Osmo Vänskä breaks down after final Minnesota Orchestra concert

7 October 2013, 15:37

In a moving farewell speech, the conductor addressed the audience at the end of his final concert with the conflicted orchestra.

Vänskä announced his resignation on October 1, following a year of conflict between the orchestra and the board. After conducting a programme of Beethoven, Mozart and Stravinsky at a concert this weekend, he finished the performance with a heartfelt speech and an encore of Sibelius' Valse Triste.

"This might be the last time I have a chance to conduct this great orchestra," he said. "I am going to miss you all very, very, very much. And I'm going to miss these great players."

Vänska is known for his interpretations of music by fellow Finn, Sibelius. Before performing the music, he explained the tragic story behind the piece and urged the audience to hold their applause.

"I have to say that the situation here is terrible," he said. "The orchestra is in such a terrible, almost hopeless, situation right now, and that situation doesn't need any applause."

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