Minnesota Orchestra launches statewide music festivals

by Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
October 12, 2010

St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Orchestra is launching a new series of weeklong festivals around the state. The first in the series, called "Common Chords," will be held in Grand Rapids in October 2011.

Orchestra President and CEO Michael Henson says each event will be planned with the community to reflect local interests and resources.

"The object of that is to find something that is unique to the community, create something that is artistically dynamic, that actually reaches many people within that community," said Henson.

Each festival will be unique, and involve using the orchestra and local facilities in different ways.

Henson says the collaboration shows the importance of classical music in connecting elements of society.

"It's important to stress it's a two-way process, for society to inform us what they find interesting, and for us to actually bring the strength that we've got, and how we actually meld the two together," he said.

The Minnesota Orchestra will hold a Common Chords Festival with one or possibly two communities each year.

Orchestra staff have discussed possibilities with representatives from Bemidji, Detroit Lakes, Hibbing and Willmar, although no other communities or dates have been set.

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