias performing Beethoven’s Emperor piano concerto. For each program, the Beethoven will be paired with complementary chamber works such as Mozart’s Haffner Serenade, two chamber symphonies by Schoenberg, and one by Franz Schreker.

Sept. 6–29. Various locations, 651-291-1144,


This year's dance lineup looks to be a global exploration of movement, from international choreographers to investigation of race in culture.


A mix of revamped classics and edgy, even bizarre new creations (zombies, anyone?) take the stage and steal the spotlight.

Galleries & Museums

There's something for any kind of art lover this season, from curated local talent to naturalist prints, plus retrospectives covering decades (even centuries) of work.


A full slate of star power is scheduled for the Twin Cities this fall, proving you don't need summer music festivals to get your fill of top-notch talent.