When was the MN Sinfonia founded?

Founded in 1989, the MN Sinfonia is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) community-supported organization operating under the legal name “Friends of the Minnesota Sinfonia.”

What is the Sinfonia’s mission?

The MN Sinfonia’s mission is to serve the musical and educational needs of the citizens of Minnesota, with special emphasis given to families with young children, inner-city youth, seniors and those with limited financial means. To further this end, all concerts are offered free of admission charges, and children are welcome and encouraged to attend all performances. In keeping with the goal of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Sinfonia is committed to ensuring its programs and services are accessible to all people with disabilities.

Are you a community orchestra?

No. The MN Sinfonia is a professional, high-caliber orchestra, employing professional musicians and guest soloists. Sinfonia musicians are some of the most highly sought-after musicians in the region, and many have held high positions in orchestras around the world, including the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Russian State Symphony Orchestra and many others. See bios

how can you afford to offer free concerts?

All Sinfonia concerts and programs are funded through grants from government, corporate and private foundations, plus contributions from individuals. Each school program costs over $5,000, and each weekend of concerts cost up to $25,000.

Who do you serve?

The Sinfonia’s serves the people of Minnesota. Our concerts attract crowds ranging in age from babes in arms to senior citizens, and include a diverse ethnicities, income levels, and socioeconomic standings. According to annual surveys, over half of Sinfonia audiences have household incomes below $50,000, with 37 percent below $30,000. Schools that participate in the Music in the Schools program, report that more than 80% of their students are on free or reduced-price lunches, a marker for poverty. The student population served by the MN Sinfonia includes 33% black, 32% white, 16% Asian, 16% Hispanic or Latino, and 3% American Indian.

How often do you perform?

The  Sinfonia performs up to 80 free-admission concerts every year. Half of these concerts are performed for the general public during the Winter/Summer Concert Series and Community “Family Pops” Concerts. The others are performed in inner-city public elementary schools as part of the Music in the Schools program.

Where do you perform?

The Sinfonia plays at accessible venues throughout the Metro area, including:

  • The Basilica of St. Mary, Minneapolis
  • Metropolitan State University, St. Paul
  • First Covenant Church, St. Paul
  • The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley
  • Como Park, St. Paul
  • Caponi Art Park, Eagan
  • Camp Courage, Wright County
  • Lake Harriet Bandstand, Minneapolis
  • Lake Phalen Regional Park, St. Paul
  • Temple Israel, Minneapolis
  • Catholic Eldercare, Minneapolis
  • North Commons Park, Minneapolis
  • Northside YMCA, Minneapolis
  • East Side YMCA, St. Paul


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