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Wilkins © Courtesy of the Omaha Symphony
Sokolov © Simon Fowler

Barber Violin Concerto

Fri Oct 20 — Sat Oct 21, 2023

Orchestra Hall

~2 hours, including intermission

Ukrainian violinist Valeriy Sokolov makes his Minnesota Orchestra debut, performing Samuel Barber’s enchanting Violin Concerto. Composed in 1939, this celebrated concerto starts out with two lyrical and melodic movements and comes to a close with a final virtuosic movement, performed at break-neck speed and ending with an explosion of masterful intensity. American conductor Thomas Wilkins returns to Orchestra Hall to conduct this sweeping and breathtakingly cinematic program of music by 20th century American composers.

A Few Things to Know

  • Although Roy Harris composed at least 18 symphonies, his Symphony No. 3 is by far the most well known; it was championed by Leonard Bernstein, who performed it many times and recorded the work twice.
  • Gabriela Ortiz’s Kauyumari musically represents the story of a blue deer that serves as a spiritual guide and guardian for the Huichol people of Mexico.
  • Among many accolades, American conductor Thomas Wilkins was recently awarded an honorary doctorate of arts from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and received the League of American Orchestras’ Gold Baton Award. Read our interview with him on how this program came together.

Explore the concert extras

Date & Time





    Symphony No. 3

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Roy Harris’ Third Symphony embodies the composer’s aims to capture the American spirit. Cast in one movement that opens and closes with a tragic mood, the symphony mixes traditional classical elements such as a fugue with forays into a more modern harmonic language.


    Violin Concerto

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    In Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto, the solo violin sings passionate, lyrical lines in the opening pair of movements, then delivers a whirlwind of triplet rhythms in the fast-paced finale.



    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Gabriela Ortiz’s Kauyumari, named for a mystical animal guide in the Huichol culture indigenous to Mexico, celebrates the Huichol people’s sacred traditions, evoking spiritual growth and earth stewardship through vibrant, rhythmic music.


    Symphony No. 2, Romantic

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Horns are the central force in Howard Hanson’s Second Symphony, which the composer called “young in spirit” and “warmblooded.” A slow, haunting opening leads to an Allegro moderato full of urgent, lyric melodies. The gorgeous slow movement evokes church music, while the finale builds to a blaze of jubilant fanfares.


Minnesota Orchestra

Thomas Wilkins


Valeriy Sokolov


I always say you have to navigate from where you are, not from where you wish to be. So here’s where we are, so let’s navigate.

- Thomas Wilkins

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.