Photos: Lahti, Finland

Photos: Lahti, Finland

The Orchestra arrived in Lahti, Finland early on Sunday afternoon with just two hours to warm-up, rehearse and acclimate to the striking wood-and-glass Sibelius Hall before a 4pm concert. Our ensemble last played a concert in this city—located about 60 miles northeast of Helsinki on the shores of Lake Vesi—in 2004, just six months into Osmo Vänskä’s first Minnesota season. Now, after 12 years, Osmo and Orchestra demonstrated how they’ve grown together. All photos © Greg Helgeson.

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Board members Margee Bracken and Luella Goldberg pack their bags in Helsinki and head to Lahti. A variety of board members and fans are joining with the Orchestra in each tour city.

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Andrew Chappell warms up on this first European Tour with the Orchestra.

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Osmo Vänskä and Erin Keefe arrive in Lahti. Osmo served as chief conductor of the Lahti Symphony immediately prior to joining the Minnesota Orchestra, and he is still a much-celebrated figure here.

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Assistant Conductor Roderick Cox steps off the bus in Lahti.

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On this tour Costa Rica native Gabriel Campos Zamora begins his tenure as the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal clarinet.

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Michael Sutton prepares for rehearsal at Sibelius Hall.

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Principal Second Violin Peter McGuire during this morning's rehearsal.

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Bassist Dave Williamson prepares for the concert.

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Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto rehearses Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1.

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Concertmaster Erin Keefe tunes the Orchestra to start the performance.

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Every seat at Sibelius Hall feels close to the stage with capacity topping out around 1200 people.

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This afternoon’s capacity crowd listened with rapt attention to Beethoven’s Eroica – and then clapped and stomped for two encores.

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The auditorium of Sibelius Hall is warm and intimate with the balconies creating a soft wave at the back of the venue.

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Expressive Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is well-known to this audience. He played the mysterious, searching Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 1—and a mournful Swedish folk song, with clarinet accompaniment by Osmo, to thunderous applause.

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Osmo Vänskä accompanies violinist Pekka Kuusisto in a Swedish folk song.

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Thunderous applause for the Minnesota Orchestra!

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Osmo Vänskä conducted a program that included Prokofiev and Beethoven.

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Grateful acknowledgement of the enthusiastic crowd.

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Chef Tapio Tolvanen, a friend of Osmo’s, created a welcome buffet to celebrate the Orchestra’s first concert of the tour. It featured five different types of herring!

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