Mankato Symphony Orchestra Plans a Mix of Virtual & Socially Distanced Live Performances

    August 31st, 2020

    Submitted Photo - Mankato Symphony Orchestra 2020-2021
    Submitted Photo – Mankato Symphony Orchestra 2020-2021

    Mankato, MN – The Mankato Symphony is pleased to present the 2020-21 season in a mix of virtual and live concerts. The symphony will launch the season Sunday, September 13, 2:00pm, with a virtual concert titled Music in the Garden—Adagio for Helen, dedicated to MSO violinist Helen Baumgartner who passed away recently. Watch for this concert on Facebook and on YouTube.

    The Mankato Symphony is celebrating its 70th birthday this season. New Executive Director Bethel Balge remarked, “At seventy years young, we remain dedicated to our mission of offering high-quality performances, even during this challenging time. The MSO held its first concert in the fall of 1950, also a time that presented challenges with Korea, the bomb, polio, and more. Across the ups and downs of decades, the MSO has endured and thrived.”

    In addition to the season opening virtual concert on September 13, the MSO will present four live, socially distanced Music on the Hill concerts. The first will take place November 1st at Trinity Chapel at Bethany Lutheran College. Music on the Hill, under the artistic directorship of New Zealand cellist Richard Belcher, features collaborations by musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. The concerts are purely classical and will showcase the versatility of repertoire from several centuries.

    The MSO welcomes Estonian guest conductor Silver Ainomäe and Japanese conductor Akira Mori to the podium for two full symphonic concerts this spring. On March 21, Mori will conduct MSO’s first full symphonic concert, titled High Score, an adventure in symphonic style video game music. Titles include Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed, Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda, and more. Podcaster Emily Reese and game composer Benji Inniger will co-host. Ainomäe will lead the orchestra on April 25 in a concert titled Earth Exaltation, which includes a stellar selection of European pieces, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral”.

    Additionally, KMSU Radio will continue to broadcast archived symphonic concerts on the first Sundays of the month at 3pm. The Symphony’s Family Series is suspended for the 2020/21 season. Free music education materials will become available online via MSO social media channels and at their website, starting mid-September.

    For more information, including ticketing, visit