Minnesota Sinfonia says it will cease operations in 2025

After more than 30 years of providing free concerts and music education, the Minnesota Sinfonia says next year will be its last full year.

“After a great deal of discussion, the Friends of Sinfonia Board of Directors has decided to cease the activity of the Minnesota Sinfonia in January 2025,” the nonprofit announced Thursday.

In addition to playing free concerts, the Sinfonia created its Music in the Schools program, serving up to 9,500 Minnesota students and offering a different way for those students to learn through music. Since the program started, the Sinfonia says more than 175,000 students have participated.

The organization’s stated mission has included a special emphasis on serving those with young children, inner-city youth, seniors and others with limited financial resources.

In addition to not charging any admission fees, the Sinfonia often travels to accessible community locations to reach those unable to commute. Past concerts have been played at the Basilica of Saint Mary, Lake Harriet Bandstand and even at school gymnasiums in Minneapolis and St. Paul’s inner-city public schools.

The Sinfonia was created by conductor Jay Fishman in 1989, gathering professional freelance musicians from all over the world along while frequently featuring award-winning national and international guest soloists.

“Jay has worked tirelessly to provide the artistic direction, management, fundraising, and music composition for over three decades for Sinfonia, and has indicated to the Board a strong desire to retire. This desire, coupled with the changing dynamic in the philanthropic community, prompted the Board to declare a ‘Well Done’ to Jay, the musicians, and the community which has supported the Sinfonia all these years,” the Sinfonia’s announcement said.

It adds that after the regular 2023-2024 concert season – which is set to run through April – and a set of farewell performances next fall, the Sinfonia will end its concert activity. However, Music in the Schools performances and materials will still be available into the winter of 2025.

Until that time, the organization will continue to operate and accept donations.

“Jay and the Board want to thank the thousands of individual contributors, businesses and foundations who have supported the Sinfonia, its mission, and programs for these past many years,” the Sinfonia said.

More information, including future concert dates, can be found online.