Austin is excited to announce that the Minnesota Orchestra will be coming to town as part of their Common Chords project, a multi-year endeavor that establishes partnerships between the Orchestra and Greater Minnesota cities, each culminating in its own unique residency. The Austin residency marks the ensemble’s first visit to Austin since the 1970s, and will feature Minnesota Orchestra musicians performing at more than a dozen events in and around the city from April 20 to 25, 2020.

All Common Chords residency events are being organized by a steering committee of Austin residents chaired by Bonnie Rietz, representing a broad cross-section of the community, with assistance from Orchestra staff. A complete schedule of Minnesota Orchestra musician activities will involve visits to schools, businesses, and civic and cultural organizations. In the culmination of the week’s events, the Minnesota Orchestra, led by Associate Conductor Akiko Fujimoto, will perform a special program for area students on Friday, Apr 24 at 1 pm in Knowlton Auditorium, Austin High School, in addition to the full-Orchestra community performance at 7 pm on April 25, also in Knowlton Auditorium.

For information about tickets for the April 25 evening performance, please call 507-437-4563. The Minnesota Orchestra, which was founded in 1903, makes its home at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. Led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, the Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra is recognized as one of America’s leading orchestras, presenting nearly 175 concerts in a typical season. It is heard live by some 300,000 people each year, including thousands of students who attend Young People’s Concerts each year. The Orchestra has toured regionally, nationally and internationally, earning rave reviews in music capitals around the world, and is heard on radio stations across the country on award-winning broadcasts produced by Minnesota Public Radio and distributed nationally and internationally. It has received many awards for adventurous programming and much acclaim for its vast collection of recordings, which date back to the 1920s. In 2014, the Orchestra earned its first Grammy Award for a recording of two Sibelius symphonies. It was most recently nominated for a 2018 Grammy for its recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony.

The Minnesota Orchestra first performed in Austin in 1947 with its fourth Music Director Dmitri Mitropoulos conducting. It subsequently returned for more than a dozen visits through the years, but the most recent of these was nearly 50 years ago. The Common Chords project is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Historic Paramount Theatre


The Historic Paramount Theatre is one of only four “atmospheric theatres” remaining in Minnesota. It originally opened in September, 1929 and was designed for stage theatre and first-run movies. After several “re-purposing” the theatre was purchased by the Austin Area Commission for the arts and restored to the original décor representing the courtyard of a quaint Spanish village with twinkling stars and rolling clouds overhead.
Fully functioning theatre with a varied schedule of events and seating capacity of over 600.