Although the last season of the Minnesota Orchestra was lost to a 15-month lockout, the musicians and former music director Osmo Vänskä won a Grammy Award on Sunday for their recording of Jean Sibelius' symphonies.
The Minnesota Orchestra recorded the first and fourth symphonies on the BIS Records label, and the award marks the orchestra's first in the category of Best Orchestral Performance. It is also Vänskä's first Grammy.
The symphonies were recorded at the Minneapolis Orchestra Hall between May and June in 2012, and recordings can be purchased online.
To celebrate the award, the Minnesota Orchestra will perform the symphonies on March 27 and March 29, with Vänskä set to conduct. Those who attend the homecoming concerts between Feb. 7 and Feb. 15 will also receive a complimentary copy of the recording.
"I want to congratulate the Orchestra and Osmo on this outstanding honor and to offer my thanks to the many generous donors who have made possible the Orchestra's recording projects," said Michael Henson, the Orchestra's President and CEO. "This institution has an illustrious recording history that dates to the 1920s, and today's award is a brilliant achievement in that long legacy."
The other ensembles nominated for this year's Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance included:
- Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
- Los Angeles Philharmonic
- Orchestra Mozart
- Berlin Philharmonic
Following the announcement, principal cellist Tony Ross issued a statement on behalf of the musicians that urged Vänskä to return to the Minnesota Orchestra for more than the two shows.
"The winning of a Grammy award for Best Symphonic Performance confirms where the musicians and our leader, Osmo Vänskä, were as a symphony Orchestra before the lockout," Ross said. "We were a great orchestra enjoying a special relationship with our music director. This is also why we need him to return and carry on with the projects and partnership that have brought this orchestra acclaim worldwide. We know this community deserves an orchestra at that level."