Osmo Vänskä

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Wikipedia

Osmo Antero Vänskä (born 28 February 1953, Sääminki, Finland) 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 Besançon Young Conductor's Competition.

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 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 of 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 from 1993–1996. In 1996, he was appointed chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony 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 Symphony Orchestra announced the return of Vänskä to the orchestra as its next principal guest conductor, effective with the 2014-2015 season.

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 October 1, 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.

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 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. He maintains a residence in Minneapolis. In private life, one of his hobbies is riding motorcycles.

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Discography

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Album

Year Title Artist Rating Releases
1989 Symphony no. 1 / Hiljaisuus / Violin Concerto Kalevi Aho; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Manfred Gräsbeck 1
1990 Sinfonisia luonnoksia / Cello Concerto / Symphony no. 4 Joonas Kokkonen; Torleif Thedéen, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1991 Violin Concerto in D minor, Original and Final Version Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Leonidas Kavakos, Osmo Vänskä 2
1992 The Tempest, op. 109 Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Opera Chorus, Osmo Vänskä 2
1993 Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings / Concordanza / Detto II Sofia Gubaidulina; Lahti Chamber Ensemble, Osmo Vänskä, Harri Ahmas, Ilkka Pälli 1
1994 Symphony no. 1 / Violin concerto / Symphony no. 8 Tauno Marttinen; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Pekka Kauppinen, Osmo Vänskä 1
1994 Nummisuutarit, Overture / Theme with Seven Variations and Coda, op. 44 / Kalevala Suite, op. 23 Uuno Klami; Jan-Erik Gustafsson, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 2
1995 Symphony no. 9 for Trombone & Orchestra / Concerto for Cello & Orchestra Kalevi Aho; Christian Lindberg, Gary Hoffman, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1995 Jedermann, op. 83 / Belshazzar's Feast, op. 51 (original score) / The Countess's Portrait Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Lahti Chamber Choir, Osmo Vänskä 1
1995 Saga Symphony Jón Leifs; Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1996 Symphony No. 5 (original 1915 version) / En Saga (original 1892 version) Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 2
1996 The Wood-Nymph Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Lasse Pöysti 2
1996 The Four Symphonies / Requiem Joonas Kokkonen; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Ulf Söderblom, Osmo Vänskä 1
1997 Geysir and Other Orchestral Works Jón Leifs; Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 2
1997 Symphonies 1 & 4 Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1997 Symphonies 2 & 3 Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1997 Symphony no. 10 / Rejoicing of the Deep Waters Kalevi Aho; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1997 Karelia - Complete Score / Kuolema - Incidental music Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1997 Symphonies 6 & 7 / Tapiola Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 2
1998 The Romantic Piano Concerto, Volume 18: Korngold: Piano Concerto in C-sharp for the Left Hand, op. 17 / Marx: Romantisches Klavierkonzert Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Joseph Marx; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Marc-André Hamelin 1
1998 Symphony no. 8 / Pergamon Kalevi Aho; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Hans-Ola Ericsson, Osmo Vänskä 1
1998 Joulun Ihmemaa Lahden Kaupunginorkesteri, Osmo Vänskä, Lahden musiikkiluokkien kuoro Laulupuu, Terhi Hildén 1
1998 Symphony no. 2 / Symphony no. 7 "Insect Symphony" Kalevi Aho; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1999 Karelia Suite / King Christian II / Pelléas et Mélisande Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1999 Lemminkäinen Suite with World Premiere Recording of Original Versions of no. 1 & 4 Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
1999 Angel of Light / Dances With the Winds / Cantus Arcticus Einojuhani Rautavaara; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Petri Alanko 2
2000 Sibelius - Lahti - Vänskä Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2000 Finland Awakes Jean Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2000 Chinese Songs / Symphony no. 4 Kalevi Aho; Tiina Vahevaara, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2001 Kullervo Jean Sibelius; Lilli Paasikivi, Raimo Laukka, Helsinki University Chorus, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2002 Tone Poems Sibelius; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2002 Music! Trio Töykeät, Jaakko Kuusisto, Pekka Kuusisto, The Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2003 Aho: Symphony no. 3 / Mussorgsky/Aho: Songs & Dances of Death Kalevi Aho; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Matti Salminen, Jaakko Kuusisto 2
2003 Rondo of the Waves Jean Sibelius; Sinfonia Lahti, Osmo Vänskä 2
2004 Symphonic Dances / Symphony no. 11 Kalevi Aho; Kroumata, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2004 Finnish Rhapsody / Kullervo's Funeral March / Sinfonietta / Aino Robert Kajanus; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 2
2004 The Journey: Symphony no. 8 / Violin Concerto Einojuhani Rautavaara; Sinfonia Lahti, Osmo Vänskä, Jaakko Kuusisto 1
2004 Snöfrid: Cantatas and Orchestral Works Jean Sibelius; Jubilate Choir, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2004 Symphonies nos. 4 & 5 Ludwig van Beethoven; Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2005 Song of the Earth Jean Sibelius; Dominante, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 2
2006 Spirit of Nature: Songs, Cantatas and Orchestral Works Jean Sibelius; Helena Juntunen, Tommi Hakala, Jyrki Korhonen, Dominante Choir, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2006 Symphony no. 3 in E-flat major "Eroica" / Symphony no. 8 in F major Beethoven; Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2006 Symphony no. 9 Ludwig van Beethoven; Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2007 The Origin of Fire Sibelius; Sinfonia Lahti, Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat, Tommi Hakala, Osmo Vänskä 1
2007 Clarinet Concertos Nielsen, Aho; Martin Fröst, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2007 Symphonies nos. 1 and 6 Ludwig van Beethoven; Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2008 The Voice of Sibelius Jean Sibelius; YL Male Voice Choir, Matti Hyökki, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2008 Symphonies nos. 2, 7 Beethoven; Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1
2010 Piano Concerto no. 2 / Symphony no. 13 Kalevi Aho; Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä, Antti Siirala 1
2010 Symphonie fantastique Hector Berlioz; Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä 1

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