Poster Claes Oldenburg Spoonbridge and Cherry Summer 2022
Claes Oldenburg's 'Spoonbridge and Cherry' is an iconic part of the Walker Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis.
Ana Freeberg

Take a classical music tour of the Walker Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis

Are you looking for one or two activities to do before winter sets in for the next few months? Visit the Walker Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis to find these 10 pieces of art and listen to classical music. Each piece of music has been picked to highlight themes of each sculpture for a more personalized experience. This article features Sculpture Garden staples, as well as new additions.

Hahn/Cock - Katherina Fritsch (2013/2017)


Hahn/Cock Katharina Fritsch
Ana Freeberg

The rooster stands confidently as if it were watching over the Walker day and night. The music’s title conjures the specific hue of blue chosen by Frisch to paint the giant bird. Standing by the sculpture can feel both overwhelming and exhilarating when accompanied by BRIGHT BLUE MUSIC, by Michael Torke.

Spoonbridge and Cherry - Claes Oldenburg (1985-1988)

Leonard Bernstein - Sonata for Clarinet and Piano

Claes Oldenburg Spoonbridge and Cherry Summer 2022
Spoonbridge and Cherry
Ana Freeberg

Both Spoonbridge and Cherry and pop-music legend Prince fight to earn the title of top Minneapolis icon. The second movement of Bernstein’s sonata begins andantino, then leaps into a tune reminiscent of the West Side Story soundtrack. The jazzy influences of this classical piece go hand in hand with the influences that Prince brought into his songs, and is a perfect song for this iconic sculpture.

LOVE - Robert Indiana (1966-1998)

Leoš Janáček - String Quartet No. 2 (Intimate Letters), Third Movement

LOVE Robert Indiana Walker Sculpture
Ana Freeberg

During this soft but intense piece, composer Leoš Janáček reflects on his relationship with Kamila Stosslova, a married woman of 38 years whom he was madly in love with. Over the course of their friendship, they sent 700 letters between them. The beauty of the music paints the bronze sculpture. What colors do you see?

Woodrow - Deborah Butterfield (1988)

Franz von Suppe - Light Cavalry Overture

Woodrow Deborah Butterfield
Ana Freeberg

This piece is fit for a horse. The powerful tones mimic the strength that lives in the soul of each animal and makes the sculpture seem to loom over you. Thundering trumpets bring you to a racehorse track and allude to the beating of galloping hooves on the ground. Upbeat, rhythmic and powerful, the effect is perfect for Butterfield’s brass horse as it endures frigid Minnesota winters. 

Untitled - Jim Hodges (2011)

Jennifer Higdon - Piano Trio: Pale Yellow

Jim Hodges untitled
Ana Freeberg

This piece will force you to slow down and observe the diverse array of textures and finishes that are present in this sculpture. As you move through the stones, you will feel your presence in theirs, while the slow and fast tempos of the music call to the uneven surface of the boulders. 

Reclining Mother and Child - Henry Moore (1960-1961)

Mozart - Piano Sonata No. 16, First Movement

Reclining Mother and Child Walker Sculpture
Reclining Mother and Child
Ana Freeberg

This sculpture called for a classic Mozart piece. The piano harmonizes just as a mother and her child would on a relaxing sunny afternoon. It is easy to enjoy the sculpture, the weather and this timeless piece all at once.

For Whom - Kris Martin (2012)

Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition: The Great Gate of Kiev

For Whom...Kris Martin
For Whom
Ana Freeberg

Martin’s bell sways silently every hour. The Basilica of St. Mary can be seen behind “For Whom” and introduces a religious aspect to the art. Mussorgsky fills the space with his piece “The Great Gate of Kiev” and helps you think about what a chiming bell means to you.

Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers - Barry Flanagan (1983)

Chopin - Minute Waltz

Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers-Benny Flanagan
Hare on Bell on Portland Stone Piers
Ana Freeberg

Chopin's waltz is light and bouncy, reminiscent of a real bunny. The animal’s playfulness is reflected in the piece, brilliantly paired with the still bell. Chopin includes short pauses in his work, which are then interrupted with fast-paced music, alluding to the sporadic energy of a rabbit. The artist created the piece to allow the viewer to imagine the rabbit running and playing. Can you see it more clearly while listening to Chopin?

Adam and Eve - Simone Fattal (2021)

Tchaikovsky - Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture

Adam and Eve Simone Fattal
Adam and Eve
Ana Freeberg

In Christianity, Adam and Eve are symbols of perseverance and human nature. The story of Romeo and Juliet is just the same. Human error and love are prominent themes in each story, and Tchaikovsky includes sections of his overture that highlight these experiences. Make sure to walk back and forth around this piece to view it from the many angles that it offers!

Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge - Siah Armajan (1988)

Respighi - Pines of Rome, Fourth Movement

Irene Hixon Bridge Minneapolis Walker
Irene Hixon Bridge
AlexiusHoratius/Wikimedia Commons

This bridge, built by Siah Armajani, is both functional and meditative. Respighi’s Pines of Rome is the perfect piece to accompany the beautiful cityscape that can be seen while walking along the bridge. Grand and powerful, it embodies the spirit of the bridge and the legacy of the lifelong work of Irene Hixon Whitney.

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