The Minnesota Orchestra onstage at the Cuban National Theater, Osmo Vänskä conducting. Joined in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy by Cuban pianist Frank Fernandez; and the Coro Nacional de Cuba and Coro Vocal Leo.

Photos: Minnesota Orchestra perform at Teatro Nacional in Havana, Cuba

The Minnesota Orchestra onstage at the Cuban National Theater, Osmo Vänskä conducting. Joined in Beethoven's Choral Fantasy by Cuban pianist Frank Fernandez; and the Coro Nacional de Cuba and Coro Vocal Leo.

The Minnesota Orchestra played to a packed house in Havana last night for the first concert of its historic tour. The all-Beethoven program received repeated standing ovations.

After the concert, French horn student Arletto Juarez explained that a U.S. orchestra is unlike anything she’s heard.

“Ah, [it] was amazing. Here the sound was different, here in Cuba we don’t have that sound.”

Tonight, the orchestra will perform a final concert that will be broadcast live across Cuba and can be heard starting at 7 p.m. on Classical Minnesota Public Radio.

After Saturday’s concert, some orchestra members will sit in on a jam session at a Cuban jazz club.

Media set up for the performance

Theater lobby

Host Brian Newhouse, Director of Operations, Rob Byers, Managing Producer Brad Althoff and Technical Director Michael Osbourne.

Teatro Nacional de Cuba

Teatro Nacional exterior

Outside Teatro Nacional

View from the Teatro Nacional

Inside the broadcast booth at the Teatro Nacional.

Minnesota Orchestra takes a bow

Osmo Vänskä thanks the Cuban audience.

Taking a bow.

The Minnesota Orchestra on stage in Havana

The Minnesota Orchestra onstage at the Cuban National Theater, Osmo Vänskä conducting.

Performing an all-Beethoven concert, Osmo Vänskä conducts the Minnesota Orchestra.

Osmo Vänskä conducting the Minnesota Orchestra

Osmo Vänskä conducting the Minnesota Orchestra

Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra musicians on stage.

Osmo Vänskä prepares the Minnesota Orchestra musicians.

Osmo Vänskä returns to the stage

Audience members

The Minnesota Orchestra onstage at the Cuban National Theater

The Minnesota Orchestra onstage

More photos and coverage can be found at ClassicalMPR.org/Cuba

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