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About the program

Minnesota Orchestra with Brian Newhouse—Bringing the orchestra to you.

Focus
Minnesota Orchestra brings the finest performances of one of America's leading orchestras to radio airwaves. Music is drawn primarily from the mainstream orchestral repertoire but occasionally features world premieres and lesser-known works. The orchestra is joined regularly by world-class artists, including violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Lang Lang.

Host Brian Newhouse creates a colorful broadcast season each year. Large orchestral pieces are balanced throughout the season with smaller chamber and solo works for textural variety. The point of it all, Newhouse notes, is "to let the beauty and the power of this music move you."

Performances are broadcast nationwide from July through December.

Audience
Over 200,000 people hear Minnesota Orchestra broadcasts every week via American Public Media on 150 stations across the country. Broadcast days and times vary by station.

 

The Minnesota Orchestra Broadcast Team
The program's host, Peabody Award-winner Brian Newhouse, enhances the enjoyment of classical music by sharing his artistic insight, the background of the works performed, and interviews with conductors, guest artists and composers. A musician himself, Newhouse holds degrees in voice and English, has been a soloist with the Minnesota-based Dale Warland Singers and was an Artist-in-Residence at the Oregon Bach Festival. Newhouse was also a founding producer for the award-winning public radio program, Speaking of Faith.

As a classically trained Double Bassist, Audio Producer Nick Kereakos combines his artistic and technical skills to deliver the sound of the orchestra to the air. He is an orchestral fellowship alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival. Previously, Kereakos served as audio producer of APM's "Sound Money" and MPR's broadcasts of the Minnesota Opera. He additionally serves as technical director of "The Splendid Table" when on location. In 2003 Nick was featured on Apple Computer’s Website.

 

Osmo Vänskä, Music Director
Beginning this season, Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä becomes the Minnesota Orchestra's tenth music director. Praised for his intense dynamic performances, Vänskä is recognized for compelling interpretations of the standard, contemporary, and Nordic repertoire, as well as the close rapport he establishes with the musicians he leads. Vänskä has also served as music director of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra since 1988, and during his tenure has transformed the regional ensemble into one of Finland's flagship orchestras.

While with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Vänskä received international attention for an innovative collection of Sibelius recordings on the BIS label. He was chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra of Glasgow from 1996-2002. During that time, Vänskä led the ensemble in symphonic cycles of Beethoven, Sibelius, Nielsen, and Rachmaninoff, presenting these concerts at the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh Festival, on tour throughout Europe, and on an inaugural tour of the United States.

Vänskä first led the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000 and was appointed music director designate of the ensemble in May the following year. During his 2003-04 inaugural season in Minnesota, Vänskä leads the Orchestra in programmatic cycles focusing on the music of Beethoven and Nielsen, an eleven-city European Tour in February, and the first album in a three-year, multi-disc cycle intended to record the complete Beethoven symphonies. Establishing a new partnership between the Minnesota Orchestra and Sweden-based BIS Records, the inaugural disc in the series will feature Beethoven's symphonies Nos. 4 and 5. The album will be recorded at Orchestra Hall, the home of the Minnesota Orchestra, in May 2004.

Internationally in demand as a guest conductor, Vänskä has led such principal European orchestras as Berlin's Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Helsinki Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has appeared in the United States with the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, National Symphony, and Saint Louis Symphony. Last season's highlights include conducting debuts with The Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony, with return engagements in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. His 2002 debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood received critical acclaim, and his interpretation of Sibelius was hailed by the Boston Globe as "revelatory."

Vänskä's extensive discography includes numerous recordings for the BIS and Hyperion labels. His eighteen Sibelius recordings with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, part of a soon-to-be completed Sibelius edition for BIS, have garnered many awards, including a 1996 Gramophone Award and Cannes Classical Award for the original version of the Fifth Symphony. Vänskä's first-ever complete recording of The Tempest won the 1993 Prix Academie Charles Cros, and his original version of the Sibelius Violin Concerto with Leonidas Kavakos won Gramophone's 1991 "Record of the Year" and "Best Concerto Recording." Vänskä and the Lahti Symphony Orchestra also received the 2002 Cannes Classical Award (category: 19th/20th Century Choral Music) for their recording of Sibelius's Kullervo, and his recording of Bruckner's Symphony No. 3 with the BBC Scottish Symphony earned a Grammy nomination for "Best Orchestral Performance."

Osmo Vänskä began his musical career as an accomplished clarinetist, holding the co-principal chair of the Helsinki Philharmonic (1977-82) and the principal chair of the Turku Philharmonic (1971-76). Following conducting studies under Jorma Panula at Finland's Sibelius Academy, Vänskä took first prize in the 1982 Besançon International Young Conductor's Competition. Three years later he began his tenure with the Lahti Symphony as principal guest conductor and was appointed music director in 1988. He has also served as chief conductor of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Tapiola Sinfonietta.

Among the many honors and distinctions awarded Osmo Vänskä include an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow, a privilege given in recognition of his role as chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony. In May 2002, he was honored with a Royal Philharmonic Society Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to classical music during 2001.

Vänskä now divides his time between Riihimäki, Finland and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Despite his busy international conducting schedule, he still finds time to follow his favorite sports, basketball and hockey, and pursue his interest in motorcycles.

 

Awards
The 2002 Golden Reel Award and Special Merit Award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.



Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä

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