July 25, 2012

Minnesota Orchestra extends Litton's Sommerfest contract

by Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Andrew Litton will remain the artistic director of the Minnesota Orchestra's popular Sommerfest program through at least 2014.

The orchestra today announced an extension of Litton's contract. President Michael Henson described Litton as an invaluable part of the creative team.

Litton has led the popular summer music series since 2003, when he was brought in to breathe new vigor into the program. He loves the challenge of playing the broad range of music which is the hallmark of a Sommerfest season with what he considers one of the best orchestras in the world.

"We are constantly looking at different repertoire, new repertoire, exciting things for our audiences, because I always maintain the joy of Sommerfest is watching people leave with smiles on their faces," Litton said.

"It's really been a lot of fun to return Sommerfest to the kind of crazy, zany excitement that existed in its beginnings," Litton said.

At the completion of the new contract Litton will become the longest-serving Sommerfest artistic director.

This year's festival wraps up Saturday. Renovations on Orchestra Hall required a temporary move to the Ted Mann Hall on the University of Minnesota campus.