Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra announces new music director

Osmo Vänskä will become the new music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) next year. He will step down from his role as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra – a position he has held since 2003 – when his contract expires in 2022.

Grammy Award winner Vänskä said, “It is a great pleasure to partner with the SPO in this new leadership role. I look forward to working with the musicians and orchestra administration to create interesting programmes and inspiring concerts for the enthusiastic audiences of Seoul.”

Vänskä has previously worked as a guest conductor of and chief conductor of Lahti Symphony Orchestra. He has also been chief conductor for Iceland Symphony Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Since 2003, Vänskä has led five European tours with the Minnesota Orchestra as well as trips to Cuba in 2015 and South Africa in 2018 as part of Nelson Mandela’s Centenary.

Annette Kang, president and CEO of SPO, says, “It is such a thrill to announce the appointment of Osmo Vänskä as our next music director. His relationship with the orchestra has produced some of the most electrifying concerts we’ve heard these last few years. The SPO has incredible artistic energy and creativity, and I have no doubt that Osmo is the ideal leader to continue that momentum and move us into the next era.”

The previous music director, Myung-Whun Chung, left in 2015. SPO has since appointed Markus Stenz as conductor-in-residence and Thierry Fischer as principal guest conductor.

Founded in 1945, SPO has become a leading performing arts organisation in South East Asia. In addition to its concerts it also offers educational and social engagement activities.