Osmo Vänskä

Biography

Born: Feb 28, 1953; Finland  
In the 1980s Osmo Vänskä successfully transitioned from principal clarinetist to conductor and went on to hold some of the world's most prestigious and coveted conducting posts, including music director of the Minnesota Orchestra. Actually, the transition was rather brief: Vänskä won the 1982 Besançon Young Conductors Competition and thereafter turned largely to conducting, landing his first major post in 1985, when he was appointed guest Read more conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Since that time Vänskä has held a half-dozen or so major posts and appeared on more than 100 recordings. He is best known for his advocacy of Finnish music, particularly from the 20th century, with the names Aho, Crusell, Klami, Kokkonen, Kajanus, and Rautavaara appearing regularly on his programs. But Vänskä is probably best known for his spirited Sibelius, both in the concert hall and on recordings. That said, Vänskä has hardly limited himself to Finnish music: his repertory includes works by a vast array of composers, including Beethoven (whose cycle of nine symphonies he recorded for BIS), Bruckner, Mussorgsky, Mahler, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninov, Nielsen, Poulenc, Britten, Bax, and even Leroy Anderson. Beside BIS, Vänskä has recorded for Hyperion, Ondine, LPO, Classico, and Kontrapunkt.
Osmo Vänskä was born in Sääminki, Finland, on February 28, 1953. Though he studied conducting under Jorma Panula at the Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, his initial focus there was the clarinet.
Vänskä served as principal clarinet for the Turku Philharmonic from 1971-1976. While there, he made his conducting debut (1975), garnering approval from both critics and public alike. From 1977-1982 Vänskä was co-principal clarinetist for the Helsinki Philharmonic.
Following the Besançon competition victory and Lahti appointment, Vänskä was suddenly in demand. He was elevated to chief conductor of the Lahti Symphony in 1988 and held the post until 2008. During this 20-year stint he held several other posts as well: chief conductor of the Iceland Symphony (1993-1996), principal conductor of BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (1996-2002), and finally music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, from 2003.
Vänskä has received two contract extensions from the Minnesota Orchestra management, the latest in 2009, which keeps the maestro in Minnesota through the 2014-2015 season. In 2008, Vänskä's composition The Bridge was premiered by the Minnesota-based Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, under music director William Schrickel. Among Vänskä's later recordings is his 2009 BIS CD To Be Certain of the Dawn, an oratorio by Minnesota-based composer Stephen Paulus. Read less
Rautavaara - The Journey / Vänskä, Kuusisto, Lahti So
Release Date: 11/30/2004   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1315   Number of Discs: 1
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Mahler/Schoenberg: Das Lied Von Der Erde / Osmo Vänskä
Release Date: 12/20/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 681   Number of Discs: 1
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Nordic Spell - Aho, Tómasson, Lindberg / Bezaly, Vänskä
Release Date: 07/26/2005   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1499   Number of Discs: 1
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Sibelius: The Origin Of Fire / Vänskä, Lahti SO
Release Date: 02/27/2007   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 1525   Number of Discs: 1
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Kokkonen: Cello Concerto, Etc / Thedéen, Vänskä, Lahti So
Release Date: 03/25/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 468   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 114 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Sibelius: Lemminkainen Suite, Wood Nymph / Vanska
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1745 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 3 / Vanska, BBC Scottish
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55474 Release Date: 05/13/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    New Music Collections, Vol. 3: Orchestral
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 206 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Causton,  Dominic Muldowney,  Nicholas Maw,  Richard Ayres  ... 
    Performer:  Roy Carter,  Wim Timmermans,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Robin Michael
    Conductor:  Nicholas Collon,  Michael T. Thomas,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Roland Kluttig  ... 
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  • 4.
    Hartmann: Symphonies 1-8 / Vanska, Stenz, Gaffigan...
    Label: Challenge   Catalog: 72583 Release Date: 03/11/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Karl Amadeus Hartmann
    Conductor:  Christoph Poppen,  Osmo Vänskä,  Ingo Metzmacher,  Markus Stenz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 - Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 / Sudbin, Vanska
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1978 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Aho: Symphony No 15, Minea, Double Bass Concerto / Vanska, Lahti Symphony
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1866 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kalevi Aho
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 7.
    The Unknown Sibelius - Rarities & First Recordings
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2065 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Jorma Hynninen,  Folke Gräsbeck,  Peter Lönnqvist,  Jyrki Lasonpalo  ... 
    Conductor:  Okko Kamu,  Osmo Vänskä,  Robert Sund,  Seppo Murto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra,  Dominante Choir,  Orphei Drängar
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  • 8.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 1 & 4 / Vanska, Minnesota
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1996 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 9.
    Britten: Piano & Violin Concertos / Servadei, Azizian
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1152 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Sergei Azizian,  Annette Servadei
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä,  Joseph Giunta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 2 & 5 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1986 Release Date: 01/31/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 12 - Symphonies / Vanska, Lahti SO
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1933/5 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Timo Saarenpää,  Ilkka Pälli,  Antti Autio
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Beethoven: Piano Concertos 4 & 5 / Sudbin, Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1758 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yevgeny Sudbin
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Nielsen: The Symphonies / Vanska, Lahti SO, BBC Scottish SO
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1839/40 Release Date: 11/30/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Aho: Symphony No 13, Piano Concerto No 2 / Siirala, Vanska
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1316 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kalevi Aho
    Performer:  Antti Siirala
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Label: Caprice Records   Catalog: 21415 Release Date: 07/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arne Mellnäs,  Aram Khachaturian,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Torbjörn Lundquist  ... 
    Performer:  Kjell Fagéus
    Conductor:  Brian Priestman,  Osmo Vänskä
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  • 16.
    Bruckner: Symphony No 4 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1746 Release Date: 06/29/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 17.
    The Romantic Piano Concerto Vol 50 - Tchaikovsky / Hough, Vanska, Minnesota
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67711 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Stephen Hough
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 18.
    The Sound Of Sibelius / Vanska, Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1645 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Beethoven: Nine Symphonies / Vanska, Juntunen, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1825/6 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Katarina Karnéus,  Neal Davies,  Helena Juntunen,  Daniel Norman
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra,  Minnesota Chorale
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  • 20.
    Thea Musgrave: Turbulent Landscapes / Milne, Glennie
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 153 Release Date: 07/28/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thea Musgrave
    Performer:  Nicholas Daniel,  Evelyn Glennie,  Lisa Milne
    Conductor:  Jiri Belohlávek,  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Sibelius Edition Vol 8 - Orchestral Music
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1921/3 Release Date: 05/26/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Neeme Järvi,  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Stephen Paulus: To Be Certain Of The Dawn
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1726 Release Date: 03/31/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Paulus
    Performer:  Cantar Barry Abelson
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
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  • 23.
    Kaipainen, Merilainen, Nielsen, R Strauss / Karita Mattila, Osmo Vanska, Lahti Chamber Ensemble
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: ODE792 Release Date: 12/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen,  Richard Strauss,  Uuno Klami,  Usko Meriläinen  ... 
    Performer:  Harri Ahmas,  Ilkka Pälli,  Timo Saarenpää,  Eero Munter  ... 
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Chamber Ensemble
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  • 24.
    Bax: Tintagel;  Rachmaninov: Symphony No 3 Op. 44 / Vänskä, London Po
    Label: Lpo   Catalog: 36 Release Date: 11/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 2 & 7 / Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1816 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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