If you’ve been to a Vikings home game this season, you’ve probably noticed a certain hometown orchestra featured as part of a dramatic video at the top of the game that introduces the Vikings players.
In the video, amidst smoke and leaping flames, Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in Symphony of the North, a specially-commissioned work written by Tommy Barbarella, a former member of the New Power Generation. “Any time you get asked to write something for one of the world’s best orchestras, it’s a no brainer," says Barbarella. "The answer is ‘absolutely’!”
“The Vikings were looking for something that felt like a preparation for battle,” he explains. “Something dark and ominous that grew with intensity to a big finish that would get everyone fired up. The challenge was to get it all in in 90 seconds.”
The Orchestra has collaborated with the Vikings before. In September 1995, then-Music Director Eiji Oue and the Orchestra played a pre-game show at the Metrodome that include a new piece by Oue entitled “Vikings Kickoff.” And in 2016, for the opening of the U.S. Bank Stadium, Vänskä and the Orchestra took to the field for a Prince tribute, along with the Steele family.
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Australia’s Limelight magazine has bestowed its 2021 Recording of the Year Award on the Minnesota Orchestra for the disc of Gustav Mahler’s Tenth Symphony that was released by BIS Records in January of this year.
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