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Minnesota Orchestra Announces Thomas Søndergård as Next Music Director

Søndergård will succeed Osmo Vänskä and become the 11th music director in the ensemble's 120-year history


Thomas Søndergård will initially serve as Minnesota Orchestra's music director designate in the 2022-23 season. His role as Music Director will begin in 2023-24 and continue on for a five-year contract. In it, he will lead the Orchestra in at least 12 weeks of concerts and activities a year.

A graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Music, Søndergård began his music career as a timpanist and joined the Royal Danish Orchestra. He served as the principal conductor and musical advisor to the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and then as principal conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBC NOW).

In 2018, he was appointed music director of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) after six seasons as its principal guest conductor. He currently serves in this role and will continue in it alongside the newest Minnesota appointment.

Throughout his career, he has led the Berlin Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Gewandhaus Orchestra, Houston Symphony, London Philharmonic, plus the symphonies of London, Montreal and Toronto.

"My impression of the Minnesota Orchestra is that it is an ensemble with tremendous heart," Thomas Søndergård said. "There is a warmth, an openness and a cooperative spirit among the musicians that fits very well into the way that I like to make music. ”

Audiences will be able to see Søndergård with the Minnesota Orchestra in three performances, from October 20-22, 2022, with a program that includes Lili Boulanger’s Of a Spring Morning.

“Thomas' first performances with our Orchestra already felt like the beginning of an exciting relationship," Minnesota's principal bassist Kristen Bruya said. "He has a warm and inviting presence on the podium that united musicians across the stage, and we found him to be tremendously energizing and inspiring—we think audiences will too. I’m excited to discover where this musical collaboration with Thomas will take us and how we will grow together in our music making.”

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