Osmo Vänskä, clarinet
Conductor and clarinetist Osmo Vänskä was born in Finland and began his clarinet studies at the age of 11 at the music school in Kotka. He undertook further studies at the Sibelius Academy as a pupil of Sven Lavela, and spent a short but significant period as a pupil of Karl Leister in Berlin in 1974. He has been the principal clarinetist of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (1971-76) and assistant principal clarinetist of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra (1977-82). He was the Artistic Director of the Crusell Festival in Uusikaupunki, Finland, from 1989 until 1993.
As a conductor, Mr. Vänskä was the Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra from 2003-2013 and previously spent twenty years as the Music Director of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent guest conductor of leading orchestras around the world and more recently has enjoyed returning to the clarinet, performing chamber music regularly in Europe, the United States and Asia. He has recorded Bernhard Henrik Crusell’s three Clarinet Quartets and Kalevi Aho’s Clarinet Quintet for the BIS label.