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Photo: Joseph Scheller
© Joseph Scheller

Orchestra Spotlight

Thu Nov 9 — Fri Nov 10, 2023

Orchestra Hall

~2 hours, including intermission

This unique conductorless program will showcase the Orchestra’s musicians in smaller-ensemble combinations, with individual players taking charge from their regular spots onstage, performing works by Fauré, Ravel, Bizet and more. You'll instantly recognize several familiar and glorious melodies in Carmen Suite for Percussion and Strings, an arrangement of Bizet’s beloved opera. This virtuosic arrangement—a popular hit in the 1960s—will amuse, delight and entertain with its dramatic reorchestration and menagerie of percussion instruments. Also on the program, a few late romantic French gems: Ravel’s Pavane for a Dead Princess and Fauré's Sicilienne from Pelléas and Mélisande.

A Few Things to Know

  • Despite its unusual title, Pavane for a dead princess, Ravel made it clear to his audiences that the piece was not a funeral lament but rather a traditional dance that might have been performed by a little girl from the paintings of 17th-century Spanish artist Diego Velázquez.
  • It is unusual for the Minnesota Orchestra to perform without a conductor, due to its large size as a full symphony orchestra. When an orchestra plays without conductor, generally the concertmaster (or first chair violin) becomes the leader of the group, giving cues to the ensemble through subtle movements, eye contact and breath, though everyone plays a role in keeping the ensemble together.
  • New York City-based composer Anthony Barfield’s Invictus, a piece for 12-member brass ensemble, highlights the hope, resilience and community of the people of New York during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent protests for racial justice.

Explore the concert extras

Date & Time





    Feierlicher Einzug




    Divertimento for String Orchestra


    Pavane for a Dead Princess


    Sicilienne from Pelléas and Mélisande



  • BIZET/Shchedrin

    Carmen Suite for Percussion and Strings


Minnesota Orchestra

On why this concert is her pick

An orchestra is essentially a large chamber music ensemble, and working together in this way further hones our ears and ensemble skills, demanding that we rely even more on one another...

Listen Ahead

Accessibility Services

  • Armless & Bariatric Chairs
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Large-Print Programs
  • Noise-Cancelling Headphones
  • Service Animals
  • Wheelchair & Accessible Seating

Additional services are available upon request.

Sponsored By


The 2023-2024 Classical Season is presented by Ameriprise Financial.