The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra, led by Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård—who is serving as music director designate during the 2022-23 season—is recognized for distinguished performances around the world, award-winning recordings and broadcasts, educational engagement programs, and commitment to building the orchestral repertoire of the future. Founded in 1903, the Orchestra has an extensive history of touring throughout Minnesota, nationally and abroad, including high-profile visits in recent years to Cuba, Europe and South Africa. Recording projects undertaken in the past two decades include complete cycles of symphonies by Beethoven, Sibelius and Mahler, all recorded under Osmo Vänskä, who is now the Orchestra’s conductor laureate.
Conductor Junping Qian, having just completed his second year as the Assistant Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, also serves as a Visiting Faculty member at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
His recent engagements, aside from his busy schedule with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, notably, include conducting the Covid-19 recovery rehearsal camp of Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, a China Tour with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Teatro del Giglio Lucca, his South American debut with Orchestra SODRE in Montevideo, Uruguay, his North American professional debut with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, an open-air summer concert in “Summer Classics” Festival Sibiu and re-invitations from Toronto, Macau, Kunming, Xi’An, Bucharest, Iasi, and Tirgus Mures. He served as the Strategic Advisor and Residential Artist of the Shanghai & Royal College of Music London Joint Institute from 2018 to 2020.
Xie joined the Minnesota Orchestra as principal bassoon at the beginning of the 2017-18 season after serving as principal bassoonist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra—an ensemble he first joined as second bassoonist in 2008. When he won the principal role in 2012, Xie became the first Chinese-born bassoonist to hold such a position in a major American symphony orchestra. He was previously a member of the Houston Grand Opera, principal bassoonist of the Mansfield Symphony in Ohio, and has appeared as guest principal bassoonist with orchestras such as Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.