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Minnesota Orchestra audience: 'Bring back Osmo'

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Minnesota Orchestra musicians play together
Minnesota Orchestra musicians play together for the first time since their lockout at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Minn., Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.
Jeffrey Thompson/MPR News

The Minnesota Orchestra received standing ovations Friday at its first concert since the end of the lockout.  

Photos: Minnesota Orchestra returns to the stage

The musicians received a standing ovation just for walking on stage at Orchestra Hall. As the orchestra worked through a program of Bach and Strauss for the first half of the concert the applause continued. 

However, when new board chair Gordon Sprenger took the stage after intermission  to address the audience, voices from the crowd demanded the return of former music director Osmo Vanska.

"We want Osmo. Bring back Osmo," they shouted.  

The audience applauded at this, prompting Sprenger to say thank you.

"And I want you to know we understand that and we are addressing that," he said.

Karen Holmes from Minneapolis said the Orchestra prospered under Vanska.

"I think the musicians really respect and loved him, the audience loved him, we really saw tremendous gains in the musicianship and the quality of the programming and the introduction of new works and it would be fabulous to have him back," said Holmes.

Musicians confirmed Vanska visited them during final rehearsals before the concert.