Minnesota Orchestra

Biography

Active: 1903 -
The Minnesota Orchestra, one of the leading American orchestras, has often been referred to as the "orchestra on wheels" because of its extensive touring. Its first tour occurred in the spring of 1907, a mere three and a half years after its formation. National tours soon led to world tours. When not on tour, the Orchestra's home was at the Minneapolis Auditorium until 1930, when they moved to the Northrop Auditorium at the University of Read more Minnesota. The Orchestra's present home, Orchestra Hall, was constructed on the site of the original Minneapolis Auditorium and opened in 1974.

The Minnesota Orchestra was known as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra throughout much of its existence. The change in name reflects its evolution from a local metropolitan orchestra to one embraced by the entire state of Minnesota. The Minnesota Orchestra, like so many others, has its roots in local, amateur choral and instrumental ensembles. Emil Oberhoffer, director of the Philharmonic Club ensemble, sought the funds to found a permanent orchestra. With a group of the Danz Orchestra to form the core of the orchestra, his efforts came to fruition with the inaugural performance of the 60-member Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra on November 5, 1903.

The Orchestra has had nine music directors since its inception. The first, Emil Oberhoffer, directed the Orchestra until 1922. During his 19-year tenure, he oversaw the development of the Orchestra into a nationally acclaimed and well-traveled ensemble. Upon Oberhoffer's retirement, Henri Verbrugghen was selected to lead the Orchestra. Under his direction, the Orchestra performed its first radio broadcast in 1923, and made their first recordings. Besides expanding their classical repertoire, he introduced new music by the avante-garde of the time: Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Honegger. Shortly after completing the 1930-1931 season, Verbrugghen was stricken with a cerebral hemorrhage.

Verbrugghen's successor was Eugene Ormandy. His talent and drive, which earned him acclaim as a "young genius," likened to Toscanini and Stokowski, is credited with seeing the Orchestra successfully through America's great depression. Ormandy stayed with the Orchestra only a few short years. He left in 1936 and was replaced by Dmitri Mitropoulos.

Under Mitropoulos the Orchestra furthered its exploration of progressive music, particularly that of Schoenberg, Berg, and Krenek. But they also featured such Romantics as Schumann and Mendelssohn. Although Mitropoulos was criticized for his rather unorthodox programming, paying little heed to audience desires or balance between traditionalists and progressives, he succeeded in earning a worldwide recognition for the Orchestra.

Mitropoulos left the Orchestra in 1949 and was replaced by Antal Dorati. During his 11 years with the orchestra, Dorati programmed performances with local choruses, directed their first television appearances, and, in 1957, led them on a world tour to Europe, the Middle East, and India, sponsored by the State Department.

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski assumed the role of director when Dorati left in 1960. Under Skrowaczewski, the Orchestra expanded both its membership and its season, now performing 50 weeks a year. During his tenure, in 1968, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra became The Minnesota Orchestra. He presided over numerous special events, including the 1965 concert at the United Nations on Human Rights Day and Stravinsky's guest appearance in 1966. The Orchestra was rewarded twice with the ASCAP award for programming of contemporary music.

Neville Marriner became the seventh director in 1979. Marriner led the Orchestra through extensive recordings and, in 1980, began national weekly radio broadcasts. He turned the directorship over to Edo de Waart in 1986, who in turn relinquished the role to Eiji Oue in 1995. Osmo Vänskä was name music director in 2003. The Orchestra remains "the orchestra on wheels" with a European tour completed in the 2000 season. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 74 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    Beethoven - Complete Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94630 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Helena Döse,  Marga Schiml,  Peter Schreier,  Theo Adam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt,  David Zinman,  Gérard Oskamp,  Carl-August Bünte  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Dresden State Opera Chorus,  Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra  ... 
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  • 3.
    Greatest Cello Concertos / Truls Mork [9-CD Set]
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 158102 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Iona Brown,  Mariss Jansons,  Paavo Järvi,  Eiji Oue  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Norwegian Chamber Orchestra,  Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    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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  • 5.
    Britten: Orchestral Works
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 781602 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Robert Tear,  Peter Donohoe,  Peter [English Horn] Walden,  Wesley Warren  ... 
    Conductor:  Libor Pesek,  Simon Rattle,  Paavo Järvi,  Paavo Berglund  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Choir  ... 
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  • 6.
    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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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    Ballet Adagios
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48630 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Aram Khachaturian,  Georges Bizet,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Donohoe
    Conductor:  John Lanchbery,  Rudolf Barshai,  Aram Khachaturian,  Sir Thomas Beecham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 9.
    Copland: Billy The Kid, Appalachian Spring; Bernstein: Fancy Free, West Side Story
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48645 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Aaron Copland,  Leonard Bernstein
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra,  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    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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  • 12.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 13.
    Holst: The Planets;  Britten: Young Person's Guide, Etc
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64300 Release Date: 12/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Henry Purcell,  Benjamin Britten
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Andrew Parrott,  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toronto Symphony Orchestra,  Taverner Players,  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Exotic Dances From The Opera / Eiji Oue, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 712 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Richard Strauss,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Eiji Oue
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 15.
    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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  • 16.
    The Legend Of The Orchestra
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 94539 Release Date: 10/20/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Georges Prętre,  Christopher Warren-Green  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Bartok: Concerto For Orchestra, Etc / Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1052 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Best Concertos 100
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64739 Release Date: 03/24/2009   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  George Gershwin,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Hough,  Wayne Marshall,  Ralph Markham,  Kenneth Broadway  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Andrew Davis,  Wayne Marshall,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Richard Hickox  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Aalborg Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 19.
    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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  • 20.
    Bartok: Concerto For Orchestra, Wooden Prince, Dance Suite
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3015 Release Date: 07/01/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Béla Bartók
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Beethoven: Symphonies No 1 & 6 / Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1716 Release Date: 01/01/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 22.
    Dvorak: Symphonies No 7 & 8 / Marriner, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 434967 Release Date: 09/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Strauss: Don Quixote, Till Eulenspiegel, Don Juan / Edo De Waart
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 59234 Release Date: 08/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Cynthia Phelps,  Steven Isserlis
    Conductor:  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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  • 24.
    American Music Of The Twentieth Century - Barber, Copland
    Label: Virgin Classics   Catalog: 91339 Release Date: 07/17/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Aaron Copland,  Leonard Bernstein,  Tobias Picker
    Performer:  Helen McQueen,  Crispian Steele-Perkins
    Conductor:  Jukka-Pekka Saraste,  Carl Davis,  Richard Hickox,  Andrew Litton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  City of London Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 25.
    Ravel: Boléro, Etc / Skrowaczewski, Minnesota Orchestra
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1206 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Stanislaw Skrowaczewski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Minnesota Orchestra
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