Photos: Lahti, Finland Side-by-Side Rehearsal

Photos: Lahti, Finland Side-by-Side Rehearsal

On Monday morning Minnesota Orchestra musicians met and mentored student players from Finland’s VIVO Symphony Orchestra, a training orchestra that is made up of talented young players from all corners of Finland. Osmo conducted Dvořák's New World Symphony during the two hour session, encouraging students to focus on articulation, phrasing and playing ever-softer dynamics.

“More people onstage means you have the chance to play even more softly,” he said. The Orchestra has a long tradition of playing side-by-side rehearsals in the Twin Cities, most recently funded by Rosemary and David Good.

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Co-Principal Viola Richard Marshall with student.

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Gareth Zehngut, violist, with student.

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Sixteen-year-old Markus of Kotka, Finland couldn’t sleep well the night before the side-by-side rehearsal. “It was such an amazing thought that I was going to be here,” he said. “This was the most bass players I have ever played with and the pure power of sound coming through was amazing.” Although he wants to be a pilot someday, he is also open to a life in music and left Principal Bass Kristen Bruya with an open-ended offer: “If you ever need a bass player…”

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Concertmaster Erin Keefe and student.

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On Sunday he was the star soloist for Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto; on Monday Pekka Kuusisto surprised his student standmate and joined the section violins to participate in the side-by-side rehearsal.

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Clarinetist Tim Zavadil with student.

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A full stage of students and professionals rehearsing Dvořák's New World Symphony with Osmo Vänskä.

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Principal Clarinet Gabriel Campos Zamora (right) with student.

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The horn section takes on Dvořák.

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How do you say “cheese” in Finnish? Minnesota Orchestra musicians and their student counterparts in the VIVO Symphony posed for a group photo overlooking Lake Vesi during a rehearsal break on Monday.

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“Thank you flutes for playing with me,” Osmo said. “It is important to be flexible and take the conductor’s tempo. That is what marks the professional players.”

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The trumpets listen attentively.

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Sixteen-year-old Markus of Kotka, Finland rehearses Dvořák.

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The podium in Lahti’s Sibelius Hall bears a dedication to Osmo from his 50th birthday.

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Flute players Wendy Williams (left) and Roma Duncan (second from right) with students.

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VIVO student musicians were surprised to see Pekka Kuusisto joining them in the violin section for today's rehearsal.

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Rehearsal ended with a lunch that paired musicians and students side by side in the Sibelius Hall lobby. (No herring on this menu!)

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Stage crew members Joel Mooney (right) and Don Hughes confer before the rehearsal. Moving instruments and equipment is a big feat on an international tour, and this crew plots each move with great precision.

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