The Minnesota Orchestra, founded in 1903 as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, is recognized as one of America’s leading symphony orchestras, winning acclaim for its performances at home and in major European music centres. In 2015 it became the first American orchestra to perform in Cuba following a thaw in relations between the two countries, and in 2018 it became the first professional US orchestra ever to tour South Africa. The Finnish conductor Osmo Vänskä was appointed the orchestra’s tenth music director in 2003, joining a long line of celebrated music directors: Eiji Oue, Edo de Waart, Sir Neville Marriner, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Antal Doráti, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Eugene Ormandy, Henri Verbrugghen and Emil Oberhoffer. The Minnesota Orchestra’s radio history began in 1923 with a national broadcast under guest conductor Bruno Walter and continues today with regional and national broadcasts. Historic recordings of the orchestra, which date back to 1924, include releases for RCA Victor, Columbia, Mercury ‘Living Presence’ and Vox Records. The orchestra’s recordings of the Beethoven and Sibelius symphonies with Vänskä have been hailed internationally, with their album featuring Sibelius’s First and Fourth Symphonies winning the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance in 2014. The orchestra has received many awards for adventurous programming, and the ensemble regularly commissions and premières new works as it continues to nourish a strong commitment to contemporary composers. The Minnesota Orchestra makes its home at the acoustically brilliant Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.