MN Orchestra details holiday, pops, family schedule

Internet sensations Hyun-ki Joo And Aleksey Igudesman will perform "Big Nightmare Music" in Juky 2015 (Image courtesy Minnesota Orchestra)

If you have ever wondered about the difference between a regular Minnesota Orchestra concert and the Live at Orchestra Hall series, you’ll get the idea on Halloween this year when “Back to the Future” and “Taxi” star Christopher Lloyd walks on stage with conductor Sarah Hicks.

Lloyd will host the “Out of this World” concert of science fiction and space-themed music, accompanying a film of NASA-made images.

It’s the first of a host of events announced today as the Minnesota Orchestra fills out the rest of its 2014-15 performance schedule by revealing the Live at Orchestra Hall series, its holiday concert offerings, and the family concerts.

Live at Orchestra Hall (formerly the pops concerts) will again be led by Sarah Hicks, who recently renewed her contract with the Orchestra.

November concerts include a Veterans Day offering, “American Riffs,” featuring trumpet player Charles Lazarus playing classic American music.

There will also be  two concerts during the post-Thanksgiving weekend where the Orchestra will provide a live accompaniment to selections from the films “Fantasia” and “Fantasia 2000.”

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (Image courtesy Minnesota Orchestra, photo by Frank Stewart.)

December is chock-a-block with holiday concerts including a visit from Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a performance of the holiday favorite “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” an 18th century Cuban mass performed by the Rose Ensemble, and a concert by the Canadian Brass. The Minnesota Orchestra will play Handel’s “Messiah” and Jingle Bell Doc with Doc Severinsen. Sarah Hicks will lead  “A Scandinavian Christmas” with several local guest performers. Singer Kathy Mattea will perform a folk-country concert from her holiday CD’s. Osmo Vanska will round out the old year, and launch 2015 with the Orchestra’s first New Year’s Eve concerts since 1998.

In January the Family Concert features a performance of Mark Fish’s “Ferdinand the Bull” along with pieces by Mozart and Bizet. In February the Live season resumes with “That’s Amore” featuring Italian composers ranging from Puccini and Rossini to Ennio Morricone.

Trumpeter Chris Botti will play with the Minnesota Orchestra in March. (Image courtesy Minnesota Orchestra)

March opens with a Family Concert with a performance of “The Composer is Dead,” a piece composed by Nathaniel Stookey and written by children’s author Lemony Snicket.  The following week trumpeter Chris Botti arrives to perform with the full Orchestra. The Orchestra then  brings out a semi-staged performance of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel.” The month draws to a close with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans with special guest Irvin Mayfield.

Singer Ann Hampton Callaway visits in April to perform a tribute to Barbra Streisand. Also that month Minneapolis-based Grammy Award-winners Okee Dokee Brothers will make their Orchestra Hall debut at a Family Concert.

Finally in July the Live at Orchestra Hall series rounds out with a live performance of the soundtrack of “Singin’ in the Rain” as the film plays above the Orchestra, and then later in the month “Big Nightmare Music” performed by Aleksy Igudesman and Hyung-ki Joo, a comical concert delivered in the tradition of PDQ Bach and Victor Borge.

Full details are available at the Minnesota Orchestra site.

The Okee Dokee Brothers will debut at Orchestra Hall at a Family Concert in April (Image courtesy Minnesota Orchestra.)