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Osmo Vänskä /// Music Director

Press Room: Press Releases

Osmo Vänskä Conducts Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in Sommerfest Concert

Vänskä conducts Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Sibelius’ En Saga and James Newton Howard’s Violin Concerto, with 2017-18 Featured Artist James Ehnes as soloist

Music Director Osmo Vänskä leads the Minnesota Orchestra on Thursday, July 19, in a Sommerfest concert that includes two works that the Orchestra will perform during their August 2018 tour to South Africa: Sibelius’ En Saga and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The July 19 concert begins with En Saga, after which the Orchestra’s 2017-18 Featured Artist James Ehnes plays Academy Award-winning film composer James Newton Howard’s Violin Concerto, a work which Ehnes himself premiered in March 2015. Then, the Orchestra performs Beethoven’s famous Fifth Symphony.

This Minnesota Orchestra concert is held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, July 19, 2018, at 7:30 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $29 to $96.

After the full-Orchestra performance, James Ehnes will join Osmo Vänska and Minnesota Orchestra principal musicians Erin Keefe, Rebecca Albers and Anthony Ross for a NightCap concert featuring Gordon Jacob’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, with Vänskä playing clarinet. This performance begins at 10:00 p.m. in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall; a separate ticket is required.

James Ehnes, violin
Canadian violinist James Ehnes, the Minnesota Orchestra’s featured artist for the 2017-18 season, first performed with the Orchestra in 1993. He was heard here earlier this season performing the U.S. premiere of Anders Hillborg’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. He has been featured with the major orchestras of Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and New York, as well as the London Symphony, London Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, DSO Berlin and the NHK Symphony orchestras, among many others. His extensive discography has earned many awards including a Gramophone Award, a Grammy Award and 11 JUNO awards. He was named 2017 Instrumentalist of the Year at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and in 2010 was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. More:

Osmo Vänskä, conductor
Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä, the Minnesota Orchestra’s tenth music director, is renowned internationally for his compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires. In addition to the Orchestra’s May 2015 tour to Cuba, he has led the Orchestra on five major European tours, the most recent of which took place in August 2016, as well as regular tours to communities across Minnesota. His recording projects with the Minnesota Orchestra have also met with great success, including the 2014 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for their recording of Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies on the BIS Records label. In March 2018 the Orchestra released its newest album, featuring Mahler’s Sixth Symphony—part of a Mahler series that began with a Grammy-nominated Fifth Symphony recording. More:


Thursday, July 19, 2018, 7:30 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vänskä
, conductor
James Ehnes, violin

SIBELIUS             En Saga
HOWARD             Violin Concerto
BEETHOVEN      Symphony No. 5 

Tickets: $29 to $96

NightCap: A performance of Gordon Jacob’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, featuring Osmo Vänskä on clarinet, James Ehnes and Erin Keefe on violin, Rebecca Albers on viola and Anthony Ross on cello, July 19, at 10:00 p.m., in the Target Atrium. This performance requires a separate ticket, priced at $25 each, which includes one complimentary beverage.

OH+ Events

Free Concert Preview with Phillip Gainsley and James Ehnes in the N. Bud Grossman Mezzanine on Thursday, July 19, at 6:45 p.m.

Enjoy a variety of FREE extras, including performances, exhibits, activities, food vendors and more, curated with community partners and inspired by our Music for Mandela initiatives.

For more information about OH+, please visit


Individual tickets and subscription packages can be purchased online at, or by calling 612-371-5656 (612-371-5642 for subscriptions) or 800-292-4141. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Orchestra Hall Box Office, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis (Stage Door ticketing is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lobby Box Office ticketing begins two hours before all ticketed performances); and at the skyway accessible Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). For more information, call 612-371-5656, or visit For subscriptions, call 612-371-5642 or visit For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662. 

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

The Star Tribune is the Minnesota Orchestra’s media partner for the 2017-18 season.

The Minnesota Orchestra’s tour is funded by generous contributions from an anonymous couple. 

The Minnesota Orchestra recognizes the Douglas and Louise Leatherdale Fund for Music supporting the work of Osmo Vänskä.

Funding for the Music for Mandela project is provided in part by a consortium of corporations based in Minnesota that includes Ecolab, TCF Financial Corporation, Medtronic Foundation, Land O’Lakes, 3M, U.S. Bank, Thor Construction, Target and Pentair.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations 
(612) 371-5628 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Emma Plehal, Public Relations Writer and Coordinator
(612) 371-5625 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Press Contacts

Gwen Pappas

Director of Communications
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Carl Schroeder

Publications Editor
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Emma Plehal

Communications Manager and Assistant Editor
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Isaac Risseeuw

Social Media and Content Coordinator
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Communications Office

Minnesota Orchestra
1111 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
Phone: 612.371.5600
Fax: 612.371.7170

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