MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Music lovers flocked to Ted Mann Concert Hall over the weekend for three sold-out farewell concerts led by former Minnesota Orchestra conductor Osmo Vanska.
The Star Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1bJ4WP3 ) that Friday night's concert became emotional, with musicians and fans on the verge of tears.
Vanska quit his post on Tuesday over the extended lockout that has idled the orchestra for more than a year. The orchestra board has asked musicians to take pay cuts of as much as 25 percent.
Mary Ellen Niedenfuer, of St. Paul, said she felt like the concert was not only a goodbye to Vanska, but to the orchestra as she knows it.
"I feel like the orchestra is no more," she said. "It will take them a long time to come back."
Others were more optimistic.
"These concerts they're putting on themselves, it's a new beginning for the musicians," said longtime concertgoer Ernest Lampe of Minneapolis.
Wearing his trademark dark suit with mandarin collar, Vanksa began Friday's concert without a word. He started with "The Star-Spangled Banner," which caused some of the concertgoers' chins to tremble.
Vanska addressed the crowd before the final scheduled number. "Love you, too," he said tearfully after someone in the crowd had previously yelled, "We love you Osmo!"
"I'm going to miss it here very much, and I'm going to miss this fabulous orchestra," Vanska said.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com