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James Ehnes, violin
James Ehnes, violin | © Benjamin Ealovega
Season Finale

James Ehnes and Beethoven’s Seventh

Fri Jun 16 — Sat Jun 17, 2023

Orchestra Hall

~2 hrs, including intermission

A season of grand orchestral endeavors comes to a close with the remarkable Sir Andrew Davis on the podium and one of Minnesota Orchestra’s dearest friends, violinist James Ehnes, playing the heartbreakingly beautiful Violin Concerto by Alban Berg. Also at the heart of the program is an imaginative work by Chen Yi that shares musical traditions from the Guangxi Zhuang region of China. Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony is the perfect piece to bring this fantastic season to its final notes with abounding energy and showstopping orchestral force.

The Friday night performance will be broadcast live on YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio. Find your station or listen online.

A Few Things To Know

  1. James Ehnes was recognized as Gramophone’s Classical Artist of the Year in 2021 and is the recipient of two Grammy Awards.
  2. Alban Berg's Violin Concerto was premiered by violinist Louis Krasner in 1936—Krasner served as the then-Minneapolis Symphony's concertmaster from 1944-1949. MNOrch staffer Michael Divino has a personal story about this, which you can read in the latest installment of "Our Picks."
  3. Sir Andrew Davis recently celebrated 50 years of partnership with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, having served as both conductor laureate and chief conductor; he is now the music director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
  4. Beethoven, who was notoriously self-critical, admitted that the Seventh Symphony was one of his own personal favorites, calling it “one of the happiest products of my poor talents.”
  5. Duo Ye is a form of age-old traditional song and dance of the Dong minority in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, in which people stand in a circle with a bonfire in the center, and dance with slow steps towards one direction, while singing a short phrase,” explained Chen Yi, in a program note about her composition, Duo Ye.

Explore the concert extras

Date & Time





    Egmont Overture

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Beethoven’s music for the play Egmont, centered on the Dutch freedom fighter Count Lamoral van Egmont, begins solemnly, proceeds into an allegro section of high drama and ends with the joy of Egmont’s victory.

  • BERG

    Violin Concerto

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Berg poured his feelings for the young actress Manon Gropius—and his grief over her death—into this remarkable concerto, notable for its melding of 20th-century serialism with lyricism, folk music and a Bach chorale. The first movement offers a portrait of carefree Manon, while the second brings the catastrophe that kills her; the music comes to terms with that loss as she achieves transfiguration in the close.

  • CHEN

    Duo Ye for Chamber Orchestra

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Duo Ye is based on a traditional song and dance performed by the Dong minority of China’s Guangxi province. Music of high energy, it draws on melodies and techniques from Chinese opera, folk songs and percussion ensembles.


    Symphony No. 7

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    Beethoven’s lively Seventh Symphony constructs a series of astonishing musical moments from short, simple figures. The second movement, based on a repeating rhythm, has been an audience favorite since its premiere two centuries ago.


Minnesota Orchestra

Sir Andrew Davis


James Ehnes


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.

With this concert we honor the memory of C. Curtis Dunnavan

Sponsored by

Co-sponsored by
Dr. Stanley M. and Luella G. Goldberg
Cynthia and Jay Ihlenfeld