Orchestra showcases new composers

Orchestral repertoire often consists of works by primarily white, male composers who lived at least a hundred years ago. These symphonies and concertos are famous, within musical circles or with the entire world, having withstood the tests of time to become standards. The Minnesota Orchestra plays these pieces expertly, but the Orchestra is a champion of new music as well, premiering original work by a living composer on nearly every concert. 

On Friday, Nov. 10 at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Fall Campus Night concert will feature an entire program of new works by a diverse selection of composers. They call the concert “Future Classics,” aware of the fact that even Tchaikovsky was new to the profession once.

The concert will be performed as part of the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute, which is celebrating its 15th year. For the seven composers of the night, it’s a huge deal to have work performed on this concert.

Audience members will vote via Twitter for their favorite piece, which will receive a second performance on Nov. 11, when it will be broadcast live as part of Minnesota Public Radio’s 50th Anniversary. Exposure makes or breaks an emerging composer’s career, and this concert is the perfect opportunity to step into the spotlight – literally.

Composers will give a brief talk about their piece before its premier, and audiences will have the opportunity to engage with the composers after the concert as well.

In a world with a musical cue for every app and Facebook video, not to mention concert halls and movie screens, we need strong composers to capture the nuances of our world and transform them into music. Famous or not, composers like the seven featured on Friday have to break into the professional world to make a living creating for us. 

Though being among the first to hear a new work is exciting enough, the Minnesota Orchestra appeals to its college audience even more by offering free coffee, tea and cookies, as well as prizes and a meet-and-greet to attendants on Friday night. Want in on the action? Tickets are $12 with a student ID online or at the door.