History & Mission

OUR MISSION

The MN Sinfonia’s is a community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to serve the musical and educational needs of the citizens of Minnesota with  a special emphasis on serving families with young children, inner-city youth, seniors and those with limited financial means.

MUSIC FOR EVERYONE

More than 20 years ago, conductor Jay Fishman had a remarkable idea: He envisioned a professional, top-quality orchestra dedicated to ensuring the underserved and low-income residents of Minnesota are able to experience top quality live classical music.

In 1989, he created the Minnesota Sinfonia. Our guiding values are quality, accessibility and education.

EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY

The  Sinfonia orchestra’s professional freelance musicians come from all over the world. Most have graduate degrees from major universities or conservatories, many have prestigious private teaching studios, several have performed with major orchestras, and more than half have been with the Sinfonia for 10 to 20 years or more.

Every year, the Sinfonia plays up to 80 free-admission concerts and features award-winning national and international guest soloists. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper, “…the Sinfonia’s performances are easily on par with that of any major Minnesota ensemble.”

OPEN TO ALL

The Sinfonia is committed to reaching underserved populations, and to removing barriers to attending orchestra concerts. Offering free tickets removes the most obvious barrier, the cost of tickets. To ensure families feel welcome, the Sinfonia creates a family-friendly atmosphere at every concert, and always encourages parents to bring their children.

To reach people unable to commute, the entire orchestra travels to accessible community locations, allowing citizens to enjoy quality orchestral music in their own neighborhoods.

All concerts are held in fully ADA-accessible locations, most with free parking including the beautiful Basilica of Saint Mary, scenic outdoor Lake Harriet Bandstand, and even school gymnasiums in Minneapolis and St. Paul’s inner-city public schools.

And for those who suspect orchestral music is stuffy, the Sinfonia offers a variety of concert formats, some classical, some “pops” and some especially for young children all performed with enthusiastic energy from the musicians and conductor.

COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION

The Sinfonia commits half its performances and over 30 percent of its annual budget to education programs.

The Sinfonia is best known for our Music in the Schools (MIS) program. Every year, the orchestra serves up to 12,000 K-8 students, introducing a new way for them to learn math, history, science, social studies and reading in exciting new ways–through music!

Based on MN state educational standards, MIS serves inner-city students in Minneapolis and St. Paul — a diverse population with limited in-school arts opportunities. MIS uses classical music to excite these students about learning core subjects while providing a much-needed part of their arts education.

The Sinfonia gives this program to the Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools and their students free of charge. Like all Sinfonia programs, MIS is funded through the generosity of corporate, foundation and individual supporters.

To date, over 150,000 students have participated in this unique and innovative program Click here for more information about Music in the Schools.

Every spring, the orchestra holds its Young Artist Competition — an opportunity for young musicians to win solo appearances with the Sinfonia.

During the summer, 25 talented local student musicians participate in the orchestra’s Youth Outreach Week to experience “a week in the life” of a professional musician, participating in a series of intensive orchestra rehearsals, culminating in a joint public performance with the Sinfonia.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The Sinfonia’s free-admission concerts, inspirational programs for inner-city students, and program to foster young musicians’ talent rely on your support.

A fiscally conservative organization, 80% of every dollar goes to support Sinfonia’s programs.

Learn how you can help us continue sharing music with people from all walks of life on our GIVE page.


Upcoming Events

  1. Concert: Ilya’s Back!!

    October 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
  2. Concert: Ilya’s Back!!

    October 29 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  3. Concert: 2017 Happy Holidays

    December 1 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
  4. Concert: 2017 Happy Holidays

    December 2 @ 2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  5. Concert: World Class

    January 12, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm