5 great moments with Thomas Søndergård

Thomas Søndergård takes the helm as Minnesota Orchestra's next music director.Martin Bubandt

The Minnesota Orchestra announced the appointment of Thomas Søndergård as its next music director Thursday. Here are five great moments with the exciting Danish conductor from the concert stage and recordings, plus on-demand audio of his December concert with the orchestra.

Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 (‘New World Symphony’)

Dvořák’s love of the Midwest and visits to the Twin Cities from his home in Iowa will not be forgotten by the orchestra’s new director. Søndergård’s 2021 performance of the New World Symphony should delight and inspire listeners. His leading a different orchestra in this work was hailed by a review in the Scotsman newspaper as "a refreshed vision of a venerable warhorse.”

Jean Sibelius: ‘Finlandia’

Both the New World Symphony and Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia are YourClassical MPR listener favorites and must-haves on this list. While Søndergård will bring new and exciting sounds to the region, listeners can rest assured that he will continue to program works that the Minnesota Orchestra is known for performing.

Thomas Adès: ‘… but all shall be well’

Composer Thomas Adès is known for his modern compositions of art music, and in this 2018 performance with the SWR Symphonieorchester, Søndergård demonstrates skill and precision in conducting new and interesting repertoire. We will get a taste of that sooner rather than later, because he'll be conducting a work by Lili Boulanger when he returns to lead the orchestra in October as music director designate.

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges: Violin Concerto in A Major

Violinist Maya Iwabuchi joins Søndergård in an amazing performance of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges’ Violin Concerto in A Major, which was part of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s digital season during the pandemic.

Thomas Søndergård on Stravinsky

Every conductor has unique ideas about composers and their compositions. In this 2016 interview, Søndergård discusses his interpretations of Igor Stravinsky and how he approaches conducting works from the legendary composer, whose music he led in April with the Minnesota Orchestra and will conduct again when he returns in October.

Minnesota Orchestra debut

In December, Søndergård conducted the Minnesota Orchestra for the first time. On the program was Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, which principal trombone R. Douglas Wright called the best performance of the work that he’d ever been part of. The conductor also showed his range with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade for Orchestra and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, featuring Argentine pianist Ingrid Fliter. Listen now to YourClassical MPR’s broadcast of that concert:

Minnesota Orchestra - December 3, 2021