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
Browse 51-75 of 117 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Aho: Symphonic Dances, Symphony No 11 / Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1336 Release Date: 03/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kalevi Aho
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kroumata Percussion Ensemble,  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 52.
    Pacius: Die Loreley/ Vanska, Isokoski, Sirkia, Lahti So, Etc
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1393/4 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fredrik Pacius
    Performer:  Soile Isokoski,  Raimo Sirkiä,  Topi Lehtipuu,  Arttu Kataja  ... 
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dominante Choir,  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 53.
    Swedish Hymns
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1409 Release Date: 01/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Various
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 54.
    Sibelius: Finlandia, Etc / Vänskä, Lahti So, Gräsbeck, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1295 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck,  Jaakko Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 55.
    Nielsen: Symphonies No 2 And 5 / Osmo Vanska, Bbc Scottish
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1289 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 56.
    Rondo Of The Waves - Sibelius: Aallottaret, Etc / Vänskä
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1445 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Traditional
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 57.
    Aho: Symphony No 3;  Mussorgsky / Vänskä, Lahti So, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1186 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Kalevi Aho
    Performer:  Matti Salminen,  Jaakko Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 58.
    Suomalainen Kansalaulu / Osmo Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1327 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  J. Raiskinen
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 59.
    Nielsen: Symphonies No 3 & 4 / Vanska, Bbc Scottish So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1209 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen
    Performer:  Anu Komsi,  Christian Immler
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Suomalainen Virsi - Finnish Hymns 2 / Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1349 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Ilkka Kuusisto,  Herman Rechberger,  Harri Ahmas  ... 
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 61.
    Macmillan: Confession Of Isobel Gowdie, Etc / Vänskä, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1169 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James MacMillan
    Performer:  Martin Fröst
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 62.
    Sibelius: En Saga, The Dryad, The Bard, Etc/ Vanska
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1225 Release Date: 06/18/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Music! - Rantala, J. Kuusisto, Et Al / Osmo Vanska, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 5015 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Pekka Kuusisto,  Iiro Rantala
    Performer:  Pekka Kuusisto,  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Alan Smithee
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Nielsen: Symphonies No 1 And 6 / Vanska, Bbc Scottish So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1079 Release Date: 02/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Nielsen
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Finnish Hymns / Osmo Vänskä, Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1149 Release Date: 01/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Finntastic
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1277 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Uuno (Kalervo) Klami,  Jean Sibelius,  Joonas Kokkonen,  Bernhard Henrik Crusell  ... 
    Performer:  Folke Gräsbeck
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä,  Jean-Jacques Kantorow,  Hermann Bäumer,  Astrid Riska  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra,  Tapiola Sinfonietta Orchestra,  Helsinki University Chorus  ... 
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  • 67.
    Sibelius: The Complete Symphonies / Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1286/8 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
    On sale! $65.99
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  • 68.
    Sibelius: Kullervo / Vänskä, Paasikivi, Laukka, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1215 Release Date: 04/24/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Lilli Paasikivi,  Raimo Laukka
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra,  Helsinki University Chorus
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  • 69.
    Aho: Chinese Songs, Symphony No 4 / Vahevaara, Vänskä, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1066 Release Date: 09/19/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Kalevi Aho
    Performer:  Tiina Vahevaara
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 70.
    Sibelius: Symphony No 5 (2 Versions) / Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 863 Release Date: 08/07/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 71.
    Sibelius: Symphonies No 2 & 3 / Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 862 Release Date: 08/05/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 72.
    Finland Awakes - Patriotic Music By Sibelius / Vänskä, Lahti
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1115 Release Date: 04/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Lasse Pöysti
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helsinki University Chorus,  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 73.
    Sibelius / Vänskä, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1125 Release Date: 03/15/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius
    Performer:  Dong-Suk Kang,  Jukka Hirvikangas
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 74.
    Rautavaara: Angel of Light, Etc / Vänskä, Alanko, Lahti SO
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1038 Release Date: 10/01/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Einojuhani Rautavaara
    Performer:  Petri Alanko
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 75.
    Christmas Wonderland / Vänskä, Laulupuu Choir, Lahti So
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 947 Release Date: 09/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  Osmo Vänskä,  Martti Johannes Turunen,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Pauli Pietiläinen,  Ari Heinonen,  Harri Lidsle,  Jukka Hirvikangas
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra,  Laulupuu Choir Lahti
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