MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Drama, appreciation and sadness played a part in Saturday night’s final performance for the Minnesota Orchestra with its famed conductor.

Osmo Vänskä’s 10-year tenure as director of the Minn. Orchestra ended at the University of Minnesota’s Ted Mann Concert Hall, where he received a standing ovation when he first walked out on stage in the final of three farewell performances.

Vänskä resigned from the orchestra on Tuesday more than one year after his musicians were locked out over a dispute with the orchestra’s management, who have insisted that musicians will need to accept deep pay cuts.

He originally warned both sides that if an agreement wasn’t reached by Monday, he would be forced to cancel performances scheduled at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Vänskä departure puts the orchestra’s stature at risk. After attending a 2010 performance, the New Yorker’s classical music critic, Alex Ross, described them as sounding like “the greatest orchestra in the world.”


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