Osmo Antero Vänskä (born 28 February 1953) is a Finnish conductor,
clarinetist and composer.
He started his musical career as an orchestral clarinetist with the
Turku Philharmonic (1971–76). 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.
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
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.
Vänskä was chief conductor of the
Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Iceland Symphony Orchestra from
1993 to 1996. In 1996, he was appointed chief conductor of the BBC
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. In June 2014, the Iceland
Orchestra announced the return of Vänskä to the orchestra
as its next principal guest conductor, effective with the 2014-2015
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. In 2004, Vänskä and the
Minnesota Orchestra began a
five-year project to record the complete Beethoven symphonies on the
BIS label. 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. He announced his resignation on 1 October 2013,
one year after management locked out the musicians in a longstanding
labor dispute. 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. He was re-appointed music
director of the
Minnesota Orchestra in April 2014 with a two-year
contract, which was extended in May 2015 to last until August
2019. In July 2017, the orchestra announced a further extension of
Vänskä's contract through the 2021-2022 season.
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.
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. In April 2015, Vänskä married Erin Keefe, the
Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster. He maintains a residence in
Minneapolis. In private life, one of his hobbies is riding
^ David Patrick Stearns, "Making His Mark: Osmo Vänskä". andante.com
(overall site now defunct), February 2004.
^ Andrew Clements (2005-04-15). "'For my next trick...'". The
Guardian. Retrieved 2007-01-28.
Osmo Vänskä aðalgestastjórnandi næstu þrjú starfsár" (Press
Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Iceland Symphony Orchestra (Sinfóníuhljómsveitar
Íslands). 16 June 2014. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014.
^ Andrew Mellor (2014-07-10). "Principal Guest positions for Vänskä
and Stenz". Gramophone. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
^ Jay Nordlinger (15 February 2007). "A Glorious Dawn, in Sound &
Spirit". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
^ James R. Oestreich (17 December 2006). "A Most Audacious Dare
Reverberates". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-24.
^ "Music Director
Osmo Vänskä Extends Contract With Minnesota
Orchestra" (Press release). Minnesota Orchestra. 24 September 2009.
^ Kerr, Euan, Conductor Vanska resigns from Minnesota Orchestra,
Minnesota Public Radio (October 1, 2013)
^ Jon Bream (24 January 2014). "
Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä
score a Grammy". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
^ Kerr, Euan. "Vanska has deal to return as Minnesota Orchestra
director". MPRnews.org. MPR News. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
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.
^ "Music Director
Osmo Vänskä extends contract with Minnesota
Orchestra" (Press release). Minnesota Orchestra. 10 July 2017.
^ Combs, Marianne (16 May 2008). "Osmo Vanska composes a musical
'bridge'". MPR News. Minneapolis. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
^ Graydon Royce (20 March 2009). "Vanska, wife to end 35-year
marriage". Star-Tribune. Minneapolis.
^ Jon Bream (January 2, 2015) "
Osmo Vänskä announces engagement",
^ Alex Ross (14 February 2005). "Osmosis". The New Yorker. Retrieved
Michael Anthony: Osmo Vänskä:
Orchestra Builder. Kirk House
Publishers. ISBN 978-1-933794-20-4
Osmo Vänskä at this is FINLAND.
Osmo Vänskä at Hyperion Records.
Osmo Vänskä at Minnesota Orchestra.
Anthony Tommasini, "Surprising And Bold, Even if Not In the Club". New
York Times, 11 February 2004 (review of Carnegie Hall concert)
Interview with Osmo Vanska from InDigest Magazine.
Chief Conductor, Lahti Symphony Orchestra
Jukka-Pekka Saraste (artistic advisor)
Chief Conductor, Iceland Symphony Orchestra
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Minnesota Orchestra Music Directors
Emil Oberhoffer (1903)
Henri Verbrugghen (1923)
Eugene Ormandy (1931)
Dimitri Mitropoulos (1937)
Antal Doráti (1949)
Stanisław Skrowaczewski (1960)
Neville Marriner (1979)
Edo de Waart
Edo de Waart (1986)
Eiji Oue (1995)
Osmo Vänskä (2003)
ISNI: 0000 0000 8206 7727
BNF: cb13934819b (data)