Locked out orchestra sends off their Finnish Principal Conductor with a series of farewell concerts.

A series of three concerts to farewell Osmo Vänskä, principal conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra took place last weekend in Minneapolis.

Vänskä made his resignation to the Minnesota Orchestra board last Tuesday in response to the cancellation of two Carnegie Hall appearances for the orchestra in November. The announcement followed the rejection by orchestra members of a proposed contract to cut musician salaries by 25%. Three other similar contracts have been rejected by orchestra members since last October, with the ensemble now in an extended hiatus.

For Vänskä, who had previously stated the Carnegie Hall concerts held “very special meaning” for him, finally decided to resign after months of speculation about his future with the ensemble. His contract was due to expire in 2015.

Held at the Ted Mann concert hall at the University of Minnesota, the farewell concerts featured a program of Stravinsky’s  Firebird, Beethoven’s  Egmont Overture and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No 27 performed by soloist Emanuel Ax.

The Minneapolis Star Tribunereported an emotional response to Friday night’s performance. Addressing the audience, Vänskä left a parting message: “I’m going to miss [Minneapolis] very much, and I’m going to miss this fabulous orchestra,” he...