Osmo Vanska announced last week that he'll step down in 2022. Under Vanska's baton, the Minnesota Orchestra drew international attention.
The group won a Grammy in 2014, and performed in both Cuba and South Africa in addition to multiple European tours. Vanska is also credited with rebuilding the ensemble after a bruising contract dispute and musician lockout that threatened the organization's future.
MPR News host Angela Davis spoke with two guests about why it's important for an orchestra to have a good music director — and what makes a good one.
Guests: Brian Newhouse— Managing director of Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media's classical programming
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Bill Eddins— Music director emeritus of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
Use the audio player above to listen to the full discussion.
Listeners share stories about their favorite music directors and conductors
Ken Hodgsen at the U of M--Morris. He taught me the value of teamwork, helped me build self-esteem, & made me understand every individual on a team is important. He showed us quiet discipline works better than anger. I brought all of this into my HS classroom in Oakland, CA.
— Ms. Dori (@DorindaGrandboi) December 12, 2018
I work in a school as a teacher aide and I like to help out with the music programs as much as I can in my free time. No famous conductor or performer could ever have as much impact on me as a person as my regular, unsung public school music teachers. They lay the foundation.
— JP Rennquist (@JPRennquist) December 11, 2018
Whoever was conducting the Minneapolis Symphony Back in 1970 because that's when I got attracted to classical music
— Rebecca Campbell (@Rebecca99343990) December 11, 2018
Sister Joellen at Saint Cecilia's Catholic School in Algona, IA. She was my music teacher from 2nd grade until 4th grade, and I think she is personally responsible for the genius behind #TonicSolFa. The last I heard she was in Sioux City, IA. She's my hero.
— PezzleStick (@PezzleStick) December 11, 2018
These comments come via the MPR News with Angela Davis Facebook group
"I've been lucky to work with Philip Brunelle and Phillip Shoultz of VocalEssence as one of the countless composers the organization has commissioned over the last 50 seasons. Not only are they brilliant musicians (in the truest sense of the word), they are warm and generous people, and are committed to giving young composers like me an opportunity to be seen and heard. They challenge audiences with compelling music, employ *so* many freelance musicians, and inspire a lot of students through their 'Witness' and 'Cantare' outreach programs. I've grown so much as a musician because of their work and mentorship. (Thanks for coming to my TED talk.)" — Emily
Better late than never? The late Ralph Strom, Choir Director at Columbia Heights High School in the 50s and 60s, who 'rode circuit' to the elementary schools to teach the basics of music to hundreds of students, Mr. Strom was himself a student of the legendary F. Melius Christiansen (emphasis on the 2nd syllable). Paul J. Christensen, 40 years Minister of Music at First Lutheran Church of Columbia Heights which at its musical peak featured FIVE age-specific choirs. Paul was a student of another choral legend: Augsburg's Leland B. Sateren. Hmmm... I wonder now, whether Messrs. Strom and Sateren were St. Olaf classmates? — Darryl