MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Just as the Minnesota Orchestra is getting back up to speed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic comes the news that the upcoming season will be the end of an era.

The 2021-2022 season is to be conductor Osmo Vänskä’s last with the orchestra, the organization just announced.

Vänskä has served for 19 years as the orchestra’s musical director.

“It has been a great journey,” Vänskä said.  “For me, it’s always been about collaboration. I have been lucky to work with people who are willing to share my ideas, and I have been willing to share their ideas. The Minnesota Orchestra has been a big, big part of my life—and I’m so grateful about that. It’s been a great journey, and I look forward to sharing this final season with the audiences who have been an essential part of that journey.”

The upcoming season will include performances of such orchestral works such as Beethoven’s fifth and ninth symphonies, Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” Mahler’s eighth and ninth symphonies, Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” and Shostakovich’s tenth symphony.

READ MORE: After 14 Months, Osmo Vänska & Minnesota Orchestra Prep For ‘Electricity’ Of Live Audience

It was on March 12, 2020 that the Orchestra announced it would halt in-person concerts due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first in-person concert took place on Friday, June 11, featuring selections from Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who was the first known classical composer of African descent, along with Frédéric Chopin and Joseph Haydn. On June 25, the Orchestra held the world premiere of Vänskä’s composition “Overture.”

For more information on upcoming concerts, click here.