Jorja Fleezanis bids farewell to Minnesota Orchestra

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I’ve just returned from Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis where the Minnesota Orchestra performed Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis.” Tonight was the first of three concerts which mark Jorja Fleezanis’ last performances as concertmaster. It was a bittersweet night, in which conductor Osmo Vanska started off by saying he couldn’t imagine the orchestra without Fleezanis. He said the only thing consoling him was knowing how many students would now benefit from her teaching (she’s taking a post as professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music).

As I sat up in the nosebleed section, watching Fleezanis’ violin flash in the stage lights, a thought suddenly occurred to me. Who gets to keep the violin? The instrument, which was made in 1700, was given to the orchestra for Fleezanis to play. When it comes to 300 year old instruments, I’m guessing it might not be a matter of flipping a coin. (FYI I’ve put out some calls and I’ll let you know what I find out.)

So how was the concert, you ask? You can listen for yourself when MPR’s classical network broadcasts it live Friday night. And if you’d like to hear Fleezanis talk about her 20 year tenure at the Minnesota Orchestra, she was on Midmorning earlier this week.

Image courtesy of the Minnesota Orchestra