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Osmo Vänskä Conducting Farewell Concerts with Minnesota Orchestra Musicians

By Louise Burton on Oct 04, 2013 11:55 AM EDT

Although he resigned as music director on October 1, Osmo Vänskä will lead the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra one more time (in two concerts) scheduled for this Friday and Saturday.

"The concerts, also featuring piano soloist Emanuel Ax, will be Vänskä's farewell to the community and audience that have supported classical music so passionately," read a statement on the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra's website.

"These concerts are going to be truly special," said principal trombonist Douglas Wright. "As heartbroken as we are to be saying good-bye, we couldn't be more honored to have Osmo join us once again on-stage."

The concerts will take place at the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota at 8:00 p.m. on October 4 and 5. Vänskä will lead the orchestra in Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 27 with Emanuel Ax, piano soloist. The program will conclude with a performance of Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. Tickets for these concerts are available at tickets.umn.edu.

Vänskä resigned on Tuesday after a long-term contract dispute caused the cancellation of the orchestra's Carnegie Hall concerts, scheduled for November. Minnesota Orchestra musicians and management have been locked in a bitter contract dispute for an entire year, and musicians recently rejected management's fourth proposal for a new contract.

Vänskä's resignation was another blow for the already troubled orchestra. His leadership brought the orchestra to new heights, and now the orchestra's future is increasingly uncertain as the lockout continues.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that the musicians "enjoyed a truly rare chemistry with him and are deeply grateful to [Vänskä] for imparting his passionate vision, exacting discipline and the resulting confidence that came from being at the top of our game." There will be one more chance to experience this unique chemistry during Vänskä's farewell concerts this weekend.

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TagsOsmo Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra, Emanuel Ax, Douglas Wright, Ted Mann Concert Hall, University of Minnesota, Beethoven, Mozart, Stravinsky, Firebird Suite, Carnegie Hall, St. Paul Pioneer Press

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