Minnesota comes to Edinburgh, but not to BBC Proms

The Minnesota Orchestra is coming to Europe this summer, its first long-haul tour since the 2012 musicians lockout that almost destroyed the organisation.

The resilience of the musicians and the steadfastness of music director Osmo Vänskä (pictured) have given the orchestra a gloss of legend. Their Carnegie Hall visit last month drew unqualified raves.

It will be good to hear the Minnesotans in Lahti, Finland (August 21st) and at the Edinburgh International Festival (23rd), Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw (24th) and the Tivoli Festival in Copenhagen (26th).

But not at the BBC Proms.

Why not? The tour will surely have been offered to the BBC, which must have turned it down. Just as it turned down the chance this summer to hear Europe’s most sought-after conductor, Kirill Petrenko.

Next week, we’ll find out what else is missing at the 2016 Proms.

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  • Is it absolutely cast-iron certain that the Proms turned down Petrenko and Minnesota? I very much doubt that it’s as it’s being presented here, though obviously it’s fashionable to bash the Beeb these days.

    • The report about the Bavarian State Orchestra’s offer to the Proms and rejection came from Peter Jonas — an excellent source.

      And with or without KP, it is one of the finest orchestras in the world.

  • Just five concerts? Hardly seems worth the trip across the Atlantic. And yet another orchestra that skips Prague.

  • I believe the Proms now insists on UK exclusivity for visiting orchestras. Even if an offer was extended, Minnesota would have had to cancel Edinburgh to play the Proms.

    • The Prommers have always been told that the majority of visiting orchestras appear at the end of the season because this coincides with Edinburgh, Salzburg and so on, because the BBC can’t afford to bring them over on their own, and need the greater financial power of the other festivals to support them. Insisting on exclusivity would therefore be completely self-defeating. I imagine they didn’t want Minnesota because they consider that the strike compromised the orchestra’s quality.

  • SD says “The resilience of the musicians and the steadfastness of music director Osmo Vänskä (pictured) have given the orchestra a gloss of legend.”

    Well if that is the case, they might just want to return their name to the actually legendary Minneapolis Symphony…:-)

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