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Erin Keefe and Osmo Vänskä
Erin Keefe & Osmo Vänskä | © Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Vänskä's Farewell Concerts

Vänskä and Keefe

Thu Jun 2 — Sat Jun 4, 2022

Orchestra Hall

~2 hrs including a 20 min intermission

Led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, this concert features Concertmaster Erin Keefe alongside friend and pianist Juho Pohjonen in Mendelssohn’s radiant Concerto for Piano, Violin and Strings. The program also includes the poignant world premiere of the late Jaakko Kuusisto’s final work, which has been completed by his brother Pekka Kuusisto. To start the concert, the Sphinx Virtuosi make their Orchestra Hall debut with the stirring Ev’ry Voice for string orchestra by Xavier Foley, which encourages us to look and listen anew beyond racial and cultural divisions, and the exciting final movement of Alberto Ginastera’s Concerto for Strings. The renowned string ensemble then joins forces with the Orchestra for the remainder of the concert.

The performance on Jun 3, 2022 will be broadcast with a live audience on TPT-2 and livestreamed on the Minnesota Orchestra website. Not sure what to expect? Read on about the experience

A Few Things to Know

  • During the pandemic, Vänskä and Keefe recorded many duets together for clarinet and violin and shared them with audiences around the world.
  • After Jaakko Kuusisto passed away in February 2022 with his Symphony in a partially finished state, Jaakko’s younger brother Pekka Kuusisto completed the work in only three months’ time based on Jaakko’s sketches of the rest of the symphony with some new material in the style of what Jaakko had already written.
  • In 2017, the Minnesota Orchestra celebrated Finland’s Centennial with a special Finnish-themed concert which featured the world premiere of Jaakko Kuusisto’s Violin Concerto—performed by Elina Vähälä.
  • The Sphinx Virtuosi are the nation’s most dynamic, exhilarating professional chamber orchestra dedicated to increasing racial and ethnic diversity in classical music. Comprised of 18 of the nation’s top Black and Latinx classical soloists, the Virtuosi are primarily alumni of the internationally renowned Sphinx Competition, and its members work together as cultural ambassadors reaching new audiences.

Date & Time





    Ev’ry Voice

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    This recent work—an homage to Lift Every Voice and Sing, a song often referred to as the Black National Anthem—brings out the sonority and virtuosity of the strings to feature the familiar melodic material, while uncovering new timbres and sounds.


    Finale furioso, from Concerto for Strings

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    The finale of Ginastera’s Concerto for Strings is colorful, rhythmic and almost breathless, showcasing folk idioms and changing meters.


    Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    The piano often takes the lead in this double concerto from the composer’s youth, followed closely by violin, and the brilliant conclusion points to the greatness of the composer’s mature work.


    Symphony [world premiere]

    1 min note

    One Minute Note

    The Minnesota Orchestra commissioned Jaakko Kuusisto—a longtime friend and collaborator of Music Director Osmo Vänskä—to compose a new symphony as a capstone to Vänskä’s final season. When Kuusisto passed away tragically in February at age 48, the work was not yet ready for performance, but his brother Pekka Kuusisto, also a renowned composer, has completed the symphony to allow for this poignant world premiere performance.


Minnesota Orchestra

Sphinx Virtuosi

Osmo Vänskä


Erin Keefe


Juho Pohjonen


Your Concert Experience

Join us for Q&A’s, hosted discussions, exhibits and more. All free with your concert ticket!

Pre-Concert Panel Discussion

When: Thu, Jun 2 | 10:15 - 10:35am
Where: Auditorium

Come hear from the next generation of arts leaders! As part of the Sphinx Organization's residency with the Minnesota Orchestra, join members of the Sphinx LEAD program to hear their insights on arts administration and more.

Singing Strings Performance

When: Fri, Jun 3 | 6:45pm - 7:15pm
Where: Roberta Mann Grand Foyer

Enjoy a variety of traditional Finnish folk melodies presented by the Singing Strings, an ensemble from the Evergreen School of Performing Arts.

Pre-Concert Panel Discussion

When: Fri, June 3 | 7:25pm - 7:45pm
Where: N. Bud Grossman Mezzanine

Come hear from the next generation of arts leaders! As part of the Sphinx Organization's residency with the Minnesota Orchestra, join members of the Sphinx LEAD program to hear their insights on arts administration and more.

Osmo Vänskä CD Signing

When: Sat, Jun 4 | Post-concert
Where: Lobby

Join us after the concert as Osmo Vänskä will sign the Orchestra’s Mahler Symphony CDs, including the newest release of Mahler’s Tenth Symphony.

Accessibility Services

  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Large Print Programs
  • Service Animals
  • Wheelchair & Accessible Seating

Additional services are available upon request.

Sponsored By

Co-Sponsored by Karen and Stanley Hubbard
The Minnesota Orchestra is grateful to The Daniel N. and Constance B. Kunin Fund for supporting the commissioning of Jaakko Kuusisto's Symphony.