Showcase January-February 2015 - page 12

innish conductor Osmo Vänskä, the
Minnesota Orchestra’s tenth music
director, is recognized internationally
for his compelling interpretations of
the standard, contemporary and Nordic
repertoires. He has led the Orchestra on
four major European tours—drawing rave
reviews for performances at European
music festivals including the BBC
Proms and Edinburgh Festival, and for
appearances at London’s Barbican Hall,
the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam,
the Vienna Musikverein and the Berlin
Philharmonie—as well as regular tours to
communities across Minnesota.
Vänskä’s recording projects with the
Minnesota Orchestra have also met with
great success. In January 2014 their
recording of Sibelius’ First and Fourth
Symphonies won a Grammy Award for
Best Orchestral Performance; a year earlier
their previous album, Sibelius’ Second and
Fifth Symphonies, had received a Grammy
nomination. These were released by BIS,
as were recent CDs including two albums
of Beethoven piano concertos featuring
Yevgeny Sudbin; a disc of Bruckner’s Fourth
Symphony; the oratorio
To Be Certain of the
Dawn
, composed by Stephen Paulus with
libretto by Michael Dennis Browne; and
a particularly widely praised cycle of the
complete Beethoven symphonies, of which
two discs—one of the Ninth Symphony and
one of the Second and Seventh—received
Grammy and Classic FM Gramophone
award nominations, respectively. Also
acclaimed was a two-CD set featuring
pianist Stephen Hough in live, in-concert
recordings of Tchaikovsky’s piano concertos
and Concert Fantasia, on the Hyperion
label.
As a guest conductor, Vänskä has received
extraordinary praise for his work with
many of the world’s leading orchestras,
including the Boston and Chicago
symphony orchestras, the Philadelphia
Orchestra, New York Philharmonic,
London Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic,
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Royal
Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna
Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic and
Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
He was recently appointed principal
guest conductor of the Iceland Symphony
Orchestra, a post he assumed last fall.
He is also conductor laureate of the Lahti
Symphony Orchestra, which, during two
decades as music director, he transformed
into one of Finland’s flagship orchestras,
attracting worldwide attention for
performances and for award-winning
Sibelius recordings on the BIS label.
Vänskä began his music career as a
clarinetist, holding major posts with the
Helsinki Philharmonic and the Turku
Philharmonic. Since taking up the
instrument again for a chamber concert
in Sommerfest 2005 he has performed
as clarinetist at Orchestra Hall, other
Twin Cities venues, the Grand Teton
Festival in Wyoming and the Mostly
Mozart Festival in New York, where he
also conducts regularly. His schedule in
2014-15 includes engagements with the
London Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony,
Berlin Konzerthausorchester, Shanghai
Symphony, Guangzhou Symphony and
additional major symphony orchestras in
Australia, Brazil, Finland, South Africa
and Spain. For more information, visit
minnesotaorchestra.org.
profile
Osmo Vänskä
, music director
f
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MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA SHOWCASE
Photo: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
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