Minnesota Orchestra announces first Europe tour since lockout

Osmo Vanska conducting
Osmo Vanska conducting the Minnesota Orchestra in May 2015 at the Teatro Nacional in Havana, Cuba.
Nate Ryan | Classical MPR/Minnesota Orchestra 2015

The Minnesota Orchestra will tour Northern Europe this summer, its first European trek since its contentious labor dispute.

It will spend 10 days in August performing in four countries, including Music Director Osmo Vanska's native home, Finland. The orchestra last toured Europe six years ago.

President and CEO Kevin Smith says since contract disputes, the orchestra has developed a reputation for making a strong comeback.

"There's been a lot of interest both nationally and internationally in the narrative of Minnesota Orchestra going through a period of difficulty and then coming out of that and beginning to flourish, even more so than perhaps before," Smith said.

The tour will feature music by Beethoven, Sibelius and Prokofiev.

Stops include Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Edinburgh, Scotland. The Finland performance is in Lahti.

The European tours play an important role in the health of the orchestra, Smith said.

"That relates to recruiting artists and conductors to coming to Minnesota to play, promoting our recordings and doing a lot of different things including even recruiting musicians to play in the orchestra," he said.

The tour, which is expected to cost more than $1 million, is funded by private donations.

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