Attendance Rises for Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest

Classic Arts News   Attendance Rises for Minnesota Orchestra's Sommerfest
The Minnesota Orchestra's 2006 Sommerfest series saw increased attendance for the second consecutive year, reports the Star Tribune of Minneapolis.

About 31,000 tickets were sold for the festival's 19 concerts — roughly 7 percent more than the 2005 series, which attracted 29,000 patrons. That, in turn, was 23 percent ahead of 2004, according to the paper. Nine of the Orchestra Hall Sommerfest concerts were at 95 percent capacity, including the festival finale last weekend, a concert performance of Bizet's Carmen.

The Star Tribune also writes that the four chamber-music concerts drew an average of 850 listeners (up from last year's 800) and a significant increase from the festival's early years (Sommerfest was founded in 1980) when 200 or 300 was standard for chamber music. The Coffee Concert, "Mozart in the Morning," was a surprise hit, attracting nearly 2,000 people.

Highlights of Sommerfest included five performances led by artistic director Andrew Litton, including Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with Anne Akiko Meyers; an all-American program featuring music of Barber and Copland with Meyers performing the Barber Violin Concerto and an all-Mozart concert featuring music from the movie Amadeus.

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