Osmo Vänskä
Conductor

“Vänskä isn’t only about meticulous preparation. In concert he’s a wiry dynamo: lean, whippy and indefatigably energetic. His interpretations are the same. He never stops probing and pushing.” (The Times)

Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Christopher Dingstad +44 (0)20 3725 9140
Grace Ko +44 (0)20 3725 9141

Biography

Music Director: Minnesota Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor: Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Laureate: Lahti Symphony Orchestra

 

Osmo Vänskä is internationally in demand as a guest conductor and has received extraordinary acclaim for his work with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras, The Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. He has also developed regular relationships with the Mostly Mozart Festival (New York) and the BBC Proms.

The 2013/14 season brings performances

...
Music Director: Minnesota Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor: Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Laureate: Lahti Symphony Orchestra

 

Osmo Vänskä is internationally in demand as a guest conductor and has received extraordinary acclaim for his work with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras, The Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. He has also developed regular relationships with the Mostly Mozart Festival (New York) and the BBC Proms.

The 2013/14 season brings performances with the San Francisco Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Wiener Symphoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestre National de Lyon, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Singapore Symphony.

Recording for BIS, Vänskä gained distinction as a recording artist with his landmark Sibelius cycle with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, described by Gramophone as “the finest survey of the past three decades.” In 2014, his recording with the Minnesota Orchestra of Sibelius’ Symphonies Nos.1 and 4 won a Grammy award – following the nomination of the Second and Fifth Symphonies the year before. A further Minnesota Orchestra record – the second featuring Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with Yevgeny Sudbin – was also released in 2013.

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Audio

Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Christopher Dingstad +44 (0)20 3725 9140
Grace Ko +44 (0)20 3725 9141

Reviews

“Vänskä’s scrupulously researched Sibelius is essential listening.” (Andrew Clark, Financial Times, January 2014)

“Vänskä is a Sibelius expert (he's already made a complete cycle of his fellow Finn's symphonies with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra), but the band from Minneapolis proves not only that they are up to par — they set the bar. These are recordings brimming with vigor and grace.” (NPR Classical, 10 Favorite Albums Of 2013, December 2013)

“This is a thoroughly compelling account of Sibelius’ enigmatic Fourth Symphony. Vänskä is one of the greatest living Sibelius conductors and knows how to bring out the despair at the heart of this spare, icy, almost rebarbative masterpiece.”

...

“Vänskä’s scrupulously researched Sibelius is essential listening.” (Andrew Clark, Financial Times, January 2014)

“Vänskä is a Sibelius expert (he's already made a complete cycle of his fellow Finn's symphonies with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra), but the band from Minneapolis proves not only that they are up to par — they set the bar. These are recordings brimming with vigor and grace.” (NPR Classical, 10 Favorite Albums Of 2013, December 2013)

“This is a thoroughly compelling account of Sibelius’ enigmatic Fourth Symphony. Vänskä is one of the greatest living Sibelius conductors and knows how to bring out the despair at the heart of this spare, icy, almost rebarbative masterpiece.” (Paul Gent, The Telegraph, April 2013)

"That Vanska found himself with a vacancy in his date book was a stroke of luck for the CSO...Vanska was on his toes, sometimes literally, in defining the dancing rhythms of the scherzo, while his handling of the long lead-up to the main portion of the final movement was as masterful as his shaping of the first-movement introduction. He kept the orchestra musicians – and audience members too – on the edge of their seats, so tremendous was the onrush of musical energy he generated in Brahms' noble finale." (Chicago Tribune, October 2012)

"Vänskä has this music deep within his bones, and he delivered a corruscating account of another world written in a time of war." (The Times, August 2012)

"Vänskä’s expressive beat drew such fine playing from the orchestra that the whole thing acquired an air of enchantment." (The Independent, August 2012)

"...With a conductor as stellar as Mr. Vänskä on the podium, there was plenty to admire in terms of phrasing and nuance" (The New York Times, August 2012)

"From a technical standpoint, the Minnesota Orchestra is one of the finest in the country. The strings are bright but with plenty of body, and the winds and brass have one of the most pleasing blends of any American orchestra – including an impressive horn section that was particularly outstanding in the opening work and Nielsen’s third movement. With Vänskä on the podium, the Minnesotans are presenting some of the most characterful and thoughtful music-making on the continent." (Classical Source, October 2011)

"Mr. Vanska has the Minnesota Orchestra sounding like one of America’s finest." (The New York Times, October 2011)

"Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra offered an astoundingly forceful, never-to-be-forgotten account of Sibelius’s Kullervo Symphony. Even the memory of it brings tears to my eyes. What secret of musical emotion does Vänskä possess?" (Alex Ross, The New Yorker, December 2010)

“Here he returns to Bruckner with a superb account of the Fourth remarkable, as one has learned to expect from Vänskä, for unusual textural clarity and the sense that he has come to the music from the inside, bringing it alive through unrelenting attention to detail and unsentimentally brisk tempi. If this release signals the beginning of a Bruckner cycle on BIS, we shall all be the better off for it.” (Finnish Music Quarterly, October 2010)

“Vänskä has been the music director of the Minnesota [Orchestra] since 2003. For some years, it has been evident that he is a conductor of genius, one whom Furtwängler might have recognized as a kindred spirit. The crucial element in his work is unanimity — not unanimity of execution (although that was hardly lacking) but unanimity of feeling. The climaxes were as shattering as on any other night, but the quietest moments registered even more strongly. I hope that Vänskä and his players went home happy… For the duration of the evening of March 1st, the Minnesota Orchestra sounded, to my ears, like the greatest orchestra in the world.” (The New Yorker, March 2010)

“…the Sixth was wonderfully relaxed, without a trace of unnecessary rhetoric and a perfect example of Vänskä's total trust in Sibelius's sense of musical architecture, the "miraculous logic" that gave the LPO series its title, and which he understands better than any other conductor today.” (The Guardian, February 2010)

Discography

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