Who Next for Minnesota Orchestra (Litton, Petrenko, Heras-Casado)...If Not Osmo Vänskä?

By James Inverne on Mar 24, 2014 03:28 PM EDT

As is being reported, it's not yet a done deal for Osmo Vänskä to return to the Minnesota Orchestra as music director. But who would be a good choice?

Well, first thing is you want someone who can bring people together, so a skilled political operator and man (and woman) manager--like, say, a Paul Daniel, who heroically guided English National Opera through its rockiest times. Or an Andrew Litton, about whom nobody seems to have a bad word to say.

Next, they need to be a fine orchestra builder--the band has lost some of its best players in the industrial dispute maelstrom of recent years. Step forward, oh, someone like Peter Oundjian who has done great things with the Toronto Symphony or Vasily Petrenko (who has turned the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic into a crack team).

Finally, one needs that bit of conductorial magic. The indefinable, special quality that makes players and audiences feel privileged to be gathered around that podium. On their day and in the right repertoire, any of the above have this, but one might also consider the likes of Jakub Hrůša, Edward Gardner (if he would take another orchestra), Vladimir Jurowski or Pablo Heras-Casado.

In fact, there are no shortage of candidates. But finding the right one who combines all of these factors, or has them in the right order of priority (and only insiders there will know what that order is), that's going to be the big trick. It might be one of the above, or someone completely different. It might even be Osmo Vänskä.

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TagsMinnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Pablo Heras-Casado, Vladimir Jurowski, Jakub Hrusa, Edward Gardner, Vasily Petrenko, Peter Oundjian, Andrew Litton, Paul Daniel

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