Osmo Vänskä to bow out as conductor of Minnesota Orchestra: ‘We play for people’s hearts’ – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This weekend marks the end of a historic era of music in the Twin Cities.

Osmo Vänskä will step down as Music Director and Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra. The world-renowned musician will be featured in The New York Times this weekend as he bids farewell to his orchestra on Sunday.

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WCCO sat down with the music legend and asked him what he will miss most.

“I will miss the orchestra, I will miss this organization. It’s been my home orchestra for 19 years,” Vänskä said. “Things are going so well. I will miss it.

His love for music started a long time ago in Finland, when his parents took him to concerts.

“The orchestra made me feel good,” he said.

Vänskä says he is always excited at every concert. And his enthusiasm is contagious. Michael Sutton played violin for Vänskä during his 19 years in Minnesota.

“His attention to detail is amazing, and whenever I think my standards are on the right level, he shows me there is another level.”

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Osmo Vänskä (credit: CBS)

And that’s what Vänskä is known for. He guest conducts in Korea, London, across Scandinavia and beyond, but he has chosen Minnesota as his home.

“When you go north of Minneapolis, it feels a lot like Finland. Lots of lakes, lots of forests,” he said.

Soon he will have some more time to enjoy the region and the rest of the world as he completes this very well played course.

“We play for people’s hearts. This is our life, and there is always a corner in my life where I can feel the music coming through,” he said.

Vänskä is not retiring. He will continue to come back as guest conductor once a year, he will also be guest conductor all over the world.

Shows are sold out this weekend, but the orchestra may have additional tickets if you call 612-371-5656.

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You can watch more of Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield’s conversation with Osmo Vänskä Monday night at 9 p.m. on CBS News Minnesota.

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