Osmo Vanska v. Minnesota Orchestra brass, the very definition of workplace politics

Inside the sanctum: the Minnesota Orchestra's hall in Minneapolis. http://www.flickr.com/photos/allisonhare/
Inside the sanctum: the Minnesota Orchestra’s hall in Minneapolis. http://www.flickr.com/photos/allisonhare/

Former Minnesota Orchestra conductor Osmo Vanska left his leadership position with the orchestra one year into the embattled group’s lockout. It was a blow to an organization that desperately needed guidance.

Now that the lockout is over — musicians are back, and a newly rehabbed hall was re-opened — Vanska is dropping strong hints that he’d like to be back.

If an orchestra is the sum of its parts, some kind of giant musical golem, then the conductor is like Voltron’s head. Having Vanska back would mean a return-to-form of sorts, a readiness for the battles ahead.

But it’s not that simple. Vanska is conditioning his return on another leader within the Minnesota Orchestra stepping down. He told Minnesota Public Radio over the weekend that president Michael Henson must resign in order for him to return.

Audience members hollered “Bring back Osmo!” during the Minnesota Orchestra’s reopening last Friday.

Ball’s in the court of orchestra management. Nerves are still raw from the lockout.

Stay tuned.

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