First U.S. Orchestra Performs in Cuba in 15 Years

This past weekend, the Minnesota Orchestra sent a delegation of more than 100 musicians to Havana, Cuba. It has been 85 years since the Minnesota Orchestra performed in Cuba; 15 years since any major American orchestra toured Cuba (the last performance was by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 1999); and the first performance by an American orchestra since the U.S. and Cuba began normalizing diplomatic relations in December 2014. In recognition of the orchestra's monumental visit, the delegation performed one of the same pieces from their last visit in 1930—Bethoveen's Third Symphony. In addition to the concert performances, the Minnesota Orchestra also traveled to local music schools to hold master classes, and both coached and played with Cuban music students. As this video observes, "tours like this help build a relationship on a person-to-person level," and in turn, help to "bridge the diplomatic divide between Cuba and the U.S. through the sound of music."

First US orchestra in 15 years performs in Cuba


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