Minnesota Orchestra to make history with South Africa tour

The respected orchestra announced five dates in South Africa.

What's happening?

The Minnesota Orchestra has announced a five-date tour of South Africa Aug. 9-18.

It's partnering with Classical Movements to play Cape Town, Durban, Soweto, Pretoria and Johannesburg as part of a worldwide celebration of former leader Nelson Mandela's centenary.

What will they play?

The concerts will feature a mixture of South African and American performers, and music from South African, American and European musical traditions. Included will be the world premiere of a piece written in tribute to Mandela by South African composer Bongani Ndodana-Breen.

The wider tour will also include musical exchanges, rehearsals and residencies with South African student groups.

Will Minnesotans get a chance to hear it?

Yes. Before they depart for South Africa, the orchestra – led by celebrated director Osmo Vänskä – will give Minnesotans a sneak-peak of their "Music for Mandela" project during their annual Sommerfest.

This will comprise 10 concerts between July 13-Aug. 1 at Minneapolis Orchestra Hall, including an "International Day of Music."

Why is this significant?

It marks the first tour by a professional U.S. orchestra to South Africa in the country's history.

Then again, it's not surprising that the Minnesota Orchestra is the first to do this, given its previous form for boundary breaking.

In 2015, it became the first major U.S. orchestra in more than 15 years to play a concert in Cuba, selling out a theater in Havana in what was then seen as another step towards more cordial relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.


Osmo Vänskä to step down from Minnesota Orchestra in 2022

He will end his tenure as the joint-longest musical director in the orchestra's history.

Screen Shot 2019-10-23 at 8.22.47 AM

The Eagles to play entire 'Hotel California' album at the Xcel

The iconic rockers will be joined by a full orchestra.


Halsey announces world tour, with a stop in St. Paul

The singer-songwriter will play the Xcel Energy Center in June.

Roger Waters

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters to stop at Target Center on U.S. tour

The celebrated artist will play Minneapolis in August.

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 10.20.41 AM

The Lonely Island announces tour stop in the Twin Cities

The musical comedy trio will play The Armory in Minneapolis this June.

Fall Out Boy's North America tour is stopping in St. Paul

The band released a song, announced an album and confirmed a tour all on a Thursday morning.