Minnesota Orchestra, recording powerhouse in age of streaming

Posted on: October 31, 2018

“A classical music legend walked into Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis this summer, situating himself in a white-walled room near the main stage,” writes Terry Blain in Sunday’s (10/28) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “The legend’s name is Robert Suff, artist and repertoire director at Sweden’s BIS Records. Suff … has worked with Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä on 60 recordings including the orchestra’s complete cycles of Beethoven and Sibelius symphonies. Now he’s doing the same with all 10 Mahler symphonies. ‘I’ve been coming here so often, it feels like a second home,’ Suff said at Orchestra Hall in June, in between recording sessions for Mahler’s Fourth Symphony…. No other American orchestra comes close to equaling the Minnesota Orchestra’s achievement as a recording powerhouse over the past quarter-century…. [In] the age of Spotify and YouTube … the Minnesota Orchestra … forged an innovative financial partnership with BIS, with the orchestra shouldering the upfront cost of paying musicians for hours worked on recording sessions (with a generous assist from donors).… Despite industry challenges, [Suff and Vänskä] are optimistic that their partnership will stretch into the future…. Vänskä is confident the Minnesota players … ‘are ready to do whatever is needed.’ ”

Posted October 31, 2018

In photo: Music Director Osmo Vänskä conducts the Minnesota Orchestra in Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2