HJ/EDMarch 20, 2006

Finnish conductor coming to Performing Arts Center

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Osmo Vänskä, a native of Finland, will be conducting the Minnesota Orchestra Sunday, April 2, at the Performing Arts Center.

The matinee begins at 2 p.m. with tickets now on sale, $25 for adults and $15 for students.

The first performance at the PAC was the Minnesota Orchestra last year, which was a sellout program.

“It was a pleasure to come to a community with such a large and extremely enthusiastic crowd and that brought on the idea of going back,” commented Gwen Papas, director of public affairs.

“It was a privilege to play at the Performing Arts Center for its inauguration and it was a wonderful acoustical mix,” Papas continued.

Vänskä has a “heartfelt belief that playing concerts in local communities are just as important as playing in Europe,” Papas said.

Vänskä was born and raised in Finland and began his career leading the Lahti Symphony in Lahti, Finland.

“He put them on the map,” she said. Now they are in the process of recording a complete collection of Sibelius, a famous Finnish composer.

In 2003, Vänskä joined the Minnesota Orchestra and they have a magical chemistry together, Papas said.

In 2005, he won conductor of the year award by Musical America magazine as a distinguished conductor.

In the upcoming shows, Vänskä will be conducting music by Gustav Mahler, a late 19th century composer with a 98-member ensemble.

The performance at the PAC will be the finale of Vänskä’s first performance of Mahler, with three concerts in the Twin Cities prior to Sunday’s matinee.

The 98-member ensemble includes but are not limited to, violins, violas, cello, bass, woodwinds, and percussions.

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