Minnesota Orchestra Touring History
During his tenure, Osmo Vänskä has led the Orchestra on five European tours, as well as an August 2018 visit to London’s BBC Proms, and on historic tours to Cuba in 2015 and South Africa in 2018, both of which were created in partnership with Classical Movements. The Cuba tour was the first by an American orchestra following the 2014 thaw in Cuban-U.S. diplomatic relations, while the South Africa tour—the culmination of a Music for Mandela celebration of Nelson Mandela’s centennial—was the first-ever visit to the country by a professional U.S. orchestra. Both tour experiences came to define the Orchestra’s commitment to “musical diplomacy”: sharing music, cultural exchange and goodwill across international borders and in Minnesota. These modern-day visits carry on a touring legacy for the organization that dates back its first Cuba tour in 1929, as well as a historic 1957 State Department-sponsored tour of the Middle East that featured performances in Iran, Iraq and Pakistan. The Orchestra’s 2020 tour, which also includes an engagement in Seoul, South Korea, marks its first-ever visits to South Korea and Vietnam.