Vänskä and Sibelius, a perfect pair!
Osmo Vänskä has been hailed by critics as the greatest living conductor of Jean Sibelius’ music, so don’t miss your chance to hear the centerpiece of Vänskä’s last season with the Minnesota Orchestra: a festival of the Finnish composer’s epic works.
Acting Assistant Principal Viola
Minnesota Orchestra Conductor Laureate Osmo Vänskä, whose 19-year tenure as the Orchestra’s music director concluded in summer 2022, is renowned internationally for his compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary and Nordic repertoires. His multi-year project with the Orchestra to perform and record all ten Mahler symphonies concluded in November 2022 with the Third Symphony. Signature initiatives of his music director tenure included a Sibelius symphonies cycle that earned the Orchestra its first Grammy Award and major tours to Cuba, Europe and South Africa. As a guest conductor, he has received extraordinary praise for his work with many of the world’s leading orchestras.
American violinist Stella Chen, the recipient of a 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant and 2020 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, was the winner of the International Queen Elisabeth Grand Prize—Queen Mathilde Prize in the 2019 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition. This season, she makes her debut with the Chicago Symphony and her New York City concerto debut in the U.S. premiere of Jorg Widmann’s Concerto No. 2, conducted by the composer. Last season, she appeared with numerous orchestras including the Belgian National Orchestra, Brussels Philharmonic, Luxembourg Philharmonia and Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra. She also gave debut performances at the Ravinia and Kronberg Academy Festivals as well as at the Salzburg Mozarteum. She has given solo performances at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago. Chen received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors from Harvard University and a master’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory.
Elina Vähälä appears regularly with all of the key Finnish orchestras as well being a guest of countless high-profile orchestras across the globe such as Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Dortmund Philharmoniker, Istanbul State Symphony, Malmo Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, RTVE Spanish Radio Orchestra, and has toured throughout the UK, Finland, Germany, China, Korea and South America. She enjoys a fruitful working partnership with many leading conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Carlos Kalmar, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Okko Kamu, Jakub Hrůša, Thierry Fischer, Sakari Oramo, Leif Segerstam, Josep Caballé-Domenech, Alexander Liebreich, and Michał Nesterowicz.
The 2021/22 season will see Elina Vähälä return to Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Seoul International Music Festival as well as her debuts with Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra and Pannon Philharmonic. She will also appear at the festivals in Tampere, Clandeboye and Oulu, where she has recently been appointed Artistic Director.
Violist Sam Bergman joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000. Born in Boston, he grew up primarily in small-town Pennsylvania, studying violin and viola with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. He attended Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, studying viola with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey, and was a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra before coming to Minneapolis. Since 2005, he has produced, written and hosted more than 40 original narrated shows for the Minnesota Orchestra, many with conductor Sarah Hicks for the Orchestra’s Inside the Classics series.
Visit Elixir Haus
A unique beverage experience awaits outside Orchestra Hall. Bold shots and classic flavors, crafted to warm quickly are in abundance. Venture out before your concert, or pre-order for an intermission pick up.