Osmo Vänskä

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Osmo Vänskä
Osmo Vanska in Commons Park 2017-09-19.jpg
Vänskä conducting a concert in Minneapolis in 2017
Background information
Birth nameOsmo Antero Vänskä
Born (1953-02-28) 28 February 1953 (age 66)
Sääminki, Finland
Occupation(s)Conductor, clarinetist, composer
Years active1971–present
Associated acts

Osmo Antero Vänskä (born 28 February 1953) is a Finnish conductor, clarinetist and composer.

Conducting directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures

Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.


He started his musical career as an orchestral clarinetist with the Turku Philharmonic (1971–76). [1] He then became the principal clarinet of the Helsinki Philharmonic from 1977 to 1982. During this time, he started to study conducting with Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy, where his classmates included Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jukka-Pekka Saraste. In 1982, he won the International Besançon Competition for Young Conductors.

The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra is a Finnish orchestra based in Turku, Finland. It is the oldest orchestra in Finland, and one of the worlds oldest still active orchestras. The Turku Philharmonic is resident at the Turku Concert Hall, the first purpose-built concert hall in Finland, completed in 1952.

Clarinet type of woodwind instrument

The clarinet is a family of woodwind instruments. It has a single-reed mouthpiece, a straight, cylindrical tube with an almost cylindrical bore, and a flared bell. A person who plays a clarinet is called a clarinetist.

Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra Orchestra based in Helsinki

The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra is a Finnish orchestra based in Helsinki. Its primary concert venue is the Helsinki Music Centre.

Vänskä became principal guest conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in 1985, and chief conductor in 1988. He concluded his tenure with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and is now the orchestra's Conductor Laureate. His complete set of Sibelius symphonies with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, also on the BIS label, has garnered widespread acclaim. He has recorded extensively with the Lahti orchestra for the BIS label, including music by Kalevi Aho, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Bernhard Crusell, Uuno Klami, Tauno Marttinen, Robert Kajanus, Sofia Gubaidulina, Joonas Kokkonen, Jan Sandström, Jean Sibelius, and Fredrik Pacius.

Lahti Symphony Orchestra orchestra

The Lahti Symphony Orchestra is a Finnish orchestra, based in the city of Lahti. The orchestra is resident at the Sibelius Hall. The orchestra was founded in 1910, and placed under the control of the Lahti municipality in 1949.

Jean Sibelius Finnish composer

Jean Sibelius, born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia.

Kalevi Aho Finnish composer

Kalevi Ensio Aho is a Finnish composer.

Vänskä was chief conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra from 1993 to 1996. In 1996, he was appointed chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBCSSO), and served in that capacity until 2002. With the BBCSSO, he made recordings of the complete Carl Nielsen symphonies for the BIS label. [2] In June 2014, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra announced the return of Vänskä to the orchestra as its next principal guest conductor, effective with the 2014-2015 season. [3] [4]

Iceland Symphony Orchestra Icelandic orchestra based in Reykjavík

Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands (ISO) is an Icelandic orchestra based in Reykjavík, Iceland. Its primary concert venue is Harpa Concert Hall. The French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier is the orchestra's Chief Conductor, Osmo Vänskä is its Honorary Conductor and Vladimir Ashkenazy holds the post of Conductor Laureate. In 2018 Anna Thorvaldsdottir assumed the position of Composer-in-Residence with the orchestra and Bjarni Frímann Bjarnason was appointed as Assistant Conductor.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, by the North Sea to the northeast and by the Irish Sea to the south. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

In 2003, Vänskä became the music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. He and the orchestra have received critical praise, and he is generally regarded as having enhanced the quality of the orchestra. [5] In 2004, Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra began a five-year project to record the complete Beethoven symphonies on the BIS label. [6] In 2005, Vänskä signed a contract extension with the Minnesota Orchestra through at least 2011. In September 2009, the orchestra announced the extension of Vänskä's contract through the 2014–2015 season. [7] He announced his resignation on 1 October 2013, one year after management locked out the musicians in a longstanding labor dispute. [8] In January 2014 Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra won a Grammy for best orchestral performance for the album of Sibelius' Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4. [9] He was re-appointed music director of the Minnesota Orchestra in April 2014 with a two-year contract, [10] which was extended in May 2015 to last until August 2019. [11] In July 2017, the orchestra announced a further extension of Vänskä's contract through the 2021-2022 season. [12] In December 2018, the orchestra announced that he announced that he would not renew the contract when it expires in August 2022, but would act as guest conductor. [13]

Minnesota Orchestra symphonic orchestra based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

The Minnesota Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Founded in 1903, the Minnesota Orchestra plays most of its concerts at Minneapolis's Orchestra Hall.

In May 2008, an orchestral piece composed by Vänskä titled "The Bridge" was premiered by the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, led by William Schrickel, assistant-principal bassist of the Minnesota Orchestra. Vänskä himself attended the world premiere. [14]

In April 2019, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra announces the appointment of Vänskä as its next music director, effective January 2020, with an initial contract of 3 years. [15]

Vänskä has been married twice. He and his former wife Pirkko, a freelance drama critic, have three grown children, one of whom, Olli, plays violin in the Finnish folk metal band Turisas. The couple separated in 2009. [16] In April 2015, Vänskä married Erin Keefe, the Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster. [17] The couple maintain a residence in Minneapolis. [13] In private life, one of his hobbies is riding motorcycles. [18]

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<i>Belshazzars Feast</i> (Sibelius)

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  1. Alla marcia
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<i>Cassazione</i> (Sibelius) orchestral composition by Jean Sibelius

Cassazione, Op. 6, is an orchestral composition by Jean Sibelius, composed in 1904 for the program introducing his Violin Concerto. Its title refers to the cassation, a genre similar to serenade, which was popular in the late 18th century. Sibelius structured the work in five "episodes". Although his opus numbers were already in the forties, he assigned the unused number Op. 6 to this work, implying an earlier composition date.

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  1. David Patrick Stearns, "Making His Mark: Osmo Vänskä". andante.com (overall site now defunct), February 2004.
  2. Andrew Clements (2005-04-15). "'For my next trick...'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
  3. "Osmo Vänskä aðalgestastjórnandi næstu þrjú starfsár" (Press release). Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveitar Íslands). 16 June 2014. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  4. Andrew Mellor (2014-07-10). "Principal Guest positions for Vänskä and Stenz". Gramophone. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  5. Jay Nordlinger (15 February 2007). "A Glorious Dawn, in Sound & Spirit". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
  6. James R. Oestreich (17 December 2006). "A Most Audacious Dare Reverberates". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
  7. "Music Director Osmo Vänskä Extends Contract With Minnesota Orchestra" (Press release). Minnesota Orchestra. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  8. Kerr, Euan, Conductor Vanska resigns from Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Public Radio (October 1, 2013)
  9. Jon Bream (24 January 2014). "Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä score a Grammy". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
  10. Kerr, Euan. "Vanska has deal to return as Minnesota Orchestra director". MPRnews.org. MPR News. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  11. "Minnesota Orchestra extends contract with Music Director Osmo Vänskä and announces new agreement with musicians" (Press release). Minnesota Orchestra. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  12. "Music Director Osmo Vänskä extends contract with Minnesota Orchestra" (Press release). Minnesota Orchestra. 10 July 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  13. 1 2 Euan Kerr (2018-12-05). "Minnesota Orchestra's Osmo Vanska to step down in 2022". MPR News. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  14. Combs, Marianne (16 May 2008). "Osmo Vanska composes a musical 'bridge'". MPR News. Minneapolis. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  15. "Osmo Vänskä Announced As Music Director of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra" (Press release). Harrison Parrott. 30 April 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  16. Graydon Royce (20 March 2009). "Vanska, wife to end 35-year marriage". Star-Tribune. Minneapolis.
  17. Jon Bream (January 2, 2015). ""Osmo Vänskä announces engagement"". (Minneapolis) StarTribune. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  18. Alex Ross (14 February 2005). "Osmosis". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2006-12-08.


Cultural offices
Preceded by
Ulf Söderblom
Chief Conductor, Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (artistic advisor)
Preceded by
Petri Sakari
Chief Conductor, Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Petri Sakari
Preceded by
Jerzy Maksymiuk
Chief Conductor, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Ilan Volkov