Symphony No. 8, Symphony of a Thousand
National Lutheran Choir
Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs
The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra, founded in 1903 and led since its centennial by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, is recognized for distinguished performances around the world, award-winning recordings, radio broadcasts, educational engagement programs, and commitment to building the orchestral repertoire of the future. The Orchestra tours regularly throughout Minnesota and nationally, and has toured abroad in Australia, Canada, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and South Africa. Recording has been an important part of the organization’s mission since the 1920s. During Vänskä’s tenure, the Orchestra has undertaken acclaimed recordings, including complete cycles of symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven, Jean Sibelius and—now underway—Mahler.
Since becoming the Orchestra’s music director in 2003, Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä has led the ensemble on several major international tours, including historic tours to Cuba and South Africa and six visits to Europe. His recording projects with the Orchestra have met with great success, including a Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance for an album of Sibelius symphonies. Vänskä's 19-year tenure as music director comes to a close at the end of the 2021-22 season, a year in which the Orchestra will celebrate his lasting impact through performances of Sibelius symphonies and other signature repertoire, reconnections with favorite guest soloists and the continuation of a project to perform and record all ten Mahler symphonies.
Two-time Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke has been called a “luminous standout” by the New York Times and “equal parts poise, radiance and elegant directness” by Opera News. Ms. Cooke has sung at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Seattle Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, and Gran Teatre del Liceu, among others, and with over 70 symphony orchestras worldwide frequently in the works of Mahler.
The coming season marks the release of Ms. Cooke’s new CD, entitled how do I find you, on the Pentatone label. The recording, which features 17 newly written songs by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Jimmy Lopez and others, is intended as a tribute to both the struggles and hopes of artists that have been wrought by the pandemic. Ms. Cooke will perform the world premiere with pianist Kirill Kuzmin on January 30th, 2022, as part of the San Francisco Symphony’s Great Performers Series, before giving subsequent recitals at the Shriver Hall Concert Series and elsewhere.
The Minnesota Chorale has served as the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal chorus since 2004 and is now in its 27th season under the leadership of Kathy Saltzman Romey. Founded in 1972, the Chorale is Minnesota’s preeminent symphonic chorus, with a roster of over 200 singers. Best known for its work with the two major orchestras of the Twin Cities, the ensemble is equally dedicated to programs that build and enrich community. A seasoned artistic partner, the Chorale continues to explore new artistic directions and collaborative opportunities, while earning the highest critical acclaim for its work on the concert stage. In August 2018, members of the Chorale traveled to South Africa to perform alongside the Minnesota Orchestra in its historic concerts in Soweto and Johannesburg.