Season 45 Announced!


45th Anniversary Year Focuses on French Composers and Their Influence

(Saint Paul; July 14, 2015) – The Musical Offering, one of the Twin Cities’ premier chamber ensembles, announces its 45th Season on Bastille Day, in recognition of its 2015-16 focus on French composers and their influence. “La Vie Parisienne” will feature a wide array of musical signatures, ranging from some of the best-known works of Debussy, Ravel and Poulenc, to innovative voices like Tailleferre, Farrenc and Damase.

The 2015-16 Season will showcase the incredible richness of French music through The Musical Offering’s wonderfully eclectic ensemble of strings, winds and piano. The unique combination of instruments allows the area’s oldest continuously performing ensemble to bring both famous and rarely heard masterpieces to the stage in a chamber setting. The ensemble is composed of top-tier professional musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra and from the faculties of Minnesota’s finest universities under the co-artistic direction of Norbert Nielubowski and Susan Billmeyer.

The four-concert season opens on Sunday, September 27 with an intimate, lyrical violin sonata written by Mozart as he travelled on tour from Vienna to Paris. The program also includes Gabriel Fauré's only string quartet – the last piece he wrote at the end of his life – that is at once atmospheric, deep and soothing, and Parisian composer Adolphe Blanc's Septet, inspired by the Beethoven Septet but turning toward the full Romanticism of his contemporary Johannes Brahms.

The delightful and melodious Francis Poulenc Flute Sonata starts off the second program of the season on Sunday, November 22. The concert also features the Casimir Théophile Lalliet Terzetto for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, which draws on the beautiful melodic traditions of the bel canto opera. In contrast, Jacques Ibert’s bubbly, sunny 3 Pièces for Wind Quintet offers frothy humor and Jean Francaix’s witty 20th Century Octet, mixes wind and string instrumentation, inspired by Schubert’s monumental (and very Viennese) Octet.

Continuing The Musical Offering’s tradition of combining an afternoon of exceptional music with exquisite cuisine, the ensemble presents “Salon Parisien,” a celebration of wonderful French music, food and wine in an atmosphere of camaraderie and conversation on Sunday February 21. The program features Claude Debussy's landmark Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp, which delves into the lush world of Impressionism in music, and Maurice Ravel's profoundly moving Piano Trio combining Impressionistic harmony and Romantic virtuosity in thrilling ways. In between are two contrasting works: the colorful, effervescent Jean-Michel Damase Wind Quintet and the mournful Poulenc Élégie, written in 1958 in memory of the horn virtuoso Dennis Brain.

The closing concert is in honor of Mother's Day on Sunday, May 8, when The Musical Offering presents music by two celebrated French women composers. Germaine Tailleferre's light and breezy Sonate Champêtre draws on melodies from one of her own comic operas, and Louise Farrenc's virtuosic and rich Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano goes right to the heart of 19th century Romanticism. The season’s final note will be played during a performance of Debussy's remarkable String Quartet.

All concerts begin at 3:00 p.m. and take place at Sundin Music Hall at Hamline University in Saint Paul. Tickets are $25 ($10 students) except for the February 21 “Salon Parisien,” which is $50 all-inclusive. Season subscriptions are $100 for all four concerts. Single tickets and season passes are on sale now and are available at or by phone at 651-523-2459.

About The Musical Offering
Founded in 1971, “The Musical Offering” got its name from a work of the same name by J.S. Bach, a favorite piece of the founding members and audiences alike. The virtuoso musicians are both accomplished and accessible. They connect audiences to the richness of music’s heritage through personal remarks from the stage, candid intermission interviews, post-concert receptions and unparalleled artistry. Musicians perform with Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and teach at the University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas. A full roster, including audio clips, can be found at

“La Vie Parisienne”
Season Subscription - $25 Discount
Tickets: Click below - Brown Paper Tickets | Call 651-523-2459

Sunday, September 27 at 3:00pm
• Mozart Sonata in E Minor for Piano and Violin, K304
• Faure String Quartet, Op. 121
• Blanc Septet

Sunday, November 22 at 3:00pm
• Poulenc Sonata for Flute and Piano
• Lalliet Terzetto
• Ibert 3 Pièces for Wind Quintet
• Francaix Octet

Sunday, February 21 at 3:00pm “Salon Parisien”
• Debussy Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp
• Damase Dix-Sept Variations for wind quintet
• Poulenc Élégie for horn and piano
• Ravel Piano Trio

Sunday, May 8 at 3:00pm
• Tailleferre Sonate Champêtre
• Farrenc Piano Trio in E Minor
• Debussy String Quartet

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