Osmo Vänskä returns as Music Director!

Statement of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra on the return of Osmo Vänskä as Music Director

Photo by Courtney Perry

Photo by Courtney Perry

Minneapolis - “The musicians are truly excited by the board’s decision to bring back Osmo as Music Director. This is a major step in rebuilding the trust and collaborative spirit within our organization as well as with our community. We very much look forward to further collaboration with Osmo, our Board, and our community to continue to build upon the Minnesota Orchestra’s 110-year legacy of artistic excellence.”

Osmo Vänskä and the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra at Minneapolis South High School


59 copyWith Osmo Vänskä on the podium, we were delighted to present Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition at Minneapolis at South High School on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Violist Sam Bergman provided engaging commentary that introduced Mussorgsky’s iconic music to students enrolled in South’s music and art programs. Maestro Vänskä and Musicians greeted the students before and after the concerts, answering questions and even taking a few selfies with students!

As part of our mission to deepen connections between the community and great orchestral music, our Symphonic Adventures concerts are presented in area high schools. In an up-close and familiar setting, students have the opportunity to hear the orchestra, meet musicians and learn about orchestral masterworks. The locations of previous Symphonic Adventures concerts are listed on our here.

Joshua Bell and Osmo Vänskä

An amazing evening with Joshua Bell, Osmo Vänskä and our great audience! Even the Grammy showed up!


Glorious Grammy Celebration Concerts!

OsmoGrammyinORCHHALLcroppedThe Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra were thrilled to play three Grammy Celebration Concerts with Maestro Osmo Vänskä on March 27, 28, and 29. Sold out audiences gave Sibelius Symphonies No. 1 and 4 their rapt attention and thunderous ovations while gorgeous flowers from SOSMN adorned the podium. Orchestra Hall was filled with love for this great music and bond we share through it. MarchOsmo_003

We loved visiting with supporters decked in blue and white and sporting Finnish flags before and after the concert. The Musicians are grateful to Osmo for his extraordinary leadership for these passionate performances and to our dear audience members for their spirit and support. We will never forget these concerts!

Click on the photos for larger versions.MoMOFBCover

Symphonic Adventures Concerts Continue

Manny Laureano

Manny Laureano

The lockout may be over, but the mission of the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians to deepen connections between ourselves and the community continues! We are thrilled to announce two upcoming Symphonic Adventures concerts for students at area high schools:

Friday March 21st | Wayzata High School
Manny Laureano conducts Brahms’ 2nd Symphony

Osmo Vänskä

Osmo Vänskä

Wednesday, April 16th | Minneapolis South High School
Osmo Vänskä conducts Pictures at an Exhibition

These hour-long concerts offer students involved in music programs at their high schools an opportunity to hear the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians perform live and up close in their own school. Great music is interspersed with informative and inspiring dialogue from the conductor on the podium. We thank our generous supporters and donors who make it possible for the Musicians to be able to provide these educational programs to deserving students.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We’re Back!


We are thrilled to be back on stage at Orchestra Hall playing great classical music for you, our beloved audience! It was wonderful to see many of you at the opening concerts on Friday and Saturday, and we hope to see many more of you at exciting upcoming concerts!

Single tickets are now on sale for Classical, Live at Orchestra Hall, and Sommerfest! For more information on programs, tickets and subscriptions, please visit: www.minnesotaorchestra.org

To read more about the return of music and the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra to Orchestra Hall, we share these articles with you:

Minnesota Orchestra returns to Orchestra Hall
Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune Updated: February 8, 2014 – 10:31 AM

Minnesota Orchestra Returns After a 16-Month Lockout

Concert review: Minnesota Orchestra returns to Orchestra Hall
Article by: LARRY FUCHSBERG , Special to the Star Tribune Updated: February 8, 2014 – 10:36 AM

Minnesota Orchestra audience: ‘Bring back Osmo’
Euan Kerr · MPRNews – St. Paul, Minn. · Feb 8, 2014

New logo, website, board officers for MN Orchestra; One Minute Play Festival by Pamela Espeland | 02/04/14


Minnesota Orchestra Elects Gordon Sprenger to Serve as Board Chair

The Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors today elected Gordon M. Sprenger to serve as its chair.  Sprenger, who joined the Orchestra Board in 2006, is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Allina Health System.

Since joining the Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors, Sprenger has chaired the organization’s Architect Selection Committee and its Board, Development and Governance Committee, as well as serving on its Executive, Audit and Human Resources committees, and as a Campaign Vice Chair for the Building for the Future Campaign. As President and CEO of Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Allina Health System, Sprenger led the state’s largest not-for-profit health care system and additionally served as board chair for both the American Hospital Association and the Minnesota Hospital Association.  He has served on the boards of corporations such as Medtronic and St. Paul Companies and non-profits including St. Olaf College, Luther Theological Seminary and the Midtown Global Market.

“I am privileged to have been asked to serve as chair during this important moment in the life of the Minnesota Orchestra,” said Sprenger.  “Our collective work is now to restore trusting, respectful relationships within the organization among musicians, board and administration and to build broad bridges of support to our greater community.  By focusing on collaboration, and our shared passion for world-class performances of the classical music that gives our organization its mission, I’m confident we will launch a positive new era for the Minnesota Orchestra and its audiences and supporters.”

Said clarinetist Tim Zavadil, “The Musicians of the Orchestra are optimistic that the new leadership of the orchestra board has a commitment to world-class music and a deep connection to our community. The Musicians are eager to return to the stage next week and begin sharing music with our audience and classical music lovers in Orchestra Hall.  We look forward to working with the new board chair, Gordon Sprenger.”

Minnesota Orchestra Wins Grammy!

Sibelius1-4We are thrilled to announce that the Minnesota Orchestra and former Music Director Osmo Vänskä have won a Grammy Award in the Best Orchestral Performance category! The album of Jean Sibelius’ First and Fourth Symphonies was produced and recorded by Swedish label BIS Records.

The announcement was made at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. In celebration of the award, the orchestra will perform Grammy Celebration Concerts at Orchestra Hall on March 27 to 29, 2014, featuring the same repertoire with Vänskä conducting.

The Musicians are deeply proud of our work with Osmo, and we congratulate him and our friends at BIS for this honor. We are elated to have been recognized among such incredible world-class orchestras, and we thank all who have supported the Minnesota Orchestra to make this Grammy win possible.

“The winning of a Grammy award for Best Orchestral Performance confirms where the Musicians and our leader Osmo Vänskä were as a symphony orchestra before the lockout.  We were a great orchestra enjoying a special relationship with our music director, Osmo Vänskä, that brought worldwide acclaim to Minnesota. This is also why we need him to return and carry on with the projects and partnership that have brought this orchestra to great heights.  We know this community deserves an orchestra of that level of distinction,” said Tony Ross, Principal Cellist.

We encourage everyone to attend our Homecoming Concerts February 7 / 8 and February 14/15 where attendees will receive a free copy of the Grammy-winning album!

The Musicians wish to congratulate our colleagues and friends in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for their recording collaboration with Maria Schneider and soprano Dawn Upshaw: “Winter Morning Walks” won Grammys for best contemporary classical composition and classical vocal solo.


Minnesota Orchestra Classical Season Announced!

Laurel Green delivers flowersThe Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are excited to return to our home at Orchestra Hall for the newly announced classical subscription season. We invite you to share a magnificent season with us -filled with great music and friends, both new and old.

Subscribe and Buy Tickets Here


Osmo Vänskä

Several concerts from our “indie” season have been preserved, including an appearance by superstar violinist Joshua Bell in April, as well as Grammy Celebration concerts in March and historic Northrop reopening concerts in May with former Music Director Osmo Vänskä. We are also gratified to continue the Common Chords project with week-long festival in Hibbing. Common Chords is a fantastic vehicle for forging profound relationships and cultural partnerships with communities around our state.


Stephen Hough

We look forward to working again with great artists familiar to our audiences. Pianist Stephen Hough joins us for Rachmaninoff’s iconic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton shares his talents at both the podium and the piano. Associate Conductor Courtney Lewis showcases Mahler’s 5th Symphony and Principal Pops Conductor Sarah Hicks brings Bernstein’s West Side Story to life. Minnesota composer Steve Heitzeg has a new work in celebration of Orchestra Hall’s reopening and guest conductors Yan Pascal Tortelier and Mark Wigglesworth traverse musical territory from the beautiful to the breathtaking.

Eric Whitacre

Eric Whitacre

We extend an enthusiastic welcome to the new artists coming to collaborate with the Orchestra. Composer-conductor Eric Whitacre makes his debut with a choral-orchestral spectacular. Additional guest conductors include Christopher Warren-Green and Minnesota Opera Music Director Michael Christie. We also look forward to introducing pianists Daniil TrifonovMichael McHale and Natasha Paremski to Minnesota audiences.

Subscription packages for the 2014 classical season are available to renewing and new subscribers beginning January 27, 2014. Individual tickets are available starting on February 9, 2014.

Subscribe and Buy Tickets Here

  • Packages and tickets can be purchased online at minnesotaorchestra.org or in person at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
  • The Orchestra Hall Box Office will be open beginning two hours prior to concert start time through intermission for ticketed performances.
  • Special Box Office and lobby hours begin at 4 p.m. on days of the Minnesota Orchestra’s homecoming concerts on February 7, 8, 14 and 15.
  • For more information, call 612-371-5656 or 800-292-4141, or visit minnesotaorchestra.org/subscribe.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.


Return to Orchestra Hall with the Musicians and Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski for concerts February 7th and 8th featuring Beethoven’s Third Symphony. The homecoming continues February 14th and 15th as Yan Pascal Tortelier conducts Holst’s Planets and the Elgar Cello Concerto with soloist Steven Isserlis

Tickets on-sale beginning January 22. The official season launches later in February with a complete season announcement to follow later this month. The public is invited to attend a free open house at Orchestra Hall before each homecoming concert.

The Minnesota Orchestra today announced plans for two weeks of homecoming concerts February 7 through 15, offering audiences the first chance to hear the orchestra perform in renovated Orchestra Hall.

The Orchestra’s return begins February 7 and 8 with a pair of historic concerts led by the ensemble’s eminent Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, highlighted by Beethoven’s heroic Third Symphony and Skrowaczewski’s own powerful orchestration of Bach’s D-minor Toccata and Fugue—the work that opened the first concert at Orchestra Hall in 1974.

French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier continues the musical homecoming February 14 and 15 with a set of Valentine’s weekend concerts that includes an all-British program of Holst’s popular The Planets and Elgar’s Cello Concerto, the latter featuring virtuoso soloist Steven Isserlis.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m., and all are preceded by a free public open house at Orchestra Hall, with doors opening at 4 p.m. Members of the community are invited to become acquainted with the renovated facility, while subscribers may survey seat locations and renew series tickets. No tickets or reservations are required to attend the open house.

“We are thrilled to return to Orchestra Hall, our home, and the home for world class symphonic music in this community. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony will be a triumphant moment for the Minnesota Orchestra,” said Tony Ross, principal cellist.

Skrowaczewski’s artistic relationship with the Minnesota Orchestra extends more than five decades, nearly half of the ensemble’s history, and it is fitting for him to lead our homecoming to the Hall he helped build, reopening just as it opened 40 years ago: with his own orchestration of a Bach masterpiece.

The homecoming concerts, held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis, are performed on Friday, February 7; Saturday, February 8; Friday, February 14; and Saturday, February 15, with each concert beginning at 8 p.m. and preceded by a free public open house beginning at 4 p.m.

Tickets to these concerts will be available online at minnesotaorchestra.org starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22.

Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order.

The four homecoming concerts are a prelude to the full 2014 Minnesota Orchestra season. Additional announcements about the season will be forthcoming later this month.

Minnesota Orchestra Homecoming Concerts:


Friday, February 7, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Minnesota Orchestra
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, conductor

BACH/Skrowaczewski     Toccata and Fugue in D minor
STRAUSS                     Don Juan
BEETHOVEN                Symphony No. 3, Eroica

Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director from 1960 to 1979, welcomes the ensemble and the community back to Orchestra Hall with concerts that begin with the first music heard at the Hall’s opening in 1974—his own orchestration of J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor.  Also on the program are the Richard Strauss tone poem Don Juan and Ludwig van Beethoven’s heroic Third Symphony.

Tickets: Available online at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order.


Friday, February 14, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Saturday, February 15, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall
Minnesota Orchestra
Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor
Steven Isserlis, cello
Women of the Minnesota Chorale

ELGAR                         Cello Concerto
HOLST                         The Planets

French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier continues the Minnesota Orchestra’s homecoming, leading a program of two British masterworks—Edward Elgar’s exquisite Cello Concerto, featuring the composer’s countryman Steven Isserlis as soloist; and Gustav Holst’s The Planets, an astrological sojourn of music ranging from warlike to jovial, with an ethereal close that includes the women of the Minnesota Chorale, the Orchestra’s principal chorus.

Tickets: Available online at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order.

Tickets will be available starting at 5 p.m. on January 22, 2014, at minnesotaorchestra.org. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; offices are closed on January 20 for the Martin Luther King holiday). The Orchestra Hall Box Office will be open beginning at 4 p.m. on days of the homecoming concerts. Prices listed do not include a $5 service charge per transaction for online orders. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office or Orchestra Hall Box Office. A non-discountable $5 facility fee is included in the price of each individual ticket. No refunds. Tickets to homecoming concerts are non-exchangeable. All sales are final.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant.