On Monday, July 10, the Minnesota Orchestra announced that Music Director Osmo Vänskä has signed a new three-year contract which will extend his leadership of the Minnesota Orchestra through its 2021-22 season and bring Vänskä's tenure to 19 years — a length equaled only by founding Music Director Emil Oberhoffer and sixth Music Director Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
Under the terms of the new agreement, Vänskä will conduct a minimum of 12 weeks of concerts each season. Vänskä, whose current contract expires at the end of the 2018-19 season, began his tenure in in September 2003.
"When I first joined the Orchestra, I spoke often about how the Minnesota musicians were willing to work hard every day," Vänskä said in a press release from the orchestra. "I am still so inspired by their work ethic, their dedication and their incredible artistry. I am proud to be part of this wonderful organization."
Osmo Vänskä is the tenth music director in the 114-year history of the Minnesota Orchestra. In addition to regular guest conducting engagements with some of the world's leading orchestras, he also serves as honorary conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Lahti Symphony, which he led for two decades as music director. Highlights of Vänskä's many accomplishments with the Minnesota Orchestra are enumerated in the orchestra's press release about Vänskä's contract extension. Among the orchestra's notable achievements during Vänskä's tenure was its historic visit to Cuba in 2015>.
"The Minnesota Orchestra's reputation at home and abroad has continued to grow under Osmo's leadership, and his tenure has been unique, exciting and fruitful," Minnesota Orchestra Principal Cello Anthony Ross said in the press release. "Our recordings, tours and performances at home have been stellar. His artistic integrity and deep connection with our community make us all look forward to a bright future."