The Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä, is recognized for distinguished performances around the world, award-winning recordings, radio broadcasts, educational engagement programs, and commitment to building the orchestral repertoire of the future.
Founded in 1903 as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, the ensemble played its first regional tour in 1907 and made its New York City debut in1912 at Carnegie Hall, where it has performed regularly ever since. Outside the U.S., the Orchestra has played concerts in Australia, Canada, Europe, the Far East, Latin America, and the Middle East. In 2015 Vänskä and the Orchestra performed two historic concerts and collaborated in educational projects in Havana, Cuba, becoming the first major American orchestra to perform in the island nation since the U.S. and Cuban governments announced steps to normalize relations between the two countries. Under Vänskä, the ensemble has undertaken four European tours and made numerous tours to Greater Minnesota. In August 2016 Vänskä and the Orchestra toured Europe together for the fifth time, visiting venues in Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Lahti, Finland.
The Orchestra’s recordings have drawn acclaim since the early 1920s, when the ensemble became one of the first to be heard on disc. Under Vänskä’s leadership, the Orchestra has undertaken several acclaimed recording projects, including highly-praised cycles of the Beethoven and Sibelius symphonies; piano concertos of Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, and Mozart; Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn; and recent in-concert recordings of Sibelius’ Kullervoand Kortekangas’ Migrations. In June 2016 the Orchestra began a series of Mahler recordings with the Fifth Symphony; this season it will record the Second and Sixth.
The Orchestra’s season encompasses nearly 175 programs annually, held primarily at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis and heard live by 300,000 individuals. The Orchestra connects with more than 85,000 music lovers annually through family concerts and educational programs including Young People’s Concerts. Through its innovative Common Chords program of week-long residency festivals, the Orchestra has been welcomed in recent seasons to the Minnesota cities of Grand Rapids, Willmar, Hibbing, Bemidji, and Detroit Lakes. The Orchestra has commissioned and/or premiered more than 300 compositions and has won 20 awards for its adventurous programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
Winner of the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award from the U.S Solti Foundation, Roderick Cox was the Minnesota Orchestra’s Associate Conductor from September 2016 to July 2018 following a year as the ensemble’s Assistant Conductor. Previously, he served for two years as Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was awarded the Robert J. Harth Conducting Prize from the Aspen Music Festival in 2013, which led to national recognition and a return to the Festival as a Fellow. He has also held Fellowships with the Chicago Sinfonietta as part of the Project Inclusion programme and the Chautauqua Music Festival, where he was a David Effron Conducting Fellow.
Highlights among recent engagements include a subscription concert debut with the Minnesota Orchestra and debut concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony and BBC Symphony orchestras as well as at the Lanaudiere Festival with the Orchestre Metropolitan de Montreal, Grant Park Festival in Chicago and at the Manhattan School of Music conducting Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Highlights of his 2018-19 season include a subscription concert debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Cameron Carpenter in November 2018 and his Opera debut with the Houston Grand Opera in January 2019 in performances of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers.
The League of American Orchestras selected Cox as one of five conductors for the 2016 Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview, a prestigious showcase for young conductors in the United States. Roderick was also nominated by Marin Alsop to attend the Conductors Guild Conductor/Composer Training Workshop at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music for two consecutive years. For more information, visit roderickcox.com or askonasholt.co.uk.
Violinist Elena Urioste, hailed by The Washington Post as “a drop-dead beauty who plays with equal parts passion, sensuality, brains and humor,” is a first prize winner in the Sphinx and Sion International Violin competitions and was more recently selected as a BBC New Generation Artist. In addition to recital and chamber music appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, and the Marlboro, Moab, and Sarasota music festivals, she has performed with such major U.S. orchestras as the Boston Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and American Composers Orchestra; the New York, Los Angeles, and Buffalo philharmonics; and the Chicago, San Francisco, National, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, and Pittsburgh symphonies. Ms. Urioste has appeared in the U.K. with the Hallé Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Symphony, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, among others, and in France and Hungary with the Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestra Dohnányi Budafok, and MAV Orchestra. She has appeared extensively in recital with pianists Michael Brown and Tom Poster; with the latter she recorded her most recent album, Estrellita, released in 2018 on the BIS label. Ms. Urioste is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and completed graduate studies at The Juilliard School. For more information, visit elenaurioste.com or samnyc.us.